Common Misconceptions about Online Learning
When thinking of the word, “learning,” most people tend to visualize the image of a traditional classroom with a prim and proper teacher standing in front of a blackboard holding a book in his or her hand. Unfortunately, the same image doesn’t seem to come to mind when we add the word, “online” in front of it. For people who might be considering online learning, but are somewhat hesitant about diving in, some of the items below may help clear up a few common misconceptions for those who have never experienced an online learning environment.
“Online Classes are easier and are of much lower quality”
This could not be further from the truth. Much like its traditional counterpart, quality of both the classes and educational programs can vary from one institution to the next. Much of the curriculum and materials used in online learning requires that teachers communicate it differently than in a physical classroom. Since communication is inherently different, teachers are forced to consider more effective methods of engagement with their online materials.
Additionally, many online programs have strict standards and can be quite demanding when it comes to completing required coursework. Although students have more flexibility in regards to both when and where they can do their assignments, they are still required to meet the instructor’s deadlines. In some regards, online learning requires more discipline since learners have to schedule and self-monitor their own daily learning routine.
“It’s difficult to communicate with my teacher and classmates”
Although verbal communication is largely limited to chat rooms and online conference sessions, online classes have more options for communication by comparison to traditional classes.   Students can collaborate with one another, request help and clarification, or receive feedback via online classroom forums, emails, and dedicated classroom instant messaging apps. In fact, students can more effectively communicate their ideas during virtual class meetings by using different online tools.
For example, in E-Lingo’s virtual classroom, the instructor can transfer control of the classroom tools to any individual student so that they can share any media with their classmates and better communicate their thoughts. Additionally, students can type questions without interrupting the teacher’s lecture; something that would be very difficult to do in a traditional lecture class of 300 students.
Although there are many misconceptions to online learning, the best way to clear these up is to experience an online class for yourself. Like in most things, experience tends to be the best teacher.