Where Online Learning Goes Next,” By Leah Belsky

Most students associate courses offered through traditional colleges and universities with learning in the classroom or complete in-person. But where’s the path forward in today’s evolving higher education?

In today’s marketplace of education, it’s no surprise that increasing numbers of students are choosing to learn online. The notion of getting an education that way, in an environment that feels free of distractions and aligns closely with a student’s personal passions, is appealing.

But it can also pose a unique set of challenges for a teacher. Through part of her career at Hofstra University, Leah Belsky conducted a study that revealed what happens when blended learning gets a second glance.

How Does Online Learning Play Out In a Classroom?

College instructors, even those who teach online, are most familiar with the traditional setting, and thus experience increased anxiety and pressure when teaching to a classroom of a first-time online student. In a traditional classroom, there is only one student, and the instructor might be required to deliver a large volume of content or deliver to a large group of eyes. Yet online learning gives faculty a great deal of freedom. They can increase their engagement with students and use all the methods necessary to help students engage and remain informed.

What is important is that the instructor and student have a flexible learning environment to help them retain and practice the skills required to succeed in the workforce.

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