Effects of Online Learning
Online learning has gained immense popularity among working professionals and learners pursuing higher education. These categories of online students find immense benefit in the autonomy and flexibility that these courses provide. Online programs can be planned around their schedule, which may include caring for family, internships, and full-time employment. Online education can also assist them in taking out some quiet time to study.
Online learning has been around for a long time, even before technology made it very accessible. Traditional education is now seeing an increased proliferation of online learning materials and online programs. Even in a world of tested and tried schooling systems and curricula, the most effective schools are the ones that adapt to the changing times and to the expectations of learners, parents, as well as society.
In case online education is here to stay, then what are its effects on traditional learning? Rather than concentrating on the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, the conversation we should have today is about leveraging online schooling to make our education systems more conducive to learning.
Online programs call for a greater amount of self-discipline and motivation compared to a classroom-based course. A traditional classroom has one or more teachers and peers who can hold a learner accountable for their course-work. In contrast, online programs involve setting our own goals, meeting deadlines, and tracking progress. One does not study effectively in isolation, so online courses provide discussion forums, email, and one-on-one support. Additionally, technology adds to the visual experience by incorporating animations that can work interactively for effective communication and learning.
The Classroom Benefit
A school provides support, structure, and a system of rewards and penalties to groom its learners. Traditional classroom education offers the advantage of face-to-face interactions with colleagues, which are usually moderated by an instructor. It offers teenagers, particularly those in their early developmental years, a stable environment for social interactions, helping them develop skills such as boundary setting, cooperation, and empathy. It also provides plenty of room for spontaneity, unlike an online learning setup.
Online Learning in the Context of Schooling
As learners progress to higher classes in school, they pursue more autonomy and intellectual freedom. Online education can help them seek highly individualized learning programs, possibly even college-level courses. These, combined with hands-on exercises, thorough assessments, real-world exploration, can be highly advantageous to their learning progress.
They can explore their choices by trying out introductory topics from a wide range of fields prior to committing to a specialization. Online learning platforms can help these learners become more independent learners before making their way into college. We believe that we must not hold back learners from pursuing an online course but instead offer them guidance as they navigate through it.
Mobile apps that offer improved learning opportunities for school teenagers have become quite popular as of late. Because mobile phones have already found their way into their hands, these apps are being employed to supplement classroom learning. Parents and instructors require to act as anchors and mentors, curating the kind of educational content learners are exposed to during this tricky phase of exploring the appropriate career to pursue.
Online public schools that provide full-fledged K-12 education have already sprung up in some parts of the world. They even provide a combination of the traditional system with virtual education. There are programs that offer support to families that wish to home-school their teenagers in the form of online course material. These programs bring instructors and parents into the fold by involving them in their teenagers’ education from the get-go. Nevertheless, their effectiveness in the long term requires to be studied.
Online learning programs will also open up opportunities for teens from the weaker socio-economic societies who have limited access to studying resources, i.e., infrastructure, textbooks, and teachers. It will connect them to a worldwide network of online students, exposing them to new perspectives. The ideas that they acquire will not be limited by the number of heads in one classroom.
Online Education for Teachers
Online learning can also be designed to accommodate a wide range of learning styles among learners. As instructors, it is likely that we will have to put in extra efforts to integrate online education programs into the curriculum in the most suitable manner.
Online learning programs are helping teachers/coaches advance their skills in the curriculum implementation, leadership, education systems, education, and policy, both independently and with the support of their institutions. It lets them collaborate with their colleagues and learn new teaching skills that are relevant to their careers. These instructional programs can assist them in developing new skills and capabilities in their learners with the aid of technology and interdisciplinary approaches.
Online schooling may decrease costs for institutions and learners alike. Learners can save money on gas and other travel expenses while maintaining full-time employment that may not have been possible with a traditional mode of learning. Even though program development and technology may be costly at the start, institutions may find that they can reduce costs because of decreased facility usage and an increased learner to faculty ratio.
Every institution will vary, and depending on its circumstances, must analyze the benefits and costs of implementing online learning. As the overlap of the online and traditional modes of education is becoming more and more inevitable, we owe it to our learners to make their education relevant to their future through ingenuity, passion, and careful planning.
Is online learning boring?
No. It’s amazing!
Many homeschooling students are huge fans of online learning, and many others would be too if they gave it a chance (which is maybe part of the problem). Online classes are fun because:
- You can learn at your own pace.
- It’s easy to fit online courses into your schedule and avoid school-related scheduling conflicts.
- Online classes are available all the time, so you don’t have to watch the clock or sit through class when you’re tired. You can just start learning whenever you want, and put it down when it’s time for bed!
- Online learning opens up a whole new world of exciting educational opportunities. You can learn about anything from anywhere in the world. The Internet provides incredible access to interesting resources, especially for homeschoolers since we’re usually interested only in self-directed learning and knowledge.
- You get the most out of online learning when you take full advantage of all the resources that are available.
How to Make Online Classes More Fun and Satisfying
1. Explore your learning options
Take the time to explore your educational options by comparing programs and reading reviews, checking out what other students say on message boards or blogs, and talking with other parents about their experiences with various programs. There are a plethora of self-directed courses available today for homeschoolers (and even some free ones!) so get started exploring! Check out this guide if you need help finding high-quality, affordable courses.
2. Get super organized and motivated to learn
If you’re going to make online learning fun, it helps if you have a well-designed schedule that allows for plenty of time to work on your coursework and get the most out of it. It’s also important that you keep yourself motivated so that you’ll enjoy working through your courses instead of getting frustrated or bored.
One way to do this is by pre-planning study sessions with friends, having family members quiz one another on what they’ve learned, or forming an online class club where everyone takes turns writing about what they’ve learned in their classes that week.
3. Explore the resources available and take full advantage of them
When you’re ready to start your class, don’t just plow right through it – take a moment to discover how much fun online learning can be! Most
Online courses have a wealth of interactive learning resources available, and you shouldn’t take them for granted. When you begin your course, think about what it’s possible to do in that class that’s really exciting – maybe the opportunity for virtual field trips or getting to work with experts from around the country!
Or maybe you’ll be able to chat live with other students in your class. Take time to look through all the opportunities, read through interesting articles, and try out some activities before moving on. The more fun activities you discover when exploring your classes, the more likely you are to thoroughly enjoy them throughout the term…and beyond!
4. See if there are any related blogs/forums/message boards where people discuss their experiences or ask questions
You might find it interesting to read what people have to say about your online class, or you may learn something new and exciting from a fellow student who has taken the course before you. Don’t be afraid to join in on the discussion!
5. Get help when necessary
Just because you’re learning online doesn’t mean that you can’t get assistance if you need it (you can even pay for some courses with assistance included). Most of this kind of help will come from your instructor – they’ll often have an email address set up so that students can contact them directly at any time during the term, or there’s usually a message board or live chat feature where everyone discussing the course hangs out together. It helps if these features are available 24/7 because you never know when you might need help, so look for that feature in your classes.
In many cases, it’s possible to contact the instructor by email even after class sessions have ended (in some cases you’ll be able to do this on a per-question basis and pay extra). Some online courses also provide a toll-free phone number where students can get a hold of their instructors any day of the year – this is extremely valuable if there’s anything specific you’re still struggling with after going through all the resources available in your online course.
6. Read the student handbook or manual carefully!
This document will give you very detailed information about what’s involved in taking your course, how things work in general, and what you can expect from your instructor. It will also go over the regulations of the class, including things like assignments that are due, how long you have to complete each assignment, whether or not there’s a time limit on how long you have access to the course materials (which is usually an important detail), and answers to questions frequently asked by previous students – all of this will make it easier for you to feel comfortable with taking your online courses.
7. Consider hiring a tutor if necessary
This decision may be based solely on your personal preference, but it’s something that should be considered carefully before enrolling in any online classes.
Can you ask friends or family members for help? Are there other people in the same class who your instructor has recommended you contact with questions? Can you spend more time on the course if necessary to finish it, or will your personal schedule make this impossible? Do you have access to an academic advisor who can check your work and help with understanding difficult concepts? If so, that might not be a bad solution.
On the other hand, paying for extra tutoring may allow you to bypass some of those time-consuming tasks (such as answering questions online in a discussion group or reading through the student manual), which can make your life much easier during busy times. Either way is fine – just do whatever is right for YOU!
8. Be honest about deadlines with yourself and stick to them
You’ll never get anything done if you’re not being honest about your own abilities and limitations! For example, if you’re in the middle of a busy time but you want to keep up with your online class, make sure that you give yourself plenty of extra time for studying and working on assignments. Your work might take longer than other students, but that’s all right! Just do whatever it takes – even if this means working late sometimes because you are overwhelmed by the workload or taking a few days off to rest and recharge yourself (which is always important!). If you can’t keep up with the pace of an online class then don’t try to beat yourself up by forcing it. Find out what works best for YOU and stick to it.
Online classes are a great way to keep up with your education while maintaining the busy lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to. However, it’s important that students take their time in researching the course and instructor before enrolling because this will ensure they’re comfortable taking an online class.
It may also be necessary for some people to hire a tutor or buy additional tutoring materials if needed as well – just do what is best for YOU! If all of this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these principles, let us know.
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