Online vs Paperwork

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of work done in classes were on paper. As the result of online remote learning becoming the norm during the pandemic, most schools have opted for posting most classwork online rather than giving it to students on paper. After most places were allowed to go back to school, teachers continued to operate this way, as it made it easier for them to quickly grade, return, or edit assignments, as well as quickly communicate with their students about their work.

While this presents many benefits, like being able to finish a group project while at home with the Flu, some students are more in favor of the prior-to-pandemic, physical, paper copies they would receive for assignments.

“Paper is easier than having to wait on a computer to load,” freshmen Kelsey Kirk said.

Research study results compiled by Virginia Clinton, an assistant professor of education at the University of North Dakota, in 2019 found that when students read material on paper, they absorb information from it better than when students read text online.

“Readers may be more efficient and aware of their performance when reading from paper compared to screens,” she concluded.

FHS students were polled on their opinions on this matter, resulting in 56.5% of a sample of the student body saying that they prefer paper assignments over the alternative. 69.6% of students polled also said that they found it more tempting to cheat when assignments are online instead of on paper.

“Paper is just better to use. It’s good to be able to work on your penmanship as well since you use it for almost everything else in your life,” senior Kat Sanchez said.

Teachers offer a unique perspective to this discussion, considering they must do what’s best for their students’ learning and sometimes that includes understanding which version of learning they absorb information the best from.

84.2% of FHS teachers and faculty polled said that they preferred to give assignments on paper rather than online. 88.2.% of the same group said that they see students absorbing content better through paper assignments versus in online assignments.
“Old school doesn’t allow for google cut and paste responses, eliminates multiple guessing, allows for written responses that may show more understanding of a topic from a student than the ability to select A,B or C,” special education teacher Mr. Baker said.

58.8% of teacher respondents also said that it was easier for them to grade work on paper as opposed to online.

Clearly paper assignments take the cake for the preferred method of assigning and completing work for both FHS’ teachers and students.
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