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The Importance of In-Person Learning

Online learning has thrown college students off their academic rails. Rather than being able to interact directly with professors, converse easily with peers, stay engaged during lectures, and have hands-on experiences in the classroom, students have been confined to their desks on video calls. In practice, that means they turn off their video cameras, check out during lectures, and work hard to not be caught cheating on exams. A study by Brown University found that there were definite negative impacts (3% to 6%) of online classes compared to in-person. Moreover, students do worse in online classes even at such high-performing institutions as West Point.

As a tutor and teaching assistant, I see firsthand how students have forgotten how to learn in the last two years that their education has been largely remote. They struggle with coursework far more than previous students did. Higher education institutions need to recognize these negative effects of remote learning, in spite of the alluring convenience and resource savings. They’re obvious to those they most affect.


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