Distance Learning Impacts Finals

Distance Learning Impacts Finals

Brooke Winzenread, Sports Writer

How Will Distance Learning Affect Finals?

Finals are here, but a little different this year than usual. The week before winter break, December fourteenth through the eighteenth will be full distance learning for all students to prevent anyone from having to quarantine over the holidays for attending school the week before. 

With this schedule and every student learning from home, many challenges might occur with this new approach to taking finals. To get an insight on how teachers are preparing to give their students a final with each kid full distance learning, I interviewed two teachers Mrs. Winzenread, and Mrs. Kress to hear from different teachers within each teaching department. 

Mrs. Winzenread who teaches tenth grade English feels like her students will receive a similar final to what she normally gives with just a few adjustments. She explains that “normally, there would be a final for vocabulary, an in-class essay, and the students would be giving live speech presentations, but, I have already altered my vocabulary program knowing the system we’re using will not work in the virtual setting.” So her students are looking to only receive an in-class essay and she is working on a potential project-based assessment for her Honors class.

As Mrs. Winzenread explains, “if my students were still in class with the hybrid model, the final would still consist of an in-class essay which works well to check for understanding of content, and to see what writing skills students have learned to apply.” Stating that no matter the circumstances, her students would receive an essay as part of their final.

Mrs. Kress who teaches health and Physical Education gave me her plan for her final, stating that “our PE students took their actual final a week early so that the teachers could physically be with some of the students and it consisted of a one-mile run, and floor exercises including two types of planks, two types of crunches, squats, and push-ups.” 

The distance learning kids who had to take their actual final at home Mrs. Kress says, “they had a parent who had to write a detailed note stating that their son/daughter had completed the assignment, and students attached this note to their final via Google Classroom.”

During the actual final period, Mrs. Kress has assigned her students to do a “forty-minute photo walk/jog/run of their choice outside where they will take photos of specific things such as street signs, scenery, their pet if they decide to take one along, buildings, etc.” 

Mainly the biggest challenge Mrs. Winzenread feels for students and teachers is the “classroom setting and the energy that finals week brings will be different, the atmosphere of the virtual world is different, and motivating students to stay focused from home will be challenging.” 

Mrs. Kress has similar ideas saying “not being able to physically be with our students is a challenge…especially in PE and since all of our work is done physically, it’s tricky to know if students at home are actually doing the assignments.”

BUHS, Mrs. Kress, Mrs. Winzenread, Brooke Winzenread, finals week, distance learning
BUHS students gathered on the front lawn.