Frankly Speaking: How can online learning be improved?

July 31, 2020, 10:01 a.m.

Frankly Speaking is aimed at extending discourse and debate on important subjects beyond The Daily’s staffers. We want to hear from members of the Stanford community about their takes on the controversial topics and vital realities we confront.

This week’s topic: How can online learning be improved? 

This week, the ASSU released results from a survey of the student body about spring quarter experiences and their thoughts on the fall grading system. This survey included questions about the effectiveness of online learning. Notably, 67% of students said that Zoom was a barrier to learning, with many describing their disappointment with the quality and variability of online learning. Most students felt that Zoom classes were too long, and many faced other barriers to learning while at home.

In spring quarter, Frankly Speaking asked students to describe their experiences at “Zoom University.” We received a record number of responses, from both students and instructors, which we published in two parts: Part I and Part II. Some responses described online learning favorably and some pointed out its shortcomings. 

With the University slated to continue online learning in some capacity through the coming academic year and a large portion of students living off-campus, the quality of online learning will be central to the student experience going forward. 

Given the ASSU’s survey, the previous Frankly Speaking takes on Zoom University and, most importantly, your own experiences, how could online learning be improved? What would you like to see implemented or changed in the coming quarters?

Here’s the link again: . If you have any questions, please email opinions ‘at’

We look forward to hearing from you.

— The Opinions Team, Volume 258

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