We’ve now reached the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic and UCLA’s move to remote learning and instruction. Students say they are feeling burned out by video chat platforms and work that requires looking at a screen.
A survey that students conducted in January found that students across the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture are averaging 14 to 15 hours per week of Zoom for classes, and another 13 to 14 hours of Zoom per week to complete their coursework. Additional hours are spent on Zoom for work study, internships, and extracurricular clubs and organizations, leaving students struggling with too much screen time and too little free time.
“I think students are adjusting as best as they can, but I think there just needs to be more empathy with that. And that can come in the form of an increase in breaks or an adjustment of curriculum or the structure of classes,” said Joy Chen, a second-year student in the Department of Design Media Arts.
Chen is a member of the dean’s student council, which meets regularly with the school’s leadership to let them know what issues their fellow classmates are facing. Zoom fatigue and burnout have come up as top issues. Studio classes in the school can be three to four hours long, and lecture and other seminar classes typically run close to two hours. The marathon Zoom sessions come on top of other obligations, Chen said.