The 2021-2022 school year was a year of transition in online learning.
A year where students, after over 18 months of online learning, finally had the chance to transition gradually into the normality of school life on campus.
Must have been exciting for all students, right? Something they sure have all looked forward to since early 2020 when the pandemic first broke out. Finally, face-to-face lessons in a classroom environment, hands-on learning activities, extra-curricular activities – everything was slowly coming back to normal for students this school year.
However, were all students happy to return to campus?
We at A for Effort, a Math & Science tutoring centre in Jakarta, have spent a great deal of time guiding students with their online learning and their transition back to campus. And given the many different learning types and personalities of our students, we have noticed that while many students are excited to leave their online learning days far behind them, some are hesitant. Why? You might ask.
Back to school has not consistently been back to school. COVID-19 has brought to all of us many uncertainties. With each new variant comes the potential of another lockdown, which often leads to new school closures and back to online learning. Therefore, some students preferred the more predictable online school environment which came with less surprises than they might be experiencing now. While dealing with the uncertainties of going back to school, students at A for Effort find that their tutoring lessons bring a sense of routine and predictability in the midst of this, knowing that it is a place they can consistently turn to for guided support.
Self-paced learning with fewer distractions
Being at school often brings a variety of social pressures for students, social pressures which often have a tremendous impact on a student’s academic performance. Online learning takes away many of these factors as the student can choose to fully focus on their studies. Therefore, some students, in particular those who are more sensitive to social pressures, might prefer a focused learning environment at home over the social benefits that being on campus brings.
Nevertheless, the social benefits from being at school are recognised and longed for by many students. A place where students can see their friends again, and work in a group setting on projects makes learning on campus a lot more exciting for many students. The encouraging learning environment that the classrooms bring, and the hands-on tools and activities which are lacking in a virtual world are priceless. Being surrounded by the competitiveness of their peers might also motivate students to do their utmost best.
(Virtual) classroom anxiety
Online learning in a virtual classroom setting has posed some challenges for students. In the midst of online schooling, many students came to A for Effort with the concern that they were falling behind in class. Being in a virtual classroom with several dozens of students they often felt uneasy to pose the necessary questions, through private tutoring they felt they had a comfortable place to ask for any clarification they needed.
Some of our students have expressed that they are missing out on a big part of the learning process during their online learning phase. Particularly Science, a hands-on subject that involves a lot of experiments and lab work, has become a difficult subject for students to thoroughly grasp in an online setting.
However, the online lessons did provide students with online resources that they could refer to during their studies. For example, online lessons were usually recorded and students could replay them to review the material when preparing for quizzes and tests or to get a better comprehension of the material in general.
However, transitioning back to in-person classes has brought a new type of anxiety for students, who have mostly gotten used to class behind a screen for 1.5 years. Without the possibility to replay their Zoom lessons as often as needed, and without the option to hide behind a screen, students are now dependent on their knowledge of the subject matter and level of confidence to ease their way back to the classroom.
At A for Effort, we place a strong emphasis on enhancing students’ confidence in Math or Science. This is attained by ensuring the student has a thorough understanding of the subject matter, simplifying the material, using real-life examples and rewarding and crediting the student for their accomplishments. This enhanced self-confidence has played a big role in easing the transition for students back to the classroom. We also place a strong focus on test-taking skills as this took a different form during online schooling and is an area students are struggling with since they have gone back to school.
Tutoring – online or offline, which way to go?
A for Effort continues to play a big role in helping students transition back to school life on campus. Enhancing their understanding of Math and Science and hence increasing their confidence in these subjects has aided them during this adjustment and the uncertainties that come with it.
A for Effort is a Math and Science tutoring centre specialised in international curriculums. Open to students of all ages, tutoring sessions can be held at our own classrooms in South Jakarta or online on the Zoom platform. Sign up for a free trial today!