Letter: PECI Student shares e-learning frustrations

I didn’t like the idea of e-learning to begin with.

I’m a firm believer in conversations when it comes to learning. Being able to discuss a lesson or question is the most effective way of learning in my personal opinion.

There is no way to get that sort of understanding through a screen.

The only reason I took an online course was because my school wasn’t offering any other courses of interest during that period. Luckily the course I took was about as easy as it gets; PPZ3C1V- Health for Life.

I was in the course with my best friend so we figured that having someone else taking it would make it easier to navigate. False. The first day we were unable to even access our work due incorrect dates being inputted into the system (or so we think).

We couldn’t begin our week one tasks until the Friday, which luckily was fine because it was only orientation. No one in the school was able to help or assist us with our problem and the most we got was ‘I honestly have no idea, no one here is trained on it, just email the teacher and ask.’

Easy enough, if we had the teachers email. I know that it was posted or given to us at some point but when we went back to get it to email her, we couldn’t find it. We went through all the emails, posts and we couldn’t find it anywhere which left us with no way to contact anyone for assistance in any way.

Now, more than halfway through the course, my friend and I are beyond frustrated with the whole situation.

Fortunately, the course we’re in is a piece of cake so figuring stuff out isn’t a problem. With that being said, there are many assignments that we don’t really know what is being asked of us because it isn’t clear. With no way of contacting anyone, we have to submit our best guess and hope for the best.

For two students who take pride in our work and maintain at least 90 per cent averages, this doesn’t really sit well with us. We took this course to help boost our average but when all is said and done I’m not sure that will be the effect due to the incredibly poor communication.

Another huge issue with the whole program is the marking.

There are two marking schemes and we never knew what either of them meant. We could get 18/20 on one and then 6/6 on the other for the exact same assignment.

For someone who isn’t concerned about how they’re progressing, this is fine, but we would like to keep track which isn’t unreasonable.

Not to mention that for an e-learning course to even be possible you have to have a computer of some sort.

It can be difficult as it is for my friend and I to find a computer to work on at the PECI library.

In the coming years when there are way more than just three or four students are in e-learning courses per period.

The Ministry of Education can’t expect every student to go out and buy a laptop to use everyday.

I guarantee the schools aren’t going to go out and buy hundreds of computers to make this possible. So how is that going to work?

My friend and I are two highly capable and strong students taking what is probably one of the easiest e-learning courses and the experience has been a nightmare.

Not to mention the fact that the actual content of the course is bland and sometimes pointless.

To imagine taking a course in maths or sciences in the coming years is unimaginable and unless the Ministry of Education can find a way for the lines of communication to be incredibly clear and open, I have no idea how they would expect something like that to work.

-Myla deBoef PECI