Online Learning: Student Perspectives


Sheila Smozynski

School age students working on their virtual learning

Karissa Cowles, Reporter

As everyone knows by now, classrooms have undergone some very drastic changes. Students at every level have been affected by the closing of schools and the shift to online learning. Some view this change as one that is much easier for their workload, however, students at higher levels of education such as high school and college may be struggling with their work.

There are pros and cons to this switch to online learning. Some pros and cons are listed below:


  • Workload may be easier to manage
  • The current generation of students are familiar with technology and how to use it
  • Streamlines lessons so that there can be little to no confusion for students


  • Some students do not have reliable internet connection
  • Much easier to put off and procrastinate
  • Can be difficult to manage exactly which assignments are due and when.

To give more of a personal insight into the matter of the transition to online schooling, I interviewed students from elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. The questions I asked will be listed below, followed by the answers the students provided. Thank you to Jaelyn Gradel (5th Grade at DAMS), Liam Houghtaling (College Sophomore at Madison College), Nick Maier (High School Junior at DAHS), and an elementary school student (1st Grade at WES) that I will leave anonymous per the parents requests.

Photo Credit: Sheila Smozynski
Karissa Cowles helping elementary students with their first day of virtual learning

How do you like online schooling?

Elementary Student (1st Grade): “I like it because I get to stay home with mom”

Jaelyn Gradel (5th Grade): “It’s not bad, I would rather be home anyways”

Nick Maier (High School Junior): “It’s not as effective as face to face instruction”

Liam Houghtaling (College Sophomore) : “It’s pretty cool”


Do you feel like you’re getting the same education as you would be in school?

Elementary Student (1st Grade): “Yes”

Jaelyn Gradel (5th Grade): “Yes”

Nick Maier (High School Junior): “No, not at all”

Liam Houghtaling (College Sophomore): “No”


Is online easier or harder for you?

Elementary Student (1st Grade): “Easier because my mom helps me the whole time”

Jaelyn Gradel (5th Grade): “Easier”

Nick Maier (High School Junior): “Way easier than face to face”

Liam Houghtaling (College Sophomore): “Harder, because I learn better in person”


How much time do you spend on school work daily?

Elementary Student (1st Grade): “I think about 2 hours”

Jaelyn Gradel (5th Grade): “Probably about 3 hours, it was more at regular school”

Nick Maier (High School Junior): “Maybe an hour or two”

Liam Houghtaling (College Sophomore): “About six hours”


As you can see, there were a variety of answers. The topic that interested me the most was if the students felt as though they were receiving the same level of education as in person as they have online. The younger students felt they were receiving the same level of education, however, the older students did not. This could come down to personal learning abilities such as benefiting with visual instruction, but it could be the material that they are learning as well. Some students feel impacted greatly by this transition, and it may show in their grades as well.

While the transition to online learning is a hot topic and one that may be scary for some, students are still trying their best to deal with the outside stressors of the global pandemic and stay up to date on their school work. School comes first for many, and my only hope is that students feel that they are receiving a worthwhile education despite the circumstances.