On the same day that the International Commission on Biodiversity met in Nagoya, Japan to adopt a new global conservation strategy for biodiversity and the climate, a high profile Amazon researcher stepped up the battle for the rainforest by publishing a new paper criticizing and projecting why learning online should be avoided at all costs.
How To Prevent Online Learning Cheatin
In college, students learn how to negotiate knowledge using tactics like trying to get to first base or hitting a sucker. They test skills that enable them to secure the best deal on a series of supposedly unrelated facets of information. Today, however, many students aren’t expected to use such tactics— and the relationship between learning and money actually matters much more than a single, prepackaged memorization tool.
Most of us agree that if students learn a vital skill they will want to act on it because they will have an incentive to grow. However, we tend to forget that, in many instances, that skill does not actually give students a competitive advantage in their chosen fields, even if they bring those skills to life in their daily routines and activities. In other words, the most important lessons in life are the ones you learn in class, because they teach how to act.
Those that develop skills from learning, such as the ability to set an example and advance a cause, are stronger candidates for success than those that learn how to prepare and replicate knowledge to suit their respective priorities. And that’s a problem that arises in the online education marketplace, where most of the market is designed for students that aren’t necessarily motivated by learning—and certainly aren’t focused on the ethics of the real world.
Whether your motivations are simply pursuing the best possible deal, figuring out where you belong in society, or simply wanting to avoid wasting your time, there is something to be said for choosing an education path that inspires, empowers, and rewards students for their real world responsibility. Here are several ways that you can work toward these goals:
Emphasize the Importance of Diverse Perspectives
Of course, how we learn from one another is vitally important—but the manner in which we learn is equally important. Learning from each other and other people provides many useful insights into the world, but teachers shouldn’t assume that students learn best in a standard way when very different students have very different interests and levels of curiosity. For example, rather than use traditional dates as a guide to make sense of what students are interested in, consider how the topic of the day can be presented in a creative manner to allow different points of view to surface.
Ask for Ideas
Don’t be afraid to ask students for ideas. Asking them to put forth different approaches to a given project can help you balance your expectations while simultaneously helping students and their teachers integrate different disciplines and concepts—all while encouraging them to form ties with one another.
There are practical reasons to avoid limiting students’ options, so as not to make it seem like your goals aren’t possible. Yet even some of the most appealing educational companies and classes can seem restrictive. Ask students for their input and offer them choices. Agree to work together to produce a result.
Remember—it’s important to add more complexity than the students originally requested. By blending practical, practical problems with the types of problems students want to learn about, educators can encourage students to apply themselves and think about meaningful challenges from different perspectives. By spreading knowledge around, you can open up opportunities for students and their classmates to develop ideas about subjects that they otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about.
Create a Harmony of Minds
Learning the theory behind using complex social sciences to understand social ills can be a source of both intellectual stimulation and hope for the future. But by harnessing that knowledge through it’s tools and methods, you can ensure that students are getting an authentic human experience when learning from each other, not just following a formula.
Cultivate an Inclusive Culture
One of the benefits of having such a diverse array of prospective students is that learning is more dynamic and more exciting. If you offer classes and programs that are unaffiliated with a particular subject, you will find that students are often motivated to join in, rather than merely submit to arbitrary gatekeepers. By allowing students to choose their own coursework, you also allow them to create a meaningful experience that is meaningful for all and reflects all.
Using the tools available to you, your own sensibilities, and the company’s own goals, you can create spaces in which learning and cultivating your ideal education will have a different flavor and a more authentic experience than those offered by traditional institutions. This results in the superior environment in which students can flourish.