"I think for 4 months I did nothing."

As education moves online, self-education remains a big challenge.

"I think for 4 months I did nothing."
Photo by Joe Shields / Unsplash

Written by Dr. Taapsi Ramchandani

Poocho’s researchers are busy hacking away at the cultural megaflux of education, technology and the Future of Work. We’re speaking to students and working professionals across related topics.

Two thoughts come to mind as I sift through the data..

As education moves online, self-motivation remains a big challenge.

Motivation isn’t about doubt-solving, mind you. It’s about role models and non-academic socializing. In the absence of them, the online learning experience is like a slippery slope.

A 21-year-old student’s experience studying for the Civil Service Exam online is around “procrastination” and (unfortunately) also gaining “a lot of weight.” Meditation helps, he said.

Q: When college closed because of Covid-19, how did that impact you?
A: I think for 4 months I did nothing...I was just procrastinating too much. I mean, my classes were going on. For the first 4 months, I was not doing a lot..., so soon, I gained a lot of weight. First of all, gaining weight, brought in a lot of energy, in my body, and my mind. So I think I just reached a breaking point...I hit rock bottom, and I just couldn't go on anymore. I mean, that sort of thing. Because physically, I'm not feeling nice. And as a result of that mentally, spiritually, I think I was not feeling my best.

For all the benefits of studying from the comforts of one’s home, students are pining for offline classes again.

Physical camaraderie is one reason. Better doubt solving is another. Byju’s foray into physical classrooms makes sense in this context.

A Chartered Accountant aspirant also spoke of the need for better self-assessment. If you’re lurking behind a screen all day, how do you find out if your grasp of concepts is at the same level as that of your peers?

Q: So in the classroom setup, you’re more aware of your peers’ doubts?
A: Exactly. You are aware that everyone is asking and even that... in your mind, you have the same level. But when you don't know that somebody else is also asking the same... Now, the one who is asking feels ki yaar, “I’m the only one who doesn’t know it.” Which totally undermines you confidence. It really gives a very, you know... blunt to your confidence.

In other news...

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a C-suite executive of a large bricks & mortar educational institution.

He’s wondering where to allocate funds for next year - double down on micro courses (online/offline) or continue to optimize the graduate degree experience?

I was so stimulated after that talk that I decided we had to speak to our students about this topic as well.

That study is ongoing but the insights are already fascinating!

More on this next time...