Opinion: Returning to Online Learning

Why Weekly eLearning Fridays Should Return


Sydney Pinchouck

The HSE school district has a couple of eLearning Fridays during the year. A few years ago, during the peak of COVID-19, every Friday was an eLearning day. These days of completing schoolwork at home gave students a chance to catch up on work and a break from being in the building. Having every Friday be an eLearning day was a great mental health break for students, and the district would benefit from bringing back weekly eLearning Fridays.

In an article from eLearning Industry called “Asynchronous Learning Advantages And Disadvantages In Corporate Training,” Christopher Pappas lists many reasons why asynchronous learning is beneficial. It allows people to work at their own pace and gives students a chance to get better grades. They have more time to complete assignments and can catch up on missing work. There are also fewer social barriers and students that may not like to participate in class get more work done self-guided.

According to a survey taken by 89 HSE students, 89% of respondents enjoyed weekly eLearning Fridays during the height of the pandemic, and 90% either saw improvement or no change in their grades when there were weekly eLearning days. 49% also said that weekly eLearning days had a positive impact on their mental health while 38% saw no change.

Being able to work in a space of choice and at a pace of choice is refreshing. 59% of respondents said that returning to weekly eLearning Fridays and having one day a week to complete schoolwork asynchronously would have a positive impact on students’ mental health.

Students say that they were less stressed when there were weekly eLearning Fridays and that the lack of stress was better for their grades.

“It really helped make me feel like I could take a nice day to do some work for school but not have a ton of work,” an anonymous survey response said. “Getting that extra day of rest also helped because I had time to catch up which gave me more energy for the week to come.”

Pappas also lists some disadvantages to asynchronous learning, such as the requirement of motivation and self-discipline. Without a teacher in the room, it is hard to focus on the work that needs to be done. With weekly eLearning days, students would have to maintain the self-discipline to do the work. Being required to do so will help students gain time management skills necessary for the future, especially in college where self-guided work (similar to the structure of an eLearning day) is frequent.

77% of survey respondents want weekly eLearning Fridays to return to the school district. They give all students and teachers a day to catch up. Improvement is seen in grades and in mental health. Many respondents also loved that with eLearning every Friday, the block days would be consistent every week. Students would receive college preparation, get better grades and see positive mental health effects if weekly eLearning Fridays return.