Why are Students Not Engaging In Online Learning and Failing To Achieve Excellence?

Online Learning

With the pandemic hitting people all of a sudden, necessary changes had to be made in everyone’s lifestyles, certainly inevitable ones. One of them was students shifting from the traditional classroom setting to online studies. Due to the virus, e-learning became the only feasible way of learning.

It has become difficult for schools to keep the students engaged in their studies with the virus hitting us and making everything online and remote. Schools sure look different during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students don’t seem too connected with it. While some may be present in attendance, they are doing the bare minimum when submitting work.

How has COVID changed the world?

Ever since the pandemic hit us, students have to forcibly stay home, making this a vacation, a rather non-fun one. People take vacations to get away from their routine and take a break from it. But what do you do if your vacation itself becomes a routine? It starts to bore us, right? So this might be a break for students, but now they want an end to this no fun holiday.

Even though two-three hours of studying every day might give the students a break from their mundane life, learning online has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, e-learning sounds fun, but the students don’t seem to get the hang of it, even after adding it to their routine.

Teachers can use collaborative tools like Zoom video calls, emails, and other tools to help students engage in studies. Not only schools but businesses also use these types of tools to explain certain topics to their employees like payroll guide, leave applications, overtime reimbursement, etc.

So Why Was Online Learning A Major Fail Among Students, And How Can We Help?

1. Adaptation Issues

Since Online learning was the only option for studying, adapting to e-classrooms was overwhelming and complicated, making many students lose interest in studying. It was all new and not at all exciting because everyone was tense about the global situation that had hit.

How to tackle– Schools and colleges can arrange training programs for students and FAQs in support of the benefits of studying online and providing tips to help students ease into the process of online studying.

2. Family Responsibilities

Since students had to stay at home and study, juggling family and other responsibilities was a toughie for them. And since Covid came with a lot of restrictions, students had to help do chores along with studying, which was difficult. This further led to poor time management.

How to tackle– Schools can help students set a schedule that can help students deal with both studying and handling responsibilities.  

3. Technical Issues

Bugs and slowdowns on E-Learning platforms made students feel demotivated. Rapid traffic in learning websites caused it to run slow, making students lose their patience and websites crash.

There is a certain minimum speed only with which some websites can run, but with so many people using so much internet at the same time, low data speeds led to students losing networks and learning website’s servers to run slow from their side.

How to tackle– To ensure a smooth learning experience for students, Schools should make sure that they build a flexible server infrastructure by optimizing content with adaptive delivery to ensure quality and speed on any device and connection. This can either be done by making your own solution or using a ready-made CDN (Content Delivery Network).

4. Lack Of Human Contact

Studies show that students’ social engagement can make them five times more engaged and sixteen times more likely to take their course seriously and actually finish it. But, sadly, due to the pandemic, it has now become a rarity. Students learn better when they can communicate properly with teachers and study together in groups. Now that students aren’t able to enjoy that, online learning has become frustrating for them because of a lack of communication.

How to tackle– According to Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, people learn best by observing others and interacting with others. They acquire new knowledge and skills by observing others. Sadly, due to COVID, online learning implies certain limitations to these activities. So, what schools can do is arrange webinars, friendly competitions, and discussions where students can work together with their classmates virtually and students and teachers can learn from one another.

5. Information Too Good To Be True

When whatever students learn in online classes gets too abstract, and far from real life that they can’t seem to relate it to themselves, students start to lose interest in the topic they are studying. 

How to tackle– Knowledge becomes real only if it can be applied. That’s why schools should include real-life examples in their content, provide hands-on information, and give students practical tasks to try at home so as to apply gained knowledge to real problems immediately.

6. Stress And Trauma

Anxiety around the COVID pandemic has students facing many uncommon emotional challenges. They might not be having the coping skills to overcome them. Stress and trauma can interrupt students’ analytical processing, reduce their functioning skills, and disrupt their emotional tuning.

How to tackle– Schools can provide emotional help to students and hire counselors if necessary so as to help students talk to someone about things that worry them.

7. Financial Issues

According to a survey done by NCERT, at least 27% of students don’t have access to mobile phones or laptops to study. Some of them only refer to the textbooks and the notes they have on them.

Online learning can be difficult for students whose families aren’t well put in terms of money because as developed as technology is today, it is getting expensive every day. It is not easy for daily wage earners to afford a smartphone and its data services, especially since COVID took a toll on their jobs, and they ended up going home without any money. Many students don’t have access to the online platforms teachers are teaching in, like Zoom and WhatsApp, because they don’t have smartphones. 

How to tackle– Teachers and Parents living in the same local area can meet somewhere, and teachers can exchange assignments and notes with the parent, therefore making learning easy for students with no smartphones.


Everyone knows the virus might stay with us for a long time, so distance learning is the only way of studying left with students as of now. It might be boring for them, but teachers can make students engage in different discussions they can organize as well as encourage them to participate in webinars hosted by their schools/colleges. Schools should make sure students don’t lose interest in studying.

Engaging students in distance learning sure can be challenging, but it’s definitely not impossible.