What do Teens Really Think About Online Learning?

The student experience with online learning can greatly vary and depend on several factors, such as their individual learning styles, the quality of the instructional design, and their personal experiences. Research studies have shown that teens may have mixed feelings about online learning, as it can be more flexible and convenient, but may also lack the social interaction and in-person instruction of traditional classes. Furthermore, students who have previously struggled in school may find that the lack of structure in online learning can be detrimental to their academic progress without good instructional design. Additionally, students’ motivation for learning is another crucial factor that can be impacted by online learning.

National data suggests that student engagement is lower in online learning than traditional in-person classes, with reports showing that students tend to struggle with motivation and attention, as well as with the management of the self-directed and independent nature of online classes. Additionally, the shift to online learning has also taken a toll on teachers, as it has resulted in increased workload, isolation, and lack of personal interactions. This can lead to burnout, which can have an impact on the quality of instruction and teachers’ ability to connect with students, which can further decrease student engagement. When it comes to student motivation, online learning can present some challenges such as a lack of immediate feedback, lack of personal interactions, and difficulty in creating a sense of belonging. All of these can negatively impact student motivation and engagement. However, good instructional design can help to mitigate these challenges by creating engaging and interactive online learning experiences, fostering social interactions, and providing clear and consistent expectations, direction, and support to students.

It’s important to note that online learning has become a necessity during the pandemic and the availability of other options are limited. However, the quality of instructional design, as well as the attention and effort put into fostering student motivation, can greatly impact the student’s experience and the effectiveness of the learning process. To address this challenge, it’s also important to consider strategies to support teachers and address the root causes of teacher burnout to ensure the best possible learning experience for students. With good instructional design, and efforts to promote student motivation, online learning can provide a valuable and effective alternative for students during the pandemic and beyond, despite the data showing lower engagement and motivation.

Teen Motivation for Learning During COVID 19 and Impact on Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way that teens are learning, with many schools and universities transitioning to online learning as a way to slow the spread of the virus. This has presented a number of challenges for teens and young people.

One major challenge is that online learning can be less engaging and motivating than in-person learning. Without the personal interactions and social connections that are present in a physical classroom, it can be difficult for teens to stay focused and motivated. Additionally, online learning can make it harder for teens to ask questions and receive feedback from their teachers, which can make it more difficult for them to fully understand the material.

Another challenge of online learning for teens is that it can be harder for them to manage their time and stay organized. Without the structure and routine of a physical school day, teens may find it more difficult to stay on top of their assignments and manage their workload.

Other challenges include technical difficulties, difficulties adjusting to online communication, and the lack of access to resources and help, making it harder for some students, especially in communities where not all students have access to a stable internet, computer, or a quiet place to study.

It is also important to note that the impact of online learning during the pandemic has not been equally distributed, some students have been affected more than others, like those who have low socio-economic backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students who are English Language Learners, among others.

Overall, the shift to online learning has presented a number of challenges for teens, and educators and parents need to be aware of these challenges and take steps to support teens in their learning during this difficult time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on the mental health of teens and young people, including on their self-esteem. The sudden and unexpected changes to daily life, such as school closures, social isolation, and restricted social activities, have made it difficult for many teens to maintain a sense of normalcy and predictability.

Social isolation and restricted social activities can be especially challenging for teens, who rely heavily on social interactions and connections to build and maintain their self-esteem. The lack of opportunities for face-to-face interactions with friends and peers can leave teens feeling isolated and lonely, which can contribute to feelings of low self-worth.

Additionally, the changes to the school schedule and the transition to online learning can also negatively impact teens’ self-esteem, particularly those who have difficulties adjusting to online learning and those who rely heavily on social interactions with their peers, it can be harder to keep up with the class, harder to access help and harder to have a sense of belonging and feeling valued.

Furthermore, financial difficulties and job loss can also strain family relationships, which can create stress and anxiety for teens. This added stress and anxiety can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem.

It is also important to note that the pandemic is not impacting everyone equally, some teens might have been affected more than others, depending on the level of stressors they’ve been exposed to and their coping mechanisms.

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for teens in terms of maintaining self-esteem. It’s important for parents, educators, and mental health professionals to be aware of these challenges and take steps to support the emotional well-being of teens during this difficult time.

Attention Parents of College-Bound Teens!


Is your daughter or son a junior or senior in HS? Have you gone through the painful college tour process? Does it all seem a blur?  I’m Dr. Carol and I’m looking to interview parents of college-bound teens who have gone through the college tour process.

If you are willing to give me 30 minutes of your time, I will give you 30 minutes of my time for free.  As a former Director of Admissions and Dean of Admission, I can help you navigate the college process from acceptance and freshman year to budget planning and academic time management.

If interested in being part of my study and a free 30-minute college planning session, please contact me @  Carol@dr-carol.com  or leave me the best way to reach you in the comments section. I will work around your schedule.

Thank you,

Dr. Carol