My online learning experiences

By Jade Khieu, Class of 2023

Another outbreak has occurred and the cases in Taiwan are increasing dramatically with more than 80 thousand people confirmed to be infected with Covid today (May 20). Concerning this serious situation, NYCU has pulled out some Covid prevention measurements, which include switching all in-person classes into online classes. In this article, I would like to share my experiences and reflection regarding online learning at GMBA, NYCU.

My online learning experiences
Image source: Jade Khieu.

Online learning at GMBA, NYCU

Before the situation went worse, a few of my classes this semester has moved to online platforms, which I believe, is a wise move to avoid close contacts in a crowded classroom. However, NYCU made its official announcement last weekend, then I started to experience all online classes.

Covid has been around for more than two years and I think most of us have already got familiar with having online courses, online meetings, or even online speeches. In fact, going online does bring some advantages. Firstly, I would say it is very convenient to join the class from anywhere and at any time, and all you need is your device and good internet connection. Since there has been a sharp development of online platforms, people can actually join with the browser on their PC, or an application on their phone or tablet. This also helps a lot with time management for students who stay with their family or who with a side job. For me, I am used to joining the classes in my room in the dormitory and multitasking sometimes.

Professor Mao, Former Prime Minister of Taiwan

Secondly, with such flexibility, I can take all classes with self-paced learning. It has never been so easy to simply split my screen to take notes and see the lecture at the same time. I can also go for a quick search for new terms, or even leave a comment in the chat box to share my thoughts or ask a question. For example, today I had Leadership Forum class, which we had Professor Mao, Former Prime Minister of Taiwan, to deliver his speech about decision making. His presentation was very dedicated with philosophical concepts and sharing from his experience being a critical decision maker. During the class, I found some interesting new sayings from famous sages that Professor Mao quoted and could immediately look them up on the internet and discuss with my teammates.

Nonetheless, there are still some issues with learning from distance. The biggest issue must be the technical problems that may happen to anyone, not only the students but also professors. It takes some time to work and ends up consuming the lecture time, just like today, when it took a few minutes for the guest speaker to settle his presentation. Furthermore, each lecture tends to be a few hours long, and all attendants have more screen time, which will definitely affect their health, including eye irritation, neck and back pain, or even sleep problems. Online classes may also reduce the ability to focus and class participation, that I must admit I sometimes get distracted from the class when there is noise or chatters in the dormitory.

NYCU is doing its best prevention against Covid

Although we have just been officially online for a week, I really miss the physical classes, which are much more interactive, where I could talk in person with my classmates or inquire my professors in the break time. Being in a real classroom also helps me with better concentration on the subjects, even when sometimes it takes more time to prepare to go to class, and higher risks now. And NYCU is doing its best prevention against Covid but life is still going on outside the campus. There are no more strict policies like before, but only masking and distance-keeping, as Taiwan is trying to reach the “New Normal” state. The second booster dose is also going to be applied for the eligible people soon.

Finally, I understand online learning is an inevitable measurement to ensure everybody’s safety at this time. I hope that the situation will get better soon so we all can get back to our normal pace of life and work. Stay safe, stay healthy!