“Online classes don’t feel real”

This week, our students completed the General Assembly UX course. Woohoo! With Phase I completed, it’s now time to transition into Phase II: applying what they’ve learned in the UX  course to a community design challenge. But before they moved to Phase II, we asked students to debrief with us about Phase I.

The students said that they got a lot our of  the General Assembly course. They did say, however, that they struggled with motivation and accountability during Phase I. This is something that both Kristen and I had noticed too. Students struggled to feel invested in the UX course and to complete their online assignments on time. When I asked the students why they struggled with motivation/accountability, they put forward a few answers:

  • Online classes don’t feel real.
  • They didn’t feel invested in the GA class projects, because they knew their projects wouldn’t go anywhere.
  • They felt isolated while working on their project.
  • They felt like some of the projects GA assigned them were busy work.

Because DLRD hopes to facilitate courses with digital components in the future, it’s important that we develop strategies to avoid these issues. Here are a few solutions that the students and I came up with:

  • Find online coding courses that allow for group/collaborative work.
  • Work on the online courses together at the same time in the same space.
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