Quick quiz: Last semester, did you ever consider how you’d be doing different for the upcoming year? Well, this year has a certain bounce to it, since you can learn from your mistakes in the past and, maybe, avoid them this semester.
9. Online Learning Is Most Effective For Teaching What?
The American educational system is often faulted for the lack of online learning, but online learning may in fact be the only way to truly accelerate education. How else can you train a workforce for a growing economy? If you want to rethink how you train students and give your workforce as much direction as possible, an online degree is likely the most efficient way to go. Of course, you will want to reconsider the education you give students, because that is a huge part of the difference between online and traditional learning.
Online Courses aren’t Perfect
Online classes are meant to be fast and efficient, not something that takes several years to complete. But, online courses aren’t perfect. Schools need to balance accessibility, expectation, and quality, so the result can be a program that’s too broad or not broad enough. We need to keep an eye on what kind of curriculum we need. That’s why I like to say that online learning should be more of a complement to a traditional program, not just one to get around the limits of traditional education. If we want to give our workers the greatest possible guidance, we should develop courses that meet specific needs.
Higher Ed Cannot Be “Google Class”
Online learning needs to be purposeful. The one-size-fits-all online learning program doesn’t work. Don’t roll out an online course designed solely around elements that anyone can Google, or search for, or write answers to. If students don’t know the content, how are they going to learn? This needs to be a first-class education, not a second-rate one, and it can’t just be a race to the bottom. You should want the highest quality education and use your limited resources to get that.
The teacher is no longer a question
The teacher is no longer a question. There are now so many ways that teachers can interact with students without having to be there. Online learning technologies will allow a range of teachers to be teaching all types of subjects, whether they are engaged in their fields or not. On top of that, students need to be encouraged to take initiative. They need to be given the proper instruction and a way to pursue careers that they are passionate about, and educators should push that.
Ease of use is key
The level of effort you put into creating the online platform should be matched by the level of skill that goes into the learning itself. That means that the learning needs to be easy. No junk courses, no learning that only comes alive once you get stuck.
Your online classes need to be realistic. You may be devoting time to teaching, but you may have less time to attend to other obligations. Use that time to do what the students need. That means when your students are completing a course, you want them to know that they have time to do work, and you’ll take the time to follow up with them. You don’t want to push them too far, and you don’t want to leave them wondering how much time they had when the real class starts.
Online education is a win-win-win
It means we can fill a void in our workforce with an inexpensive and effective way to get students educated. It means we can solve the problem of students dropping out and not having high expectations of themselves. And it means that we can save money on traditional education by not having to hire teachers, and instead students can just click “I’m done” if they want to stop.