— Now there are lots of online education programs for dropout students and young adults in tough academic or economic situations. Riveting dialogue takes you behind the scenes of major universities on all sides of the debate.
Why Online Learning Is Good
Never in the history of higher education has there been a more exciting time. There is always a lot of activity, excitement, and excitement in the educational space. Over the last decade, some of the most exciting developments in our rapidly changing world have been in the fields of STEM and business. With the emergence of virtual reality, more immersive and inexpensive digital content, peer-to-peer learning, and the capability to track and build skills through education platforms, there is a real possibility that the best learning is more efficient and accessible. Instead of taking time away from your job to go to class, or work full-time toward graduating from college, and spending a lot of money on books, the learning can be completed on-the-go.
It used to be that students must take classes, which were taken online or by distance learning, or attended a campus setting with less formal learning. Physical classrooms were limited in both their size and scale, and the class work was large, requiring the student to be in the room. Students would navigate traditional learning and balance work and class during their commute. However, with distance learning, students are free to take these classes, and conveniently perform their work while working, on the weekends, while resting or at home. Their learning load is typically low, since this kind of work or study happens anywhere. This is what we are seeing today.
Now, many professors are starting to recognize and support the changing nature of the educational process, and believe that these technologies allow them to more effectively teach their students, through a blend of content, research, and simulation. However, not all professors agree that this is beneficial. According to an article from The Atlantic, some professors suggest that students taking MOOCs, are not properly prepared for real-world work. The article discusses how young adults are entering the workforce with inadequate skills due to learning through traditional high schools and college.
An article from The New York Times reveals that one professor is warning his students about how misleading many MOOCs are. In this case, the professor actually gave his students the course material, but insisted on actual work sessions, and drilled down into actually studying the material and actual problem solving skills. Some people feel strongly that students and their teachers should not use these platforms, as they are not adequately prepared for the real world. Others are against these cuts, and argue that students are not properly prepared due to a lack of job skills.
The double standard that instructors are making by declining the chance to use the technologies, and start using lecturing courses could possibly be due to the fact that their primary interest is in teaching the students, and preparing them for the real world. However, this idea is mostly speculative. All I know is that through the investigation process for research on several topics, I personally have encountered universities that have embraced peer-to-peer learning, and are moving towards live lectures and virtual learning, and even I think this could have a major affect on many universities.
As the traditional education model evolves, why not expand the options offered to the students? It’s no secret that the outcome in the traditional higher education model is inferior. There are many reasons to make these modes of learning available, but one is safety. I understand, as a college student, why the traditional university makes a student feel unsafe, unneeded, and unwelcome on campus. However, technology changes everything. There is a positive correlation between college students who use MOOCs and high percentages of them who commit to a degree.
If the effects of this shift in the education model are so positive, why aren’t universities embracing it and fully embracing the potential of these learning platforms?