The Pros and Cons of Online and In-Person Learning

Garrett Byrne, Journalist

Following the events of last year’s quarantine, and with the added time that school was open for in-person learning, students and teachers have experienced a change in routine compared to last year. The results are mixed feelings from the extended time at home everyone was allowed, some negative and some positive. These feelings take into account the disadvantages and advantages of online learning and in person learning.

The quarantine has affected every student and every teacher no matter what department they teach in. While the effect of online learning was similar across every department, it differed in some regards. Eric Jacobs, English Teacher, commented on online learning, saying that, “Since most students had their cameras off, it was hard to communicate and there was lack of feedback and and the curriculum was a bit slower than normal, some academic gaps formed that wouldn’t have been a concern had we been in-person,” he adds, “some advantages of online would be that students could organize themselves as every assignment was on Schoology and it forced teachers to be clearer on tasks.” Jacobs says that, “Social interaction and contact with each other definitely has increased student morale, but the reentry back into a social setting has been hard for students…it allows students to ask more questions and seek assistance from teachers which was difficult to do online.” The most obvious disadvantage of online learning was the lack of social interaction which has proved difficult for students as reentry into a social setting has been somewhat uncomfortable. Also, academics had seemed to falter to some degree during the quarantine. The results of the pandemic can be seen currently while we are in-person. 

Another teacher whose class was also affected during the quarantine is Craig Baker, Physical Science and Biology Teacher, who commented that, “online learning allowed for students to advocate for themselves and take responsibility…for teachers there was a learning curve in the realm of technology which has expanded teachers’ ability to use tech; has allowed for innovation. However, remote learning severely limited interaction with peers and teachers as there was no sense of communication and no sense of community, it was difficult.” Regarding in-person learning, Baker adds that “the benefits of in person would be social interaction as we, as humans, need to interact socially in some capacity to be healthy. Also, in-person learning encourages learning more so than remote learning.” Even though the English department and Science department here at OHS are vastly different in content, most teachers from these two departments can agree that remote learning brought on by the quarantine and in-person learning post-quarantine both lack in some areas, but also excel in others. 

Moving to the student body side of this contrast between remote and in-person learning, students have thoughts of their input regarding the issue. Hannah Clay, Junior, commented, “It was easier to pace yourself and balance out your schedule. It was also more comfortable. Learning was independent remotely and there was not much a teacher could do to provide assistance; it was harder to seek help with areas of academic concern.” 

Input from different sides of the spectrum, from the teachers to the students, has provided an idea of what school was like during the quarantine compared to what it is like now post-quarantine. The responses given by teachers and students can assist in contrasting remote learning and in-person learning and why either one is suitable or not.