Saint Xavier’s Response to Non-Traditional Instruction

What I thought would be a dream come true has turned into an absolute nightmare. A few months ago, if someone had told me that I could go to school while in my bedroom, in my pajamas, and sleep in later, I would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven. However, the reality of online schooling is much harsher than the dreams many had of it. St. X has used a few different strategies to tackle distance learning. While the tactics are somewhat similar, they each have pros and cons that either make or break them.

Out of all the ways to administer online schooling, video lectures are the best. While they can sometimes try the patience of both student and teacher, they are the easiest and most effective way to convey large amounts of complicated information over the internet. Especially with the fine tuned systems now in place after a few weeks of experience it seems, online lectures are the easiest way to still feel like we are in school. In addition to the ease of sharing information, the online video lecture also provides a structure similar to an in-person class, making it easier for the student to absorb the information. While not perfect, video call lectures make for the best strategy for quarantine classes.

The next in line for the most efficient way to tackle online schooling is video lessons. This method works best for certain classes (i.e. math and mathematical based sciences), although when handled correctly it can be just as effective as online lectures. Video lessons even have certain advantages over video lectures such as the ability to view it multiple times. However, it has some disadvantages too because it loses out on the teacher-student interaction that an online lecture brings. It also makes it more difficult for a student to address questions on the lesson in real time to a teacher as either email or some kind of messaging has to take place. While perhaps not as effective as video lectures, video lessons are by no means a poor way of holding a class as they too are versatile and informative.

Perhaps the least effective and intuitive way to hold classes during quarantine is holding them through email. This can be very frustrating as lessons can sometimes be lost and emails can’t be received. However, what makes email classes the most difficult is the challenge of getting questions addressed by a teacher. If there is only text-based help available, teachers of mathematical heavy courses could have a difficult time in conveying a concept. In addition, email is much slower than instant messaging leading to slower response times, which can in turn lead to frustration if an urgent question on an assignment needs to be addressed. However, there are notable exceptions to this rule as some classes that have a hands off policy when it comes to teaching (anything creative writing, digital music, research based classes) the system of email only can be effective as not much more than the occasional check in is needed.

When looking through the lens of each strategy described, St. X’s response to online schooling has been admirable for an institution that had no system already set in place. St. X’s quality education has persevered due to the quick adaptation of the faculty and their commitment to their students. It should be kept in mind while analyzing the effectiveness of each online schooling system that none of them can come even close in terms of long term benefits as an in person day of school. Face to face instruction allows for greater and easier communication and student teacher interaction is invaluable when it comes to a well-rounded education.