Why Online Learning Disadvantages The people behind a new report say that internet and online education is starting to favor advantaged, usually overqualified, students at the expense of poor students at the expense of people in poverty. Their argument against “the mediocre” being in control?
Why Is Online Learning Disadvantages
People who are willing to put in the time and energy in order to earn a degree at a traditional university are a lucky bunch, and they’re now facing a growing double whammy: not only are the cost of education rising, but the nature of learning is changing in a negative way. Online education offers a fun way to succeed, if all you really want to do is turn out short, superficial certificates.
Traditional university enrollment has declined since the early 2000s, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Meanwhile, more and more people are taking online learning courses to satisfy their skills and certification needs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 3.1 million Americans enrolled in postsecondary school last year, 2.4 million of whom were in some kind of online course. What most people don’t know is that online course completions vary widely.
In high school, 89 percent of students earn at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale by graduation, but only 38 percent complete college-level online coursework. The vast majority of students who begin online courses initially enroll because of the ease of learning without direct interaction with a professor, such as via video lecture or a test or reading coursework. Students typically have a complete change of heart once they begin taking actual courses, and their disconnection causes a mess for employers.
When students first begin online courses, they expect that they will be able to take them with little to no testing or tutoring, because the class is delivered online. Students usually buy a course folder or prepare themselves through an online course management system (CSMS). Not only is this unwieldy, but students are often frustrated with the lack of interaction with instructors and fellow students, since there is no real-time conversation.
When students end their online course participation, most go back to enrolling in the in-person classes they had started. They find that once again, the professor is involved in the class, so they go back to trying it again. If they move on after completing one online course, students often do not start all over again. The changes to the CSMS are often drastic: readings may be revised to eliminate introductory notes or changes made to the course materials, which should change when the student participates in the online version. You wouldn’t take an algebra test multiple times to see if you need to change your answers, so why would you take an online class multiple times in order to get the right answer?
When they go back to the in-person classes, students often struggle with the expectations they have about the professor and the course. College has long struggled with the positive, negative or even totally absent feedback; the great thing about online courses is that there is little to no communication between the professor and the student. Now, students expect to get clear feedback, but online grading systems make that almost impossible. College students expect, for example, to receive 30 questions per class, but in any given class, only the ten questions that are most relevant to the course will be asked. That means that asking one of the 30 questions may provide an extra 20 percent of feedback, but asking five answers would provide more than double that much feedback, as each question will be answered incorrectly only half of the time. Any feedback necessary to complete the class would come from the faculty member themselves, which could be impossible because these instructors are not equipped to respond to every question asked during class and they feel people tend to ask too many questions in the classroom.
With all this, one can understand why so many college students don’t complete their online courses. However, that doesn’t mean that online education works. The motivation to complete an online course is purely extrinsic: the desire to be successful and get a particular skill certification. Once online courses are finished, students often wonder why they didn’t finish the course; they want to earn a certificate. And once a certificate is earned, they don’t want to go back to taking classes that won’t get them a job, where they are constantly in competition with others who are doing the same thing. That leads students to enroll in more online courses and then as an incentive to keep taking online courses, they then begin to take additional classes.
College-level online courses shouldn’t be confused with certificate programs that can be taken without any form of direct interaction with faculty. These programs generally require a GPA of 3.0 and a certain level of experience or knowledge. If you take these online courses with the goal of earning college-level credits and don’t get a high GPA, you need to take the same online courses again in order to get a higher grade. The difference between these programs and higher-level courses in college is that the certificates they produce aren’t worth as much as the credentials you acquire for