We asked Lancs students how they felt about online learning

‘It’s mainly watching people glitching’

We are now two weeks into this new term of university and online teaching is something everyone has had to adjust to. For some, this change will be welcomed, being able to avoid that nine am trek to the lecture theatre is always a blessing. However, for many people, this change will not be so easy. Whether that be because of the specific nature of your course, or because the wifi in your house doesn’t want to cooperate with Teams. We spoke to students what they think about online learning here at Lancaster.

“I barely have time to do everything”

When it comes to lectures, I think we can all agree the sooner it’s over the better, however, a second-year psychology student stated that “some of the lecturers take three or four hours to watch” despite taking only an hour in person. This student talked about how she was struggling to have enough time to fit this in alongside having multiple readings to do in one week, “combined with the extended lectures I barely have time to do everything”.

This student also noted that the only teaching that is done in person is a statistics seminar. However, this student told us that “this is a waste of time since it could have been done online” and a “more useful” part of the course could’ve been in-person instead.

“[the university] assumes everyone has good wifi”

When it comes to online learning, having good wifi has become more important than ever. But for many students, this is creating an issue that has been interfering with their learning. One student said that “[the university] assumes that everyone has good wifi” which we have discovered is not the case. When an online seminar is reduced to “mainly watching people glitching” it is very hard to get any use out of what would once have been a chance to brush up on your learning.

This not only affects the quality of teaching but can increase how much time things take. One student told us “whenever I’m trying to watch a lecture I have to pause it constantly… So everything just takes so much longer.” This could become a long-term issue for many, especially since each student is only allowed 15 hours in the library a week.

“Art is a visual practice”

If you are doing a practical subject, online teaching is going to pose some serious issues in terms of what type of education you are receiving. A first-year fine art student explained that “in-person tutorials, classes and teachings are really important as art is a visual practice”.

Although this student doesn’t fail to notice that “the lecturers are doing their best to deliver the best course possible” not being in person does have a big effect on what is and isn’t possible since “you can only work with certain media… That’s if we have the media with us in our rooms.”

“You can’t portray your ideas over Teams”

A second-year design student stated that lectures and seminars were less of an issue and the main problem arises when doing group tasks. Group activities are especially difficult “because you can’t portray your ideas over Teams.” Although the number of group tasks in this course has been reduced, this creates further problems. This student stated that “solo projects limit the opportunity for feedback” which results in students having a “lack of direction.”

When questioned about whether this student struggles with having the right equipment or software for their work, they stated that “they have provided us with all the software we need.”

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“A dream come true for me”

Although there are many negatives about online learning, a second-year English Literature and Language student only had good things to say concerning online lectures, stating: “You can just rewind the lecture instead of leaving sentences halfway through because you forgot what the lecturer said.” This means you no longer have “half taken notes.”

All in all, it seems online learning has been a struggle for most people, with a lack of wifi being the main issue. Let’s hope the university will get back to normality as soon as possible.

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