5 biggest myths about online learning

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5 false beliefs about online learning

Myth 1: Online learning is impersonal

It is true that you don’t see your teacher and classmates face to face in an online class. But you can connect and be friendly in many ways.

An online class is not impersonal because:

  • You can talk to your instructor and classmates through instant messaging, forums, email, Yahoo groups or by Skype or FaceTime.
  • Forums allow you to discuss beyond class hours. You can post anytime.
  • Online students speak and share in an online class freely. Everyone is given a chance to speak and participate.

Myth 2: You have to be tech-savvy

You don’t have to be an expert to learn online. Students get assistance and support.

For example:

  • Instructions are given before you start any class. Read your welcome email. Listen to your teacher’s instructions or watch video tutorials.
  • Look for the “help” section and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).
  • Ask your instructor for help anytime. Send an email, join the forum or Skype.

Learn and get used to technology as you go along. You become an expert with continued use.

Myth 3: You’re on your own

You need to be self-directed but you’re not alone. Your instructor is there for help and feedback. Online students also work together. Massive Open Online Courses allow you to connect, work and make friends with other students all over the world.

Myth 4: Group work is impossible

There are a number of software and apps that let you work in groups.

There are:

  • virtual breakout rooms for group projects
  • groups can even share a whiteboard, texting, audio and video equipment
  • share ideas via email, forums, Facebook and Yahoo groups (or Google Hangouts or Edmodo) or Skype and Facetime.
  • get and share resources using Twitter

Myth 5: Online learning is low quality

Experts specialize in designing online courses. Schools such as Yale, Oxford, Harvard and Berkeley offer online degrees and video courses (Academic Earth/Coursera). Even employers recognize online degrees and credits. They are in the same level as campus education.

Try learning online and experience it for yourself. You may discover that it is for you.
Sources: 10 biggest myths about synchronous online teaching, Roseanna DeMaria and Ted Bongiovanni, Educause Review; Where to get the best free education online by Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker.

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