In the wake of COVID-19, higher education must look to the future and ensure that students are receiving a college education that reflects their needs—especially in online learning environments where students often cite a lack of interaction with their peers.
A Student's Perspective
Difficulties during the pandemic
Christina Falletta, a sophomore elementary education major at the University of Tampa, was one of the many college students affected by the pandemic. In a recent webinar, she talks about her experience with attending college during COVID-19 and online learning using Yellowdig.
“The transition into college was difficult for obvious reasons, like being away from my family and finding my way around a new campus. However, it was even more challenging to make the transition into college during a worldwide pandemic.”
Making the jump from high school to college is a big step for many, but with COVID-19 certainly made things more complicated.
“It was challenging to provide and receive input from others while still staying safe. The lack of collaboration in classrooms last year (in 2020) made it really hard for me personally to learn.”
COVID-19 showed us that higher education was not fully ready for online or hybrid/blended courses because students found it difficult to learn and connect with their peers over the internet. It’s clear that video conference calls aren’t enough to receive a quality education especially when compared to students attending in-person classes. Students need social presence to get the most out of their time in college.
Social Presence is a key factor in a student's educational experience.
How can colleges ensure its students are receiving a high quality education in an online learning environment?
“Yellowdig was extremely beneficial for a student studying remotely because I was able to connect with my peers...Students could post questions, comments and concerns on Yellowdig and their peers would assist them. Yellowdig allowed me to collaborate with students who I would never meet in person.”
It’s clear that students want to be connected to their peers, and Yellowdig offers a solution by building a platform that sparks real interactions between students.
“I felt comfortable in Yellowdig. It was like a safe space. If I was confused at all, I could post my question on Yellowdig. And within minutes, I would have feedback from multiple students. It was essential to have the perspective of other students so easily accessible.”
Yellowdig is formatted much like a social media platform making it easy for students to understand right off the bat. Functions like reactions and accolades incentivize students to connect with their peers with high quality insights into the course material. Students can also clearly see their Yellowdig grade ensuring they stay on track for their course.
Yellowdig's modern social interface in action.
“Yellowdig was a crucial aspect to my success during my freshman year of college. It helped me stay engaged during remote learning, and provided clarity to any confusion I had. I hope that when I'm a teacher, I have platforms like Yellowdig to utilize in my own classroom.”
To listen to Christina’s full story as well as insights from her professor, check out the full webinar here.