Online learning has grown steadily in popularity, including for college students. A variety of higher education programs have been developed around Web-based or blended learning systems, such as College Tech’s Open Classroom curriculum.
How Is Student Engagement In Online Learning Measured
Online learning can provide cost savings, a flexible environment, and access to internships and jobs. However, there are many ways students can engage in this method. Most of these features are available to both solo and collaborative students. It’s important to note that, while some of these interactions are educational in nature, others may be geared toward socializing. Students can learn about courses and think about internships, but it is not nearly the same level of experience they would get in a brick-and-mortar classroom.
In a community college, it may be a more opportune time to participate in extracurricular activities in conjunction with your course, such as sports, clubs, and community service. Many students start out with a class that is far too challenging for their abilities, and as it progresses they can not get through the material as fast as they’d like. That’s why community colleges are so popular. They require less structure and are tailored to the student’s needs.
While the content of online course can vary, there are common standards and requirements. For example, the course must meet at least the federal American Degree Recognition Standards (ADRS). If the class meets the standards, then the course can be placed on the university’s national courses list (NTSL) and a certificate may be recognized for earning the degree. There are the same requirements for each school and university, although the online courses offered are, of course, more flexible.
So how are students engaged in online courses? There are several ways students can experience their courses while taking or completing their classes:
Solo and team engagement through essay contests, test scores, CVs, and so on.
Modest participation with video chat, and organizations like #LifelongLearners and the National Association of Colleges and Employers to help students meet challenging expectations for their online coursework.
Socializing with students in a live video chatroom or task board.
Largely collaborative online courses that offer students the chance to work together and learn from each other.
For courses like this, there are more than a few online programs that are available from different universities. Online learning companies offer a variety of programs that can meet the need of both single-interest students and large group classes. Online enrollment systems also work together to make navigating courses a little easier.
The fact is that, as with any kind of education, online education is hard to assess how well students are performing, and how effective their courses are. Traditional classroom environments are able to examine the course through the lens of many elements, including testing, grading, and content development. What helps the course succeed, and what can be done to improve student satisfaction, can vary greatly. Online learning, like a traditional school, has its disadvantages. Students may get lost in it for much of the day, and it can be harder to find time to take part in extracurricular activities.
While the fact that online learning may not meet the federal goals of providing high-quality education to all students can be a bit troubling, the fact is that it is unique in many respects. The most popular online courses are those that have large group meetings or involve student participation in the decision making. Students have the flexibility of being in their own timeline, and they can help guide course development.
Many students take one college course, attend a conference, and then realize that they would rather not attend a conference because they will have to commute hours to get there. Or they might realize that online coursework is the best option for them. In general, if the students are experiencing the content in their individual, individual way, it may not meet the federal standards, but the knowledge can still be obtained.
online learning opportunities can be used as outreach tools to improve the student’s own experience. For example, the Future Leaders of America online forum can connect students with students interested in STEM, and it can help students find internship opportunities and even career guidance from former faculty. If your students are taking online classes, make sure you take advantage of them as a means to explore options for the future. If they can experience online learning in a way that will improve their own life experiences, it could be an important part of their educational journey.