Busting the myths about online learning

Busting the myths of online learning

Misconception tends to follow the new and unfamiliar. So, it’s no surprise that numerous misconceptions about how online learning abound. Many people believe in these misconceptions primarily because they have little to no experience with online learning. On the other hand, experienced online learners understand the truths of virtual school, because they have been through the process and seen how it works. Some of the biggest myths of I’ve heard about online learning are: online courses are easier than face-to-face courses, online classes don’t include interaction with other students, and online classes don’t count towards college. Experiences in online learning would quickly bust these myths.

By far the most common misconception of online school is that it is much easier than traditional classes. This is just outright wrong. Teachers that facilitate online classes hold students to the same work and quality standards that students are held to in a traditional classroom. Sometimes online classes can be even more demanding than traditional schooling. Students are primarily responsible for finding their own motivation, or at least reaching out to their teachers for help in finding it, because students are interacting with teachers virtually and it is more difficult for teachers to pick up on body language that may represent a lack of motivation. I think a factor that contributes to these misconceptions is the extra free time online students might appear to have. Someone may conclude that the education of a student who has more free time is subpar to the student who works longer hours. However, the real reason that online students have more free time is not because they are learning less. Rather, it is because the structure of online learning can be more efficient than the traditional structure: students are able to move at their own pace and as a result, if they work faster they can have more free time.

Another misconception of learning online is that interactions with other students are minimal if at all. Many think that a downside of online learning is that there will be no education based on teamwork built into the program. To the contrary, many online classes have multiple group projects that students are required to complete. With the continuous advancements in technology, there are more and more ways that students are able to work in groups virtually. One of the biggest ways currently is through Zoom. With Zoom, students and teachers can meet through a video call. This allows them to get a classroom type of feel without having to actually be in the classroom. VTVLC allows students numerous opportunities to interact and learn with peers.

Another big misconception I have encountered is that online courses don’t count towards college. Although students must check with their institution to make sure that their classes will transfer, most universities will allow the transferring of online classes just as they might with traditional, face-to-face classes. Through VTVLC, students work with Vermont licensed educators who are currently employed at a Vermont school. As a result of this, VTVLC courses are viewed just like traditional courses and students are awarded transfer credits upon completion.  

There are many misconceptions about online learning. It is important that people do research and experience online classrooms before buying into, and spreading, these myths. There are numerous benefits of online learning and, if you are willing to look past some of these misconceptions, you may find that many of these benefits will fit perfectly into your life.

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