How Online School Has Affected Grades

Karina Gonzalez, Feature Editor

As schools across the nation have made the bumpy transition to a virtual classroom, students have felt the impacts of this unexpected switch on their grades. Student performance often varies by student for many reasons, including home life, learning preferences and mental health. However, with the global pandemic crippling many Americans, the transition to online schooling for the 2020-2021 school year may have contributed to the long list of possible factors that affect a student’s capabilities in school. So, the question is: has online school been beneficial for Woodson students, or is it just another hindrance to student performance? 

Senior Rabia Ghawider in particular has felt the impacts of online school in a positive manner. “Teachers tend to assign less work and give students more time to learn the material,” she says. These benefits, however, don’t come without problems, Ghawider adds. “Now that I’m online, I have to rely on myself to be more responsible and hold myself accountable for my grades,” she says. Chris Kim, senior, reports that since the start of virtual learning, his grades have also shown a positive trend. “It is much easier to keep track of due dates and deadlines,” Kim says. With most, if not all, assignments being through Google Classroom or any online source, Kim and other students have found it easier to keep organized and prepared.

According to a Cavalcade poll, 70 percent of Woodson students claim that online school has been constructive for their grades in Math, Science, English and Social Studies. This stems from the lighter load of classwork, the shorter classes allowing for increased focus and the flexibility in assignments. 

The switch to online school, however, has had negative consequences as well. Approximately 30 percent of Woodson students have reported a negative impact on the four core classes due to online school. While this is a significantly less percentage, it still makes up a large portion of students who feel they are not getting a proper education. 

Kira McCarthy, senior, has felt the negative impacts of online learning in her math class in particular. “Math is such an involved class and you need to ask questions, which is harder in an online setting,” she says. “It’s hard to stay motivated during class and stay on top of assignments since there are so many distractions,” McCarthy says. With family members in the next room and social media notifications going off every five minutes, it can become difficult to focus on monotone teaching coming through a laptop speaker. 

Virtual school has forced students as well as teachers to adapt to an entirely new way of learning. Some students struggle with the constant distractions and limited class time, which has led to a downward trend in student grades. On the other hand, a majority of Woodson students have taken advantage of the shortened class times and lessened work loads, allowing their grades to take an upward trend.