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What Is Not A Direct Benefit To Learners From Organisations Using Online Learning
On the set of online learning in the news this week we noticed that a recent study was released by LexisNexis learning data. The research shows that grades do not correlate strongly to most third-grade students who attend online programs, though the type of program was associated with a drop in the math skills students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds would already be at a disadvantage.
Some variation was also seen among older students. The study showed that computer learning programs would positively impact students’ assessment in Spanish and a decline in testing was noted in the subject maths. The problem the study’s authors point out is that unlike tests for reading and arithmetic, which are generally administered in person and taken with students at their schools, learners are not constrained by their physical surroundings and location is not yet determined for most online learning.
But, if this study is indicative of how online learning is spreading and gaining popularity in some areas, students’ grades should improve in that learning context. Some of the students in the study were attending an online schooling program in which there were multiple student editors at the end of the semester or an online learning program where students could take home a DVD to edit into a test; there was even one program that offered students at least one online lesson every weekday and another where a smartphone could be used for students to upload video lecture outlines. At the end of the semester all the subjects who had achieved at least a pass grade in test questions were able to apply for the state test. This suggests that scores probably dropped, but I strongly disagree that children didn’t learn anything.
However, perhaps the issue with the LexisNexis study is not the quality of the online learning, but rather that learning in this structure might just be misunderstood.
Because there are a great many quality free open-source online learning resources that cater to all levels of learners, there is an opportunity for people to focus on free programs. These include Codecademy, Learnjed, LearnABLE, Coursera, Brazen Careerist, Udemy, Udemy Parent, Ideafly, Wikisfy, etc. All of these programs are documented and fully searchable, so you can find out how they work and which topic are most meaningful to you.
There are loads of different formats, such as video, audio, and interactive role-playing games. All of the different formats of learning should theoretically work to address your knowledge or skill, but in some cases even if you play a multiple choice quiz, you may still come away with a “C” because the material is not so easy. It is possible that some of the materials available online are not really suitable for classroom learning and therefore may be better used by someone more knowledgeable, but that’s for parents to decide!
Further, the report states that 75 percent of non-verbal IQ scores of fourth-graders fall at or below the achievement level of 70 or higher in a demonstration of stress, dysgraphia, and other factors. If students aren’t able to catch up academically in their third-grade years and are struggling with math, these additional issues may affect their ability to progress in the future.
The report talks about all the extra benefits that an online learning program would provide for non-verbal learning, including the fact that it would reduce commute times, physical activity, time with parents, have opportunities for exercise, and better social opportunities. While those benefits are certainly encouraging for students who don’t get out much and enjoy this additional type of learning, the benefits of a learning program that is not only able to increase student achievement, but also a learning environment that is enhanced by non-verbal learning, can help the learning process.