Student Grades, Attention Reach Record Highs During Online Instruction


Michael Thomas

With remote learning, student grades and attention spans have reached new heights when compared to previous years with online learning. This is due to multiple factors.

Michael Thomas, Reporter

Recent achievement reports suggest Woodbridge High School students have gone above and beyond the hardships presented by online learning, completing all of their assignments on time and totally paying attention at all times in class.

When online in their virtual classes, Woodbridge High School students are unfazed by the bark of the dog, the speed of the internet, or the call from mom to do something as they persevere through the adversities brought forth by online learning day in and day out.

At the beginning of the 2020 – 2021 school year, expectations for said students were low. Some did not believe students would be able to learn let alone thrive under such difficulties. And that’s why finals were cut for the first semester, and why education officials in Trenton did away with Student Growth Objectives for the year.

Wanting to remain anonymous due to the debilitating shame and embarrassment brought forth by thinking students could succeed this school year, a teacher said, “I personally thought this school year would be a complete, utter tragedy. I mean, from what teachers in other districts who did Zoom meetings and such over the spring told me, I was expecting not one ounce of good to come.

“But as the days went by and the grades came in, I will admit, I was wrong,” the teacher said.

Defying the odds, students have been better than ever through their dedication to education and grit.

“I haven’t seen this much dedication since ‘Nam,” commented the anonymous teacher.

Studies show that student attention and grade point averages have reached record highs during online learning, even higher than in the spring of 2020 when most students had no kinds of online meets and could use whatever means necessary to complete their work, including cheating (which they absolutely did not do).

Reasons for this are still being studied, but  the boost may be due to the lack of high stakes testing, being able to learn from the comfort of home, and more phone time–for educational purposes, of course.

Through these Zoom and Google Meet calls, students stare, intently, determined, at their computer screens for hours on end,  soaking up every piece of information their teachers say. They retain it all and won’t forget it in ten minutes, let alone years later when not knowing this information will be detrimental to their paths in higher education.

Even on the rare occasion when a student’s web camera may be off–due to bad internet connection, of course–not due to apathy or anything like that, students still are fully engaged with their educational commitments.

Tests, more than any kind of classwork, have seen the biggest spike in improvement. 

At first, teachers thought it was due to cheating when students were looking away from the screen, but students always admit it was their mother calling them, and nothing nefarious.

Even when missing class time due to extensive bathroom breaks that last tens of minutes on end, through the knowledge in their head and that knowledge alone, they always seem to catch up on the lessons they missed. 

In fact, most of the time they know as much information as Google does.

As schools nationwide see record failures and lack of participation from students, Woodbridge High School students have found a way to thrive.