Motivational Struggles With An Online Environment

Students stare at a keyboard and computer screen all day for school.

"Computer keyboard" by is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0.

Students stare at a keyboard and computer screen all day for school.

Sitting alone at a computer everyday, Kennedy students are struggling with the online environment they had to adapt to. Their teachers are a face on the screen and peers are just letters. This lack of contact has left some students feeling isolated and unfocused.

“Online is much more difficult than in person,” Alyssa Stastny, jr., said. “When you’re doing classwork online, it feels like you lose all sense of focus. It makes doing anything a struggle.” 

Students struggle to stay  motivated for class. Because of the ease of access to their Chromebooks, the amount of homework given to students has increased this year. 

“It definitely depends on the class for me, but I’ve lost so much motivation to do work outside of class, especially because of the sheer amount I have,” Ruslan Hunt, jr., said 

Hybrid and online formats allow students to work on school assignments at any time. Combined with block schedules, it’s designed to give students more time to work on classwork.

“But us ‘having more time’ means more homework,” Hunt said. “Which just sucks with how much work we have to put in with online learning anyways, which kinda leads to one big headache.”

Common difficulties for online learning like isolation and distractions have been compounded with the stress of extra work. This has further worsened the motivation of students. 

“I feel like not doing anything because I know that I’ll either get distracted, or I’ll get even more assignments while trying to do the current one,” Stastny said.

Motivation has been low all year. Limits to interaction and instruction has not helped. Teachers believe this has caused problems with motivation and interest in classes.

“I think not being able to do labs has had a negative effect on learning,” Mark Jensen, science teacher at Kennedy, said.

The school environment is designed to provide the best learning opportunities for  students. Without that environment, students can struggle to pay attention and learn.

“I feel like in person is the best for me.” Stastny said. “I struggle to learn anything when I’m just staring at a computer screen, so being in person helps me retain the information taught to me.”