Study: Students want more online learning
See the referenced article at: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/?i=59508
Here is a report on a recent study whose findings while bewilderingly devoid of new insight do help in re-affirming a stock set of truisms that have come to be associated with online learning and its inevitable relevance to the current generation of K-12 students.
Students in schools, for some time now, have faced an increasing paucity of course offerings, growing mediocrity of classroom instruction, steady erosion of teacher credentials and credibility, and increasingly complex social dynamics in a traditional school environment. All these factors, individually and cumulatively, have started to tell on a student’s long-term academic prospects and potential. It is therefore inevitable that online learning should find relevance and footprint in a student’s life.
As far as this study is concerned, here are the salient findings that have been explicitly declared:
- Most students are interested in taking online courses, and want to turn to online courses to get access to more courses, learn at their own pace, and enjoy a more relaxed learning experience without the physical presence of a teacher and peers, but very few can do so through their school because not enough courses are offered by schools.
- Most schools currently offer online courses primarily for their teachers and not for their students.
- Most teachers are not interested in teaching students online in spite of the flexibility of online teaching in terms of time/space, and students showing an increasing interest in learning online.
- School administrators plead lack of funding for teaching training and lack of expertise for creating online courses.
Far from being in the ‘who would have thunk‘ category, this laundry list of prosaic findings almost places it in the ‘duh, you needed another study to confirm this?‘ category. The parting pearl of vapid wisdom issued by the technology resource specialist – “Don’t even try online learning if you don’t have the infrastructure, support, and training in place” - is probably an apt footnote to a lamentably pedestrian report.
The lackluster findings of the report notwithstanding, we encourage parents to reach out for online learning options for their children with vigor and conviction. The effectiveness of this medium for several subjects and themes is now a matter of record. SmartBean has offered commentary on some outstanding online offerings in past editorials. The following SmartBean features may be of interest in this regard: