Can online learning be as effective as classroom learning?

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Well balanced children in a connected world

Online learning is the future

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Online learning is definitely the future of education, oh wait they are the present too. They provide the structure of a school curriculum and proper exam grades with the flexibility and freedom of home education. Although there are many arguments against online learning too. We had a discussion and most of the people said poor social skills are the biggest problems of online education, although few disagree: You can read the entire discussion here.

Host and Co-Creator of Virtual Science University

An Example of Online Learning

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Here is one of my lectures that is posted online at www.virtualscienceuniversity.com on the Circulatory/Respiratory Systems. I would like feed back in regards to how this helps or hurts online learning. I also want comments in regards to the music on the video. Would you as a teacher use a song like this in classroom? Please be honest with your comments! When I use this lecture in the classroom, I challenge my students who are of the musical/rhythmic intellect from Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory, to create their own song using any genre they like. The common thread is that they have to stay within the content of the lecture and their lyrics must be addressing the three types of circulation, Pulmonary, Coronary, and Systemic. Doctor Carrasco wrote the lyrics in the morning and I put the music and wrote the chorus line thirty minutes before taping. We were not concerned about the song being of professional studio quality. It was recorded and performed live! Here is the link and thank you in advance and I look forward to your comments. http://www.virtualscienceuniversity.com/lesson-full.aspx You can also address your comments to contact@virtualscienceuniversity.com Thanks Again!

It is effective for sure but depends upon various factors!

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Online learning is not something whose success or lets say effectiveness is decided by just one factor. It hugely depends upon the technology and how it is used to make learning happen in an easy way. A big example is Online learning courses The technology they have provided to the teachers as well learners the ease of learning without facing a lot of hassels which most of us usually face when it comes to teaching or learning online i.e a platform to do so.

How can we improve virtual schools

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Virtual schools are growing and more children are deciding to enroll in distance learning every year. I think that there are some great benefits to online schools, such as the flexibility of work time, creating individual learning plans that reflect each child's learning style, etc. However, there are some concerns that are associated with online schools as well. Teachers are often not well trained in how to operate online classes specifically, there are not as many opportunities for social development, and there have been reports of high dropout rates for virtual schools. What we need to do is to address these concerns and do what we can to make improvements to online schools, because they are here and all students deserve to have the best educational experience possible. I have written a paper about this subject for one of my classes. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Egwh0NvxN_5uIPbByJ2PAhTB3ngaSXl3x74s...

My entire school career has

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My entire school career has had me in the traditional classroom setting. I am now working on my Master's and the entire program is online based. I feel that the virtual classroom is just as effective as the traditional classroom. In the traditional classroom setting students can sit in the back and never contribute to discussions and still get an "A". In the virtual classroom you can't blend in, discussions are mandatory. I have found that the online courses are more demanding. The courses require me to be self-driven and therefore I am more critical of myself and my work.

As a working parent it also allows me to be more flexible and not have to be tied down to a schedule. The online program that I am enrolled in has accelerated courses that can be completed in 8 weeks, while still allowing me to work and run a household. Traditional classroom accelerated courses run for 5 weeks, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. If it weren't for online courses, at this point in my life, going for my Master's would not be an option for me.

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My entire school career has had me in the traditional classroom setting. I am now working on my Master's and the entire program is online based. I feel that the virtual classroom is just as effective as the traditional classroom. In the traditional classroom setting students can sit in the back and never contribute to discussions and still get an "A". In the virtual classroom you can't blend in, discussions are mandatory. I have found that the online courses are more demanding. The courses require me to be self-driven and therefore I am more critical of myself and my work.

As a working parent it also allows me to be more flexible and not have to be tied down to a schedule. The online program that I am enrolled in has accelerated courses that can be completed in 8 weeks, while still allowing me to work and run a household. Traditional classroom accelerated courses run for 5 weeks, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. If it weren't for online courses, at this point in my life, going for my Master's would not be an option for me.

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There should be use of online resources, but students should be encouraged to take an online class only if it works well with their learning style.

On-Line Learning

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With any education program, the key factor that determines whether or not it will be successful is not so much the technology that is used but the instructional design. A well designed on-line course provides opportunities for student interaction through discussion groups with pre-determined discussion questions, group assignments, team competitions, etc. Also, the support structures need to be in place for students - for example, explicit timelines for completing a certain segment of the course or instructor monitoring of/participation in discussion groups to ensure that the participants are having worthwhile discussions about the particular topic and that all participants are taking part. These allows for early intervention before a student gets lost.

I love online learning!

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Being that I work for an online educational company called Thinkwell, I am a bit biased towards online learning. However, I have been watching our videos in order to blog about them and have learned more math in the past few months than I have in years!

I agree that a good deal of the effectiveness depends on the motivation of the student. However, if you develop the classes well, they should be enough of an incentive. As an example, our math instructor is so funny and entertaining that I find his lectures interesting and look forward to watching them. This is how education is supposed to be: the teacher is so good you anticipate learning from them. The beauty of online education is the teachers that are that good can teach a much wider audience and share the love of learning. This also frees students to choose a teacher. As our product is often shown in schools, we get comments like "Why can't that instructor be my professor?". With online learning that is an actual possibility.

For me, I love the fact that you can do most classes at your own pace. As someone who was often bored in school, the ability to control how quickly you get through the curriculum is very attractive. I have seen several of our students who plowed through classes that others took months to complete.

Of course, most of our students are homeschooled and their parents are a big part of the motivation to complete courses. However, a good online school should have a good way to organize classes so it is easy for parents to keep track of student progress. We do.

Some of the above.

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Online learning can eb as effective as classroom learning depending on how the design of the online instruction (and the design of the classroom learning.) We are all just beginning to learn how to make online learning most effective. Some people still struggle making classroom learning as effectivel as possible, but we have had longer to develop strategies and norms for classroom learning.

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