Online Learning is Not What it’s Crack Up to Be or Is It?

Joseph Meyer

For the last nine years, I’ve had my share of teaching in both a classroom and in an online format. For some instructors online is preferable because you simply can log in, conduct your lecture or even have something pre-loaded and set it on autopilot. I know those who primarily teach online will probably disagree but with technology and in an educational environment you can do a lot.

Now that we are all in Quarantine mode with self-isolation online learning will not be the go-to with delivering your online education whether it will be in K-12 or in college. The experience, in my opinion, is not meant to replace face to face teaching but it has not gotten at all better for many reasons. For many who are first learning in this platform, you will probably have many complaints, especially if the system or program being used is not used correctly or full utilized.

I get its all-new for many of us especially younger students who I hear quite regularly they absolutely hate online classes, it’s boring and doesn’t provide them with the tools they need to learn. For many we were unprepared for online platforms for younger students like K-12 and yes they are using them because my daughter’s first-grade teacher utilizes them.

Personally, I have used Blackboard and Moodle along with Teleconferencing software Zoom for delivery of my course work to students. Although they are fair easy to use with a lot of tools, it took time to really understand the capabilities and tools available and if you are not up to date on the latest this can be a confusing time.

To combat and survive the obstacles of online learning here is where I would begin.

  1. It’s a Real Course

The online course is a real course, which may seem strange to say but we should be showing the online course the same respect we show face to face. Even though it’s online does not take away the importance of the content being delivered. Now maybe your instructor is not the most exciting which I know makes a difference but take the good with the bad and go from there. Study, pay attention, raise your hand and be an active part of the class.

  1. Scheduling

In a live online class, the instructor and student must be available at the same moment in time. For students with erratic schedules, this may be difficult especially for college students. For students who are younger, this may be less of a challenge, but this can also depend on parents who need to support their kids while they work.  Students who work, have families, provide care for someone else or have other pressures might find the rigidity of live scheduling to be difficult.

  1. Technology

One of the most common reasons so many are turned off by online courses in technology, whether being able to use it, connectivity via the web or the actual app itself. If there is a service interruption with a device, a power or internet outage, this will result in lost time. Students and professors must try to recover that lost time and sometimes work.

  1. The Extroverts Vs. Introverts

I like to believe there are two types the extroverts and introverts who will respond to online learning differently. Extroverts tend to crave live classes interaction with students and professors alike.  While other students do their best work alone, in the quiet confines of their own time and space. Whether you are an Intro or Extro will determine how your experience will play out and how your instructor forms the class geared towards two types.

  1. Physical appearance

This is not my favourite part of online learning, let’s see those beautiful faces or not so beautiful faces for those who prefer not to get gussied up for class. I personally don’t make it a requirement for my student to show their faces because frankly, some are shy, some are embarrassed by where or how they live, although we have backgrounds now that block that out. Some like myself hate the way I look on camera adding forty pounds to my face, sounds funny but true.

  1. Different learning styles

In a live online class, there are limitations for the college to provide services for students with disabilities. A student for whom English is not the first language may find online course challenging.

  1. Benefits do not outweigh the cost

The cost of tuition is expensive for college students and be forced to take courses online can diminish education in different ways. It is my opinion that colleges should adjust for times like this. I know colleges have to make money, but we all have to make adjustments, not just the instructors and students, but the school as well. When it comes to K-12 grades there is not a lot of choices especially if you attend a public school, but If you have to pay the school should make adjustments to the fees.

  1. How to make it

If you are in a position right now that you do not have a choice to take online courses due to pandemic, we may have to stick it out until things get better. But this lesson is also for those in the normal times when you wish to take an online course to really think, weigh the options because there are true positives and negatives that can work for you.

 

The Takeaway 

We are all in a new situation may of us and our parents may not have experienced before, but it will get through this and will have some normalcy again, but it may be some time so be patient. It is known, we all wish to get back to life, being out, face to face with our family and friends, but the moment lets appreciate our time together with family.

The purpose of today’s post was to really give you some insight into online learning but for most, you are learning the pros and cons of each. While the opportunities for lively interactions are plentiful, the obstacles may be overlooked.

 

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