May 8, 2020
Issue 05 2020

Missing Motivation at Massey

After two weeks of online study, some Massey students are finding it difficult to keep motivated. 

Massey University recommenced on April 20th after a lengthened mid-semester break. Due to the Covid-19 crisis all face-to-face learning has been replaced with online zoom lectures and emails.

“I’ve never been one for distance learning,” said second-year Massey student Jessica Platen, “but now obviously because of Covid you need to adapt.”

“It’s so easy to just go inside and watch Netflix the whole day, and then realise that I have an assignment due tomorrow and haven’t started it.” 

Jessica was one of several. A poll was listed on a class Facebook page, where students were asked whether online classes were resulting in them feeling motivated or unmotivated. Out of the 25 who saw the poll, only 11 students responded. All reported that they were unmotivated.

“So at this stage I have attended 0 lectures.” said Massey student Deana Isherwood. “I’ve always struggled with staying motivated and getting work done at home.” 

Deeana usually completed assignments and readings in libraries and cafes, both of which are closed due to the lockdown rules.

Zoe Braithwaite is in her fourth year of Massey, and she had already completed several distance courses before the lockdown. 

“Motivation is the hardest thing,” she reflects, “and that comes honestly with practice.” 

For struggling students Zoe suggested to “keep a schedule, set a space aside, wherever you are, as your workspace.” She also advised against working from your bed. 

Lack of motivation is not the only issue facing students. Some courses also have smoother transitions than others. 

“Some classes I didn’t notice a difference, but for one class in particular where we were doing a group project it was really tricky,” Zoe said.

Senior Lecturer Dr Catherine Strong distinguished between typical online learning and this response to the Covid-19 crisis. 

“Our new courses are not really distance courses or online courses because they

weren’t carefully planned as such.” 


She said they are instead referred to “Emergency Remote Teaching”.