What Criticisms Have Been Levied Against Online Learning?

Online learning can provide a different option to students that traditional classroom study. Here are some data-based approaches students can use to ensure they will learn at an optimal level in their online courses.

What Criticisms Have Been Levied Against Online Learning?

Many years ago, my mother was subjected to a highly motivated home schooler’s incessant criticism of her work. He was admittedly “better” and would avoid discussing what he called “their very valid criticism” with her. But nonetheless, this young man would sometimes yell at her during home school, as if he was forcing her to accept or do away with it. In fact, he judged her by “a lady who has not seen the cut and thrust of this world,” whatever that was supposed to mean. He’d make a bishh bhatu sound with one arm to describe the jury’s actions on her case, possibly merely to embarrass her by making the courts sound powerless. As if she didn’t have to hear him, she did. The man once dangled a note in front of her, left it at her desk, then left and did not return. She was convinced he’d ripped it up with a knife and threatened that he was going to “cut her and spit it in her face.” But when he surfaced, he admitted to her that he’d thrown the note at the wall but returned it to her. Such treatment was unbearable to my mother. But this is not the only time in the world of online learning that students from far off lands or children from far-off cities have accused their students from our own cities of not meeting quality and excellence standards. No one should ever be treated that way, but the fact is that, increasingly, it is common for higher education institutions such as online universities to be from faraway places as well.

In many cases, students say their course materials were too rushed. In some cases, the professor didn’t appear for at least part of the semester. In other cases, only a half of a class was taught by a professor, giving students the wrong idea of what it would be like in a real classroom environment. Many times, it was indeed difficult to grasp the material because it had not been taught well. In other cases, the faculty were unprepared for the material and relied on mediocre book texts. In the case of the watered down text texts being used, one could find a handful of peer-reviewed journal articles only. As a result, most of us would not comprehend the purpose of that course. The poor students would waste a couple of days in spite of the best efforts of the professors at one time or another.

Another criticism the online students often made is the major purpose for them being there in the first place. But the educator had to know the students well enough to understand what the motivation was of the students being there, and that’s not hard to surmise. The student was someone who wants to learn, wants to get his degree, wants to move on with his life. The school, on the other hand, was supposed to be for the students so that they get the degree they need and make better use of their time. Maybe the school should have known what the student’s actual motivations were for being in the class, because the students wouldn’t listen to the professor anyway.

As always, nothing is perfect in education. Every system has its problems. Online education is no exception. But this is what a lot of people are missing. Online learning often misses the point of why so many of us are there in the first place. We don’t come to campus to get our education. We come because it is a part of our life. It is a necessary step in our education. It is the gateway to getting a college degree and success. Of course, it is not a perfect system, but online education is not one of the flaws. It has its flaws, of course, but none of them are as major as they want you to believe.

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