As the 2020-2021 school year begins, hybrid schedules and homeschooling look to be the new normal for children and college students.
Learning new concepts in school is tough as it is. Now, students must contend with extra hurdles like navigating eLearning portals and taking tests just inches away from their Nintendo. Undoubtedly, there’s been a spike in students experiencing anxiety with online courses!
Here’s what to do about dealing with social anxiety and trouble with online classes.
What Causes Stress and Anxiety Online Course Issues?
We all have a unique relationship with stress. It’s easier to understand the pressures students experience attending school. You must navigate social circles, relationships, and academics. Then, there’s all the new concepts you’re learning, puberty, and the always on culture on social media.
So, bringing the workload home seems like it can be an answer to classroom-related social anxiety. However, remote learning presents a whole new world of pressures. While everyone is different, here are some common reasons why there’s such prevalence in social anxiety and online course takers.
The Same Issues Haven’t Gone Away
Our anxiety is like our thumbprint. It’s very unique to us. We all have different experiences, genetics, and upbringings that change the way we perceive stress. In other words, we all have our triggers! Whatever causes school-related stress will still trigger anxiety at home.
For some students, taking tests can be crippling. They tense up under pressure and forget everything they studied. Whereas, some children are done with their quiz before the person next to them colors in a single bubble on their exam.
This situation is still prevalent today. Time always moves forward, whether you’re in a school or your room. The anxiety of a clock ticking while taking a test can cause anxiety in online courses.
In school, students with test anxiety are sometimes allotted more time. Please speak to educators about these opportunities if a student is feeling anxiety with online courses.
Here’s another instance. In school, we have our crew…and all the drama that comes with them. Fights, betrayals, and break-ups are still going to happen.
Now, students deal with these problems at home. Issues are popping up in group chats and on social media, instead of in-person.
If students are dealing with a social issue, they don’t have their regular circle of friends to rely on in-person. They’re left to cope in their home alone.
In these instances, the student needs to know that they’re not alone. They can FaceTime with a trusted friend in a time of need. Also, now more than ever, we need to rely on family to get through these uncertain times.
The whole reason we go to school in the first place is to set ourselves up for a better future. That objective has not gone away. It’s just gotten more complicated.
We don’t know how the future will look. It’s easy to feel hopeless about the possibilities. So, we must lean on each other and encourage one another to do our best. Lift one another’s spirits and support the decisions they make.
Also, don’t change the trajectory. Still, look into colleges and discuss future goals. Just because the game changed doesn’t mean the players have!
New Technologies Are Overwhelming
We’re already asking students to retain new information every day. Now, we’re making them learn a different way that removes the face-to-face interaction and replaces it with a virtual environment.
It’s easy to take for granted that students are highly adaptable. They seem to learn new concepts relatively quickly and bounce back from change like nothing ever happened. That doesn’t mean this metamorphosis didn’t weigh heavily on their mind.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a fairly new concept. Just the name alone can be intimidating! Here are a few reasons why.
People See Your Home
During eLearning sessions, the camera is on the student’s home. Therefore, other students can see where they live.
For those with lesser incomes, this type of environment can be seen as an invasion of privacy. Not to mention, it might create an opportunity for ridicule and bullying.
As superficial as this might seem, the anxiety is real. Be proactive and put a nice sheet background up or a plant in the background. Try to offset any potential ridicule. Unfortunately, kids can be mean!
eLearning environments can also be costly for the family. Many families are finding themselves upgrading their lagging internet. Some have to get a child their first personal computer.
Your child is more aware of these burdens than you think. One study conducted by North Carolina State University and Texas State University found that broadly speaking, “even young kids are aware of financial issues, regardless of whether parents talk with them about money.”
The analysis concluded, “The kids are drawing their own conclusions — which may not be accurate.” It’s essential to keep an open dialogue with children so they can be prepared for the future.
However, they shouldn’t be burdened with adult pressures. Their top priorities should be getting an education and overcoming stress and anxiety online course issues.
For college students, you don’t know what the future holds. Landing your dream job could take a while, or you can pay everything off in a year.
Who knows? This whole not knowing the future doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just live in the present and crush the day-to-day while staying on the path towards your dreams.
Fear of Not Learning
A large number of students require one-on-one interactions with teachers and extra help after class. They don’t get this type of enrichment virtually. Therefore, many students might not be grasping the concepts as fluently as they would in a school environment.
What do many of us do when we’re overwhelmed by pressure? We shut down, browse the web, and put off the task that’s draining our energies. Students are doing that, too.
In an article posted in the New York Times, teachers found that about half of their students didn’t log into their eLearning courses. Sure, kids are kids. They don’t want to learn, so they didn’t log on.
However, we must look at students as individuals. If half didn’t log on, it’s not unfathomable to suggest that half of that half just shut down from anxiety over eLearning.
Many teachers are offering one-on-one time with students for extended learning hours. This opportunity is fantastic if a student takes them up on it. However, it’s still not an ideal situation.
It’s one thing for a student to stick around after class or come at the end of the day. They’re already at school. When they’re home and class is over, it’s time to head back outside and play!
Plus, face-to-face interactions cause greater connections. There’s no lagging internet or the need to ask, “can you hear me OK?” or “do you see my screen?” repeatedly.
We’re in unique times where we really can’t solely rely on the educator. Reading books and researching on the internet is the only way to break this fear of learning online.
Anxious students who overthink everything need the support of supplemental knowledge to compensate for the lack of an educator.
Why It’s Important to Overcome Anxiety Caused by Online Courses
These times are changing rapidly, so we must respond and adapt quickly. Unfortunately, those of us with anxiety feel uncomfortable with such sharp and unpredictable changes.
Allowing anxiety in online courses to get the best of a student is doing them a disservice. Right now, eLearning seems to be the safest and most viable option for education.
So, we must help everyone feel comfortable instead of anxiety and trouble with online classes. The most glaring of the reasons people have anxiety in online courses is due to the low success rate of eLearning so far.
Traditionally, distanced learning has resulted in “poor results and high dropout rate(s).” Let’s take a little closer as to why.
How to Improve Stress and Anxiety Online Course Issues
If a student feels something is pointless, they’re going to avoid doing it. When you’re stressed out, it’s easier to regain power by calling something “stupid” or “useless”. Seeing educators fidget with screens and complex education portals could only cement those notions.
According to the study we mentioned above about distanced learning and dropout rates, the primary causes of failure were due to:
- Boring Courses
- Economic Difficulties
- Lack of Feedback and Encouragement
- Lack of Motivation
- Dissatisfaction with Requirements
Here are some tips to improve these factors so that students can succeed.
Sometimes educators are too close to the project to know that it’s not working. Have an open dialogue about how stimulating the courses are.
Teachers have a lot on their plates. In this time of transition, you might have to take some education into your own hands. Get books and watch videos to help create a better understanding of essential concepts.
We touched on this earlier; a price tag shouldn’t hinder someone’s education. There are many loans and relief programs out there for those who are financially strapped. Also, look into some of these expenses as tax breaks.
Lastly, don’t worry about the tuition down the road. Like a mortgage and car payment, a student loan can be paid off.
Lack of Feedback and Encouragement
This situation also calls for a discussion with the educator. However, parents and friends can also help lift each other up. We’re all especially vulnerable right now. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging words.
Continue to do nice things for one another. Drive by someone’s house and sing to them. Start a text chat with uplifting and funny memes. There are many ways to make this transition easier.
Vitamin D is critical for mental health. Unfortunately, a majority of people have a deficiency in this essential vitamin.
The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. Students need to take breaks away from gaming consoles and phones. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take a walk with friends.
If a student needs to use their phone to WhatsApp someone so they don’t feel alone, then fine.
Lack of Motivation
It’s easy for us to feel down in these unparalleled times. We don’t know what’s going to happen next. So, many of us curl into a ball and hope to wait out the storm.
This reaction does nothing to help our anxiety. We need to stay on track to meet our goals. Help improve this lack of motivation by using all-natural supplements, like Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene. Tranquilene contains Vitamin D3, which is essential for regulating many neurological functions, including your mood.
It also contains GABA, a calming neurotransmitter that allows students to cope with their anxious tendencies. The GABA is further enriched with the amino acid, L-Theanine, which is the precursor to this relaxing brain chemical.
There are other all-natural botanicals in Tranquilene that help lower stress. It’s also specially formulated to help boost serotonin levels. That way, the student feels refreshed and ready and to crush their studies.
Manage Anxiety and Stress from Online Courses
As a society, we have to educate the younger generation so they can lead us into the future. If that means eLearning and MOOCs, then so be it!
With the new normal here, we have to help our students cope with anxiety and trouble with online courses. The key is to keep them engaged. Don’t give them opportunities to become disinterested, or we run the risk of losing their interest for the long term.
Also, we have to let these students know that the future is not so bleak. They’re doing this for a reason. Let them know we’ll get through the stress and anxiety together.