This week we discussed distributive learning, something we have all been forced to become very acquainted with over this past year. We discussed the many pros and cons of online learning, something I have thought about often, especially this semester. The first semester online was fairly enjoyable, I liked not having to wake up early to catch the bus to campus and being able to go for runs during breaks between classes. It was nice not having to worry about packing a lunch every day or spending too much money on on-campus coffee, but this term none of that seems to matter. These little perks to online learning do not make up for the lost experience of being in the classroom able to freely interact with classmates and form relationships. As much as I have enjoyed my first year in UVic’s education program, I feel like I have been missing out on creating close relationships with my peers when the distance between us all is so vast. I so greatly create the genuine, natural conversation that comes from real human interaction, discussions in response to class questions just aren’t the same. I’m so very grateful that we will be on campus in September as I am eager to find a sense of community that my life has lacked this past year.
While I am happy that my experience with online learning is coming to an end, I do recognize that this style of education is very beneficial for certain learners. One of my roommates is in her second year of Biology and very much prefers online learning. She struggles with motivating herself to attend on-campus lectures and missed many during her first year. This year she hasn’t missed a single one as she finds the ability to access the material at her one pace far move affective. I have another friend in her third year of Child and Youth Care who suffers from chronic pain. While she too misses being on campus, online learning has allowed her to participate in classes when her pain is high, and she’s unable to leave home. When online learning has not been my favourite experience, it’s a valuable educational tool that should continue to be utilized to best serve all types of learners.