Online Courses Provide Answers, but Can’t Replace Face-to-Face

July 18, 2013  |  Posted by in Sales Training
 

Technology has given students around the world an opportunity to take advantage of educational resources from wherever they are, whenever they want. But while eLearning programs are excellent options for students of all ages in some ways, they also have their shortcomings. Ultimately, feeling connected to fellow students and educators will always be important.

According to amNewYork, a more personal approach to eLearning is becoming increasingly important when it comes to online classes for college students. The source noted that recently, more online classes are being structured in a way that prioritizes interactivity, as feelings of isolation can prove to be disruptive to the remote education experience. Partially because of this lack of interaction, the news provider pointed out that massive open online courses (MOOCs) frequently have dropout rates of around 90 percent. By contrast, smaller eLearning programs that allow students and faculty to get to know each other tend to be more successful.

Personalization makes a difference
In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Francesca Burns, a teacher in New York City, explained that teachers are important for students because they may be able to help them get more out of their experience. An Instructor doesn't only dictate facts and figures: Part of his or her job is to get to know the individuals being taught, as this makes it easier to identity each student's needs. Burns asserted that the real expertise of any teacher is gauging a student's performance and developing strategies to help him or her succeed. However, Burns emphasized that when the interactivity of an online course is limited, so too is the ability for the teacher to intervene when a learner is struggling.

ELearning programs can be very helpful to students, no matter their age. It's a positive thing that technology has allowed people to get access to better educational materials, continue their learning beyond college, attend school from remote locations and more. But for individuals to get the most benefit from these arrangements, they must also receive individualized attention, which is more challenging through these online channels.

Face-time is still unmatched in its value to students in all demographics, so those interested in eLearning initiatives should seek out programs that focus on interactivity. By choosing options that strongly emphasize not only skill development but high levels of engagement, individuals can get the best education possible.

 
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