Researchers recently asked what did users at University Healthsystem The University of California, San Diego get out of an Elearning course? Today we want to know what resulted.
Which Category Of Elearning Involves Learning Theory Online And Going To Class To Apply Theory?
Internet Elearning is changing how we approach education and teach. Early learners and those with mobility challenges are the ones who are most influenced by the online learning format.
Vic Bucki is one of these early learners. A professor of applied mathematics at Johnson & Wales, Bucki said he started using web-based courses in college and has been using online courses for his graduate students as a way to expand their learning and diversity in the classroom. This year alone, he taught 53 self-directed CS courses on his own website. He hosts discussions on his site with students who have completed a class and comments on their next projects and assignments.
Bucki said his students do great work online, but a lot of times he will adapt his teaching strategies to help students learn as efficiently as possible, for example encouraging easier, natural learning, or taking quizzes during the end of class to motivate students to talk about their work.
“The hardest thing for me to teach online is the lecture,” Bucki said. “When I am teaching my undergraduates, they are from all over the country and world and there are not a lot of connections.”
But when it comes to his classes for postdoctoral students, Bucki frequently adapts his course format to students. “They will email me questions from their mobile phones, which are our only form of communication on campus,” he said. “When I have research faculty I use a lot of flashcards and abbreviations to get through the material.”
Undergraduates, for example, have emailed Bucki asking him to switch their material from math to text analysis and math research. He has given his students options like revisiting online study halls or getting their class discussion thread of questions to solve instead of reading study guides. While he won’t give up on his traditional courses just yet, he plans to offer more of them online and has also made Red River Online, where he teaches graduate students, one of the educational brands he is using to open up his online platform to other K-12 and higher education students looking for their math classes.
Though it is a much more challenging shift, some education experts believe their assessment of online learning may be flawed by focusing too much on the “online” part of the term.
Noah Harpaz, author of The Stages of Self-Directed Learning: The Importance of Alternative Approaches, pointed out that textbooks are often confused with Elearning, especially when online learning courses use e-learning to take their course more out of the classroom and more into the world outside of their courses.
“The educational system and the teacher evaluators are so preoccupied with metrics that they tend to focus on elearning’s online elements without even realizing it,” Harpaz said. “Very often, assessments of online self-directed learners are set up in exactly the same way that online exams are set up,” which frames the learning process in online learning as about the online structure and interactivity instead of the content of the course.
Harpaz said that “the more that education tries to push content classes online, the more they also attempt to squeeze out the process of teaching.
“Why should we care about the higher education’s evaluation of online classes? Because it can cause confusion between online and traditional classrooms, and when education people are confused, then they offer skewed advice to students,” he said. “We could waste a lot of time working on providing more evaluation data when what is really needed is deeper and more meaningful evaluation of teaching.”
The online learning landscape is quickly evolving, and this new wave of education in how students learn is only likely to further shape the coming wave of institutions that offer online learning. Will these challenges also prompt change in the way that schools evaluate Elearning and how students learn the skills they need to succeed in the classroom?
Joni Ross, writing for Parchment Blog said, “I suspect the next wave of K-12 research will increasingly value education as an experience, rather than merely a set of tasks or competencies.”
“Instructional practices which seem to make online learners worse are more likely to produce poorer results than teaching students more creatively and thoughtfully in combination with online tools,” he said. “We may find that we’re better off giving our students choice between Elearning and traditional learning, and providing them with options both to help them to adjust to their new situations successfully and to focus on learning more effectively.”