By Alex Lew and Ashika George, BA Art History and Archaeology
Since the new academic year has begun, many have not been able to return to classrooms and reunite with their classmates. I feel that the pandemic has emphasised the importance of social interactions which we have also taken for granted. I always heave a sigh of relief at the slightest return to life as we knew it.
Hybrid. Online. Offline. These methods aren’t set in stone. The spread of COVID-19 has caused some schools to take up full-time remote learning, while others started remote at the beginning of the pandemic, and are now gradually moving back to in-person learning.
Truth to be told, I detest hybrid learning. It is difficult for individuals who suffer from ADHD. In the beginning, I struggled to survive studying in hybrid mode. Little by little, with encouragement from family and a supportive community of friends I made from various SOAS societies, I was able to foster my resilience to ‘keep calm and carry on.’
“As much as the necessity of remote studies can be understandable, it shouldn’t seem far-fetched for institutions to find healthy methods of learning while simultaneously keeping it online.”
There are still long-standing challenges in this pandemic. Online learning proved to become repetitive and exhausting. That is a state no student should have to be in, especially with regards to their education. As much as the necessity of remote studies can be understandable, it shouldn’t seem far-fetched for institutions to find healthy methods of learning while simultaneously keeping it online.
Some students have complained regarding the poor quality of and access to study materials, such as readings and powerpoints. I found the formatting of readings to be very difficult to work with as there were limited options to highlight and add notes. Powerpoints often had minimal information about the course lectures to aid in revision.
Revision and the exam period also served as a challenge to some students. The capitalisation of academic content proved to be a nuisance. Websites offering academic literature, which if accessible, would have been fantastic sources to reference in exams. Unfortunately, the paywalls that bar students from access are simply unfair and pose further questions on the classist approach to educational content.
Photo Caption: finally back to school (Credit: Alex Lew).