What Is The Ratio Of Online Learning To Traditional Classroom

The demand for quality education is on the rise across the world. While we are all encouraged to learn new skills, the relevance of traditional learning has been greatly diminished by the online education industry.

What Is The Ratio Of Online Learning To Traditional Classroom

By Ira B. Grissom

The initial uproar over online education has passed. But, a new study reveals what some people think isn’t quite right.

Online education is not an education system where students use the internet to click through assignments and take tests in front of a computer or TV screen. It’s actually a systems problem, in which the delivery of content is complemented by quality teachers and curricula that aren’t done in digital classrooms on which instructors concentrate more of their time.

The University of Michigan’s Center for Excellence in Learning (CELL) is a first-of-its-kind think tank analyzing how digital media are changing the way students learn. They’ve invested more than two years assessing the impact of digital learning in group settings where students work together in large, open class size, and then evaluated those approaches through a case study. Their findings were published in the journal Learning & Instruction and recently released as a 14-minute video summary.

— Students watch educational videos while they stay home.

— Educators are in touch with students through online chat platforms so students can get feedback and guidance.

— Students ask the same questions over and over, and build their answer to the online test.

— Students use websites where they’re prepared for tests.

To better understand how these sites measure up against traditional classrooms, researchers filmed hundreds of students in a Boston-area classroom and were able to compare the results from each classroom’s digital and face-to-face experiences. Researchers found that, overall, students in digital learning environments have access to resources and are prepared for content from the classroom. But, they seem to lack motivation for doing things like sketching and writing, and putting up their artwork online for others to see. And, if they are the ones doing the actual work, their performance can vary widely.

Researchers also found significant learning differences between the physical and digital classrooms. Face-to-face instruction enhances learning. By watching instructional videos, students are able to see a different way of learning. Videos allow them to see their teachers’ faces and know the instructors are there. In this case, the teachers are not on stage but are located in the audience as they interact with the students.

It’s no surprise to learn that a group of high school students who were in a dedicated peer learning group that took challenges together did better than those who watched videos. Both groups needed to model behavior appropriate for the work they were doing. But in the group where students watched online videos, the group math problem designed to be made in only two minutes was more difficult than in the one that had a pen and paper.

One interesting aspect of the study was the comparison of students’ last-minute compositions before the test. Students’ physical classroom students were ready for the test the minute they entered the room. Their teachers were connected to them and their work was completed.

When test-takers in the digital space were asked to take the test quickly, it was found that they had trouble with the math problem and failed it. In the peer learning group, it was reported that the students were forced to work through problems to get the answers right, but that the creative aspects of the work were greater than the hurdles the test posed.

The virtual classroom allows people to work together anytime, anywhere. It requires a little more work for people who work best in groups and face-to-face. It’s expected that individuals will be more focused, creative and organized when they’re working with people and face-to-face rather than from their own homes.

Teachers don’t sit in front of a computer all day at a computer screen. In fact, they’re much more likely to have engaging discussions with their students in the next-door hall. They’re involved with the students, the learning and the classroom environment.

The new CELL video is intended to inform current thinking on how technologies can better enable student learning and education, and to stimulate innovative thinking on how to best utilize education technologies to create better experiences for students.

The video also is an attempt to point out the deficiencies that may exist in some people’s assumptions about online learning. Just because students can get instant answers when they watch a video, doesn’t mean they don’t need to pay attention to what’s being said or develop their own approaches to solve problems. More importantly, it means that whether they’re performing online or on-campus, students need to pay close attention to what is being said.

Ira B. Grissom is Director of the University of Michigan Center for Excellence in Learning and has published about students’ experiences in digital

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