Online Learning Misconception #2 – Online learning is less engaging than onsite.

Learners are able to participate in asynchronous discussions throughout each course week with online instructors guiding these discussions frequently during that time.

Online discussions provide a path for every learner’s voice to be heard, as typical barriers to face-to-face communication are not present. Group assignments are often part of online courses, and although participants may not physically meet to collaborate, they use advanced technology to virtually meet “face to face” online.

No cost audio/video calls, live screen-sharing of documents and files and social interaction are all available. ETextbooks featuring adaptive learning technology customize their content based upon the student’s knowledge by using short assessments. This keeps those who are ahead of the class engaged while those who need more time can focus on the module learning objectives.

Online Learning Misconception #3 – Students learn more when taking onsite classes.

Online classes contain the same learning objectives and outcomes requirements as onsite classes. The content delivery mode, not the academic content, is where the two differ.

Students can learn when they are best able to during the week. With 24-7 accessibility, online learners do not miss material when they do not make it to class on time.  Learners are able to replay course materials and reread resources that are provided. They are able to enter notes online, often right on the resources, which offers learners one location for all study materials for each class.

Advanced techniques such as the use of Quality Matters, specifically designed for Online courses, ensure that the course materials are aligned with the module and course learning objectives, avoiding the issue of “wandering professors” who often go “off topic” in the traditional onsite classroom. When properly designed, Online courses are a very effective and efficient learning modality.

About the Author:

Joseph Scuralli, DPS, dean, Online, Berkeley College.

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