An online survey conducted by the Coalition for Media Literacy in Education, co-founded by the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre and comprising almost 20 organisations, showed that students’ attitudes towards learning vary widely from “I prefer to go to school”, to “Learning online is fast and interesting”.
The small in size online survey was disseminated among students and teachers in May-June 2020. It rather focused on the effectiveness of the remote learning, the skills needed and the issues faced by both students and teachers. But the findings captured also the students’ emotions as well, which allowed to highlight some concrete concerns and desires.
One or more positive aspects of the remote learning were pointed at by 138 out of 144 students in the survey. At the same time, one in seven respondents expressed willingness to return to the classroom.
As if in response to the desire of some of the students, the new school year started at the classroom, not at home. Among the answers to the question about the advantages of the remote learning platforms were:
- “I prefer to be at school because I don’t like learning online.”
- “I don’t see any advantages of online learning, I want to study in the classroom.”
- “Talking to friends helps you cheer up during these difficult times.”
However, 35% of the students that took part in the survey showed positive attitude towards remote learning:
- “I like the way we work in a group.”
- “Learning online is fast and interesting.”
- “Classes are shorter and more interesting.”
- “Online learning allows for collecting all materials at one place. It provides opportunity for direct feedback from our teachers.”
- “It’s much quieter than in the classroom and we could hear teachers well.”
A few of the students have indicated that they prefer online platforms that do not allow to use a camera. They may have found the convenience of doing something else while supposed to be in the online class – an advantage that was discovered by some adults working from home during the lockdown as well.
In conclusion, it can be said that the remote learning experience prepared the educational system to be flexible towards emerging situations without significantly disrupting the educational process.
However, the desire for face-to-face contact and socialization with peers makes physical presence in the classroom the preferable choice.