Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Online Fantasyland!

By Jeff Simpson

There are some universal truths that we should all be aware of.  1.  Voucher schools do NOT educate kids better than public schools.  2.  Some people make a tremendous amount of money trying to privatize public education.  and 3. Senator Ron Johnson is really really dumb!  

Now you can add another to the list.   The next universal truth is that you can get just as good of an education online as you can in the public schools.   Not so much!  Surprisingly, there are people still that do not understand this universal truth!

Recent studies have shown there is a significant gap between the completion rates of online students compared to classroom based students. When you consider that online learning is often promoted as a cost effective solution for at-risk learners who don’t have the financial resources for face-to-face instruction, it becomes clear that the online movement is offering a product that makes it easier to drop out to students who are already more prone to quitting in the first place.

Education is primarily driven by motivation, and online learning doesn’t do anything to address people’s motivational needs. In fact, the nature of online education strips away many of the components that keep students engaged and committed. Many of the factors that online education advocates claim are a benefit, such as time flexibility and the lack of classrooms, are actually a hindrance to learning. Studies have shown that a fixed structure and the sense of belonging that comes from a student body improve completion rates. Allowing students to study on their own removes these components of the support system resulting in lower rates of course completion.

So maybe the next bill, can be NO public money for online courses.

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