Opinion: Professors’ use of Zoom is overwhelming students

Zoom is a new platform on which millions of students, workers and staff have been required to learn and participate in online activities due to the COVID-19 safety restrictions. While there are many positives to using Zoom, there are far more negative impacts on students.

I understand the importance of using this virtual learning tool as an alternative to in-person meetings while attempting to control the spread of the virus. While this is true, it is important professors understand the toll remote learning has taken on its students and plan accordingly. 

It has been over a year that the global population has been significantly affected by the pandemic. This also means it has been over a year of online school, consisting of no face-to-face connections, difficulty meeting outside of class time, struggles to understand taught concepts and many more learning obstacles. 

What I do not think that professors are understanding is that technology, although useful, does not always work––along with the fact that not everyone does well learning remotely. 

The constant issues that arise with technology are nothing short of frustrating. Even with a rare, stable wifi connection needed to join and support classes, Zoom often crashes and miscommunication is common while remote learning. It can be frustrating, especially for those using it for the first time. 

It can be hard to grasp certain ideas through a screen that regularly would be easily understood through in-person classes. 

Now more than ever, students are required to have more self-discipline, manage their time and get all their work in on time. At the same time, there are more students suffering from mental health issues than ever before. 

Social isolation takes a toll on young adults, and professors need to understand this. Students are really trying, but it can be hard. 

Some professors are moving through the course’s material too quickly under the circumstances. I understand that college is expected to be fast-paced, rigorous and challenging. However, I have struggled to keep up with being assigned project after project every week on top of additional pandemic struggles. All of my courses seem to be assigning major projects at the same time.

Students, like myself, take up to five classes per semester, and each of them can be extremely difficult, especially for certain majors.

“Faculty need to be flexible with deadlines and remind students that their talent is not solely demonstrated by their ability to get a top grade during one challenging semester,” said Boston University mental health researcher, Sarah Ketchen Lipson, as reported by Science Daily.

Furthermore, a lot of my classes have assigned group projects, which is much more burdensome than helpful while solely learning via Zoom. It is a great concept as a way to try and keep students connected with each other, however, finding time to meet with your group outside of class is extremely hard due to conflicting schedules. There is a better use for class time than being separated into uncomfortable breakout rooms that set students up for failure in connecting with each other.

To be frank, I am very burnt out and tired of online learning. Many of my peers have said the same thing. In most of my classes, the workload has significantly picked up since the beginning of the year. While I understand this is our second remote semester and we are nearing finals, I am drowning in schoolwork. 

Attending university via Zoom as a whole requires students to have a lot of self-discipline and motivation, which can be very hard to find on a gloomy day for an 8 a.m class. 

Along with being assigned long papers, projects, labs and tests all at the same time, this lack of energy has caused students to burn out as well. 

Professors need to take a step back and consider the mental states of their students as the semester comes to a close.