Having the flexibility to manage their own studies and the care and support of teachers who were “on call” were some of the positive remote learning lessons from a snap survey of Year 12 students at Greater Shepparton Secondary College.
Working to a weekly lesson plan and “getting up and into it” like any usual school day were also seen as important by the senior Wanganui and McGuire campus students.
Neighbourhood leaders at GSSC were asked to nominate a random selection of students who were coping well with the challenges of remote learning in their final year of secondary school.
The seven girls and two boys surveyed shared many of the same messages — including how digitally skilled their teachers had become in Term 3 compared to the previous term.
They also share the same bitter disappointment in having the brakes put on their graduation plans and social lives and are welcoming the planned return to school in Term 4.
Flexibility was a positive for most, with students able to adjust learning to suit their needs.
Shaelyn Crowhurst from the McGuire campus said she felt like there was no ongoing pressure to get work done at certain times.
“I am actually doing more work on weekends and in the evenings than I used to, but I can have a break when I want to and need to,” she said.
Mariam Alghazaly from Wanganui said there was more time available to prioritise.
“I feel like I have a whole lot more time to visit the subjects I most need to,” she said.
But when it came to communication with teachers, students had mixed feelings.
Yousef Algaraawi said visual concepts were harder to learn remotely.
“It’s hard to explain some things in remote learning, like chemistry. I message my teachers and they give me a call, but sometimes it can be difficult for me to explain without that practical and visual aspect to it,” he said.
Olivia Gullick from Wanganui said remote learning had been difficult.
“It has been hard and I miss having good conversations but I feel like the teachers are making an extra effort to make sure we’re all right,” she said.
But Sarah Knight from Wanganui said communication had improved, if anything.
“I would say it’s a lot easier to contact my teachers — I can message them and in a couple of minutes or maybe a little more they get back to me,” she said.
GSSC students return to in-class learning in Term 4.