How effective is online learning?

A good online course prioritizes exploiting the real world, hot events, specific situations to stir up discussion, learners’ emotions.

Around the world, the media is paying attention to the online learning revolution. Hundreds of millions of students from kindergarten through college are participating in virtual classrooms. In the US alone, this number is more than 70 million. The World Economic Forum sees this fact as a bit of light in the gloomy Covid-19 cloud, when the epidemic has become the catalyst that has changed the way education has been taught for decades.

No one questioned whether virtual classroom discussions could mimic the way classroom discussions still take place. Around the world, a number of virtual classrooms have productive moments of learning with intense student focus and discussion. Yaffa Segal, a student at New Rochelle High School, told the New York Times: “Conversations were explosive. Different opinions were constantly being raised. I enjoyed the opportunity to debate and challenge opinions. of other friends, isolated, then exchanged again”.

However, many students and their families say they are experiencing great disappointment. Many virtual classrooms have students recording them sitting at their desks and then playing that video as a virtual background for subsequent classes. In addition, there are distractions, such as pets, family members, students studying while still in bed, worse than hackers can attack the chat room.

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What millions of students around the world are experiencing on conferencing platforms is not online learning, but distance learning, said Susan Grajek, a member of Educause, an association of educational technologists. differentiate distance learning from online learning.

“Remote learning is a quick, contingency strategy that is different from well-thought-out and sustainable online learning,” she said.

Nathan Ecelbarger, founder and CEO of Freedom Learning Group (FLG), a leading instructional design services company, describes a well-designed online course that includes the following elements:

– Prioritize engagement by tapping into the real world, hot events, and recent specifics to spark discussion and emotion in learners, and combine interactivity and the ability to measure results right away instantly;

– Organize and navigate learning easily, eliminating unnecessary steps and clicks;

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– Evaluate learning outcomes by encouraging research and thinking, rather than memorization;

Always answer questions from the student’s perspective, by building a learning experience that is intentional and straight to the point.

A few online courses follow these exacting standards. However, most classes are currently self-run, mainly for the convenience of students, instructors and organizers. It is the result of asynchronous learning, which attempts to mimic the three-step model of the conventional classroom: lessons, discussions, and assignments.

In fact, lectures either in writing or video, discussion through forums, remote assignments will be much limited in terms of online learning, especially because some of these factors are difficult to implement on the internet. phones or other technology devices.

Asynchronous online courses will also lead to low completion rates. This is mainly because it is not possible to control the student’s concentration and behavior in such an environment. No matter how well designed, at any time during such a course, students have the choice to open a new app or browser or put down their phone.

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Experts say that it is necessary to combine distance learning with important elements of true online learning, it will improve the results greatly compared to the current state of learning conducted via the internet. Fully online learning can be recognized in the continuing education program, with classes held daily, weekly.

In Vietnam, Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nam – founder of the online training unit FUNiX said that implementing effective online education should promote students’ self-study under the supervision and management of teachers. you, the school. At FUNiX, students learn completely online with an active way of learning: self-managing their study time, choosing their own orientation and actively connecting a team of mentors when they need knowledge support.

Nam also said that leaving school because of the Covid-19 epidemic is an opportunity for schools to switch to online activities and build the habit of self-studying via the internet for students. All tool systems are available, free or low cost. FUNiX’s team of experts is ready to assist schools in implementing online teaching methods, he shared.

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