For many young students, anxiety around school and social situations is a very real issue. Though brick-and-mortar schools do their best to accommodate students with anxiety, it isn’t always easy. With a classroom full of other students who also need their attention and consideration, it can be hard for teachers to support all their students. However, online schools like OVS, do a lot to help students lessen their anxiety and be successful in their courses.
Reduction of Social Interaction
One benefit of online school for students with anxiety is that it can reduce the need for social interactions that may be overwhelming. Online learning allows students to participate in class discussions and complete assignments without the pressure of in-person interactions. This can help students with anxiety feel more comfortable and confident in their learning.
With Ontario Virtual School, our lessons are all pre-recorded lectures played over top of a PowerPoint presentation, there are no live classes. This way, students don’t have to login in to their class at a certain time and they never have to worry about being absent or late.
For some anxiety sufferers, the idea of having to call or video chat a teacher can be nerve wracking, and most prefer to communicate over email. With OVS, if students do have questions, they can email their teacher and expect a response within one business day. This allows them to still reach out for help and get the answers they need, all without having to speak to their teacher in person. For students dealing with social anxiety, studying online can allow them to get a quality education from home.
Flexible and Personalized Learning
As well, online learning can give students a more flexible and personalized learning environment. This can be especially helpful for students with anxiety, as it allows them to learn at their own pace and in a setting that is comfortable and familiar to them.
In most physical schools, student only have a set amount of time to complete a course. They have to hand in assignment on certain dates and write tests at the same time as everyone else. For students who struggle with anxiety, this can be a problem. It can be stressful trying to complete a difficult assignment on time or prepare to write a test when you’re struggling with the material. No two students learn the same, so expecting them all to work on the same timeline isn’t always feasible.
At OVS, students work entirely on their own schedule. They can complete courses in as little as 4 weeks or they can take up to 1 year to complete their courses. There are no set due dates for tests or assignments, so students can hand things in as they get to them. As well, students are able to set their final exam for whatever day and times work best for them.
Let’s take a look at Grade 12 University English (ENG4U), a course which is required for graduation and for university applications. In this course, there are four units, each with several assignments and unit tests. While some students might breeze through the Poetry or Literary Criticism units, other students may struggle with those concepts. By taking the course online, the students who want to can move through those sections quickly and jump into the next unit. At the same time, other students in the same course can spend longer on those units, taking their time to really understand concepts and complete assignments, before moving on to the next section.
By allowing students to move at a pace that works for them, online courses can help lessen their anxiety about due dates and deadlines, which can help students get the grades they want from their courses
Online school can also provide access to a wide range of support services and resources for students with anxiety. At OVS, we take our students mental health and well-being seriously. We offer a free online Supporting Mental Health (OVS4O) course, which students can take to help them with a number of mental health issues.
As well, if students reach out to our office because they find they are having mental health issues and need help completing their courses, we are always happy to offer assistance. Whether they need to put their courses on a temporary hold, or help creating a study plan to ease some of their stress, we are willing to work with our students to come up with solutions that work for them.
Overall, online school can be a valuable option for students with anxiety, as it provides a flexible, personalized, and supportive learning environment. By taking advantage of the resources and support available through online learning, students with anxiety can thrive and succeed in their education.