Saint Mary’s students react differently to approaching school work during online based learning.
By Isabelle Cannon
The library is closed, many students are at home, and the future of in-person learning is unknown. Virtual learning is something that many people are currently adjusting to due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. It has caused many students to change their learning environment, whether it be isolated in a room or living back at home. This can potentially cause consequences in relation to motivation of getting schoolwork done.
Senior, Caroline Escobar, expressed “I think of home as my free time place”. Because Escobar is living at home with her family this semester, her motivation levels have dropped. The environment you are in can change the way that you feel making schooling difficult.
However, when compared to Saint Mary’s student Veronica Nims, she voiced, “I have never been so invested in my schoolwork with most of Moraga being closed”. Nims is currently living in the dorms on campus and seems to be very motivated with her online classes due to high levels of isolation. Though both students are in very different situations they seemed to express that their motivation levels are largely due to their living environment.
In Spring 2020 Saint Mary’s had to move all of their classes to a virtual format due to the pandemic. Just before finals, after about a month of online learning, it was announced that there would be an option to change your grade to pass/fail if you would like. No announcement has been made regarding the fall 2020 semester. However, if the grading system does change it is likely to impact how involved students are in their academic work. Nims mentioned, “If I knew grades were pass/fail I probably wouldn’t spend as much time putting detail into my work”.
Many students agree with Nims. A lot of research has been done surrounding the topic of pass/fail grading. Specifically a study conducted in Germany found when comparing graded students to pass/fail students that, “A graded test seemed to foster not only confidence but also the accuracy of the confidence judgments” (Barenberg & Dutke, 2013). The motivation level of students when they know their grade is at stake is much higher. Because online schooling is a new concept to many universities it is unknown how Saint Mary’s will adjust as a school and how students will adjust to their learning environment. With the future of learning unknown to the world, being able to adjust now and finding new ways to get motivated is more important than ever.
Melanie Moyer '22,