Introverts have both advantages and challenges with learning in a virtual environment

Richard Ho, Staff Writer

In the virtual academic world, many introverts are motivated to learn in the online classroom because they have the flexibility of posting their creative arguments in forums.

They can balance their academic and online social life during the pandemic era from the comfort of their homes. 

However, introverts are mostly socially quiet and many have social anxiety when communicating with their colleagues or professors. They may not perform efficiently in virtual interviews nor be capable of building connections with their colleagues due to their anxiety. 

Despite the anxiety of communicating with their colleagues in a virtual environment, many introverts have critical thinking abilities to articulate their ideas in their academics. 

Overall, they are active participants in virtual classrooms and mostly have poor social abilities to contribute to solving real-life problems with their colleagues.

Introverts are reserved and pay attention to details during lectures in a virtual environment. Furthermore, they have the capability of managing their time and utilize their creativity for group project ideas with their colleagues via texting or other written communication methods. 

Introverted students have an easier time to direct message professors via Zoom for help, which reduces social anxiety when they want to ask a question.  

Since they have social anxiety in an in-person classroom environment, writing becomes an  introvert’s preferred communication method to articulate their thoughts for classroom forums and Zoom chats during virtual lectures. This increases class participation among introverts.

The consequences of being an introvert are deficiency of social abilities and always wanting to live in their shell in a virtual environment. Furthermore, they are timorous to get a question wrong from their instructor from both virtual and in-person environments. 

As weeks progress in the semester, the academic workload from their classes makes introverts feel the immense burden of completing them in a tight deadline. 

Introverts use a passive method to cope with their stress in contrast to extroverts who use an active method to deal with stress.  

Introverted students utilizing the passive coping method may have low morale in a virtual environment contrast to their extrovert colleagues. Their extroverted colleagues are more likely to have good relationships with their professors than their introverted colleagues, which is important for networking and are active participants in a virtual lecture discussion. 

Because of their passive coping method, introverts may have difficulty in completing immense amounts of homework from their classes.

Introverts are strong critical thinkers in terms of having more time on answering forum prompts, asking questions via Zoom chat and crafting presentations in a virtual environment.  

Most introverted students may have difficulties balancing both their social and academic life due to their passive coping method, which can lead to low morale and difficulty coping with the stress of virtual learning. Introverts who have social anxiety struggle making connections with their professor or their colleagues, which plays a role in their deficiency in networking abilities. 

Introverts who struggle with social anxiety need to break out of their own shell and negate psychological fears from their colleagues to speak up for themselves in a virtual or in-person environment.  

Richard Ho is a staff writer for The Cougar Chronicle. He is currently a junior computer science major and mathematics minor. Richard is considering applying to graduate school with the emphasis of artificial intelligence next year.  During his free time, he enjoys running outside early in the morning and being with his family.