In terms of online learning, educators should take into account that they can exercise absolute control of learning outcomes.
In Online Learning,the Individual Controls Both The Learning Objectives And How Learning Occurs.
If you have been around the web long enough you have probably noticed that many sites highlight a big get it done initiative. They will build excitement for getting to that next section or step on their website. Once you get there you notice that it is full of documentation, an instructor page, comments, and finally a question and answer.
This page of the road is leading right up to the next step for most college, university, or even high school students. This is where you will find an arrow to an interactive section as well as videos and other resources. A short time ago I looked into the online learning option known as a MOOC or Massive Open Online Course. This course was offering to the public. Very basic components about online learning was being covered. Few details were outlined about what that material would entail. What I realized with this course was that that which was billed as an instruction tool for the masses was far more about highlighting the content in that syllabus and its resources. Now that we are in the real world and need an instruction path to take, I know that some of the more challenging and “high-brow” education options that have emerged are not taking place online but in a private education facility, boarding school, or non-profit school.
Oftentimes the rules for a degree-granting online program vary but all have a set amount of hours required for a first year class. For high school students, those classes include: biology, chemistry, history, physics, reading, math, and some with a foreign language component added. For college students, those classes that need to cover a first year slate of requirements that they also need to make up for absences, include: business, psychology, French, German, forensics, and U.S. government and politics. Since the information is interactive, so is the learning experience that occurs. The first time I signed up I was a bit taken aback to see that I had to fill out extensive evaluation forms which would appear on my recommendation pages (after complete books, college credits, homework, essays, and class pass/fail factors were taken into account).
The presentation of the content, the resource providers, and the questions are always up to the student. This gives the student the opportunity to select how this information is presented, to discuss it, to review the options available, and how you might best work through the materials. This type of learning may only be structured to 80-85 hours for a school day. As a student you have this choice to be presented with content that is far more interesting and challenging. In fact, the number of hours you have available may include breaks, tutorials, whatever it may be. The key is to use the framework that is provided from the curriculum, but also provide your own teaching and learning methodology to take advantage of the other new, free, exciting outlets available. In a word, consider how you might view that course and put yourself into the role of the instructor.
The effectiveness of the online education programs is there. We are approaching an area where the volume of new sources of information and knowledge is simply outstripping the human capacity for capturing it. Online learning can be a great tool for students to come together and gain access to this information. It is a great way to be a student who can really figure out how they best view a subject or discipline. This more closely mirrors what life might look like in the future and will allow students to step out of the classroom and into the world.