Online learning—an expensive undertaking for a struggling person—may be a good thing for some people.
Articles On How Online Learning Fascilitate Persons Who Continue To Work
It’s no secret that many students in college are skipping classes or missing important credit hours for online learning and collaborating with each other to take the time for their studies.
However, this has its downsides for colleges. For one, learning online can sometimes detract from class time, but also students learn at their own pace, which can be unhealthy. Even the most forward-thinking admissions departments keep a close eye on the students who complete online courses, knowing those students are more likely to decline offer them into a college program. But is it just a matter of tuning out the distractions and staying focused, or are some students avoiding classes and making their friends obsolete in the process?
In one CNN article titled, “What works on the internet, doesn’t work in the real world,” reporter, Evgenia Peretz writes that student behavior is more of a puzzle than a cry for help. “Why do people need community? What is purposeful silence?” she asks. Peretz points to psychologists’ reported results about people’s long-term identity and work in the real world. Obviously, having one’s identity threatened in class isn’t working.
After studying the largest online college in America, Colorado State University, the author writes that many of these students who opt for virtual schooling did not enroll in CSU because they didn’t want to put in extra hours to build up credits. Rather, many went because they thought, “If I get out of class and sit on the couch, there’s no requirement to take out my notes, and I don’t have to continue my studies afterward. I don’t have to go back to the library, and I’ll be less stressed about my grades.”
This is a great aspect of online learning. It allows us to choose what is more important: our physical presence or not. However, this can lead to trouble when it’s not about the time or the content, but about the connections we’re creating. “Long distance friendships are increasingly important as more students no longer participate in face-to-face study groups or collective lecture units,” the author writes.
Yes, online learning can just be plain old ‘online learning.’ The classroom is an Internet platform. We are merely hosting our discussions in a digital format. But it can also be a fruitful experience. And for many of those students in need of a boost, online courses can be just that. As the author said in her conclusion:
“People are people. All of us are wired to build friendships, nurture affiliations, continue careers, personalize our learning and engage in diverse forms of socialization. It’s also true that many types of learning are, to some degree, abstract. There’s nothing wrong with studying something abstract; it’s exactly what we aim for when we pursue research-based education for non-college students.”
Peretz then goes on to say that by designing online courses around the text, but leaving out “the voluminous personal activities that occur daily in human communities” (word choice intentional), we create a scenario where we’ll likely not see anyone genuinely interested in studying the material, and we’ll likely see students that don’t look outside of the textbook, would rather enjoy their coffee on a couch, and call it a day.
The author argues that online professors should be “guiding their online students to prepare for the leisurely communication that often happens outside of a traditional classroom. Perhaps the personal conversations that can occur in the classroom inspire the students to apply themselves to their learning. (If you just go through the lecture, it becomes clear that you do not understand a subject unless you’re going to engage with it.)”
We have seen college students experiment with the classes they take online, and it’s quite helpful to see some examples and follow. One study focused on students that appeared to have a “digital pathology,” which included depression and substance abuse, so it’s not impossible for online learning to have a positive affect, even if the professor hasn’t scheduled the class with a goal to help students with those issues.