Student’s Workload and Motivation


Teachers across the country must now teach their students from a distance through online platforms. With physical classes no longer in session, students have had to adapt to learning at home, and this adjustment has not been easy. Students may be having a harder time with their schoolwork due to a lack of high-quality internet, understanding material or motivation. 

With the new system of distance learning, many students are having difficulty keeping up with school. Without daily class interaction, students may find themselves struggling to stay motivated, especially when learning new concepts on their own. When work piles up from all their classes, students may find themselves frustrated as they push themselves to complete assignment after assignment. 

“I think [the workload] is a little much for us to handle, especially if the teachers aren’t always interacting with the students,” junior Karmen To said. “It’s hard for us to be motivated to do so much work.”

Moreover, the workload for some students has even become overwhelming, depending on their schedule. Many must also juggle responsibilities at home, such as helping to care for younger siblings, along with schoolwork and preparation for AP exams. 

“We can’t expect kids to work online or offline for eight hours a day during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Assistant Superintendent Janet Lees said. 

In fact, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards recommends only three to four hours a day of online instruction for high school students. 

However, not all students are feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of work they are receiving. Students experiencing difficulties with school work are able to email teachers or administrators for variations in their studies. Talking with teachers, AP and regular, most seem to be reasonable in the work they assign as well as the deadlines they set. 

“I decided on the amount of work based on how much we could complete in class via face to face instruction for a week or two and I decided to cut that amount to 50% and give that amount during distance learning,” math teacher Steven Mira said. “I think the students are struggling with the workload because of how many classes they are enrolled in and the amount of work from teacher to teacher varies. There is no set guidelines on how much work to assign so of course, the workload will be overwhelming for some students and for others it may vary.”

Some students themselves admit to procrastinating on work or simply lacking the motivation to complete it. Student motivation is a big factor when referring to the difficulty of the work assigned. 

“The workload is not that bad,” junior Sariah Perera said, ” I actually think I’m getting less work, it’s more my time management and motivation to keep doing work [that is the issue].” 

Furthermore, some students may not have access to reliable, fast internet and therefore, cannot perform as well as he or she once did. Having a place to sit down and focus on school may also be another factor to motivation, since some students find themselves more productive when working at school or in public places with others.

Many students also get distracted by their family members or social media. Without having a place to focus or having a person to keep the student on task, it is very easy for one to get distracted.