As the internet has become a bigger and bigger part of all walks of life, online education is on the rise in a huge way. The potential advantages of online classes are numerous, from convenience to cost to overall time flexibility.
While these benefits can be very real in many situations, though, excitement over the new big thing in the learning industry has masked a few similarly real downsides to the online classroom. The format doesn’t work for everyone, and many areas of proficiency are actually being damaged for many age groups.
At City Academy, we provide a classroom learning setting that allows for monitoring through our Canvas LMS system. What are some of the potential downsides of online learning, and how does an in-person classroom solve some of these issues?
Authority and Quality
While it would be virtually impossible for a charter school like City Academy to form and attract students without proper licensing and accreditation, this sort of thing is much easier in the online realm. It’s tougher for many people, parents included, to tell if they’re being duped by the legitimacy of a website.
As a result, many people waste huge amounts of their time before discovering that the “education” they or their children have been receiving is virtually worthless because the site they got it from isn’t accredited. It’s much easier to confirm the legitimacy of an in-person classroom program.
Online classes may be more flexible for scheduling in some situations, but they often make up for this and then some by assigning much more reading and overall work than a typical classroom. This often takes the place of the sort of organic learning that goes on in a class with multiple voices and viewpoints.
The goal of education isn’t simply to cram as much raw information as possible down students’ throats. A classroom setting is much more conducive to appropriate workloads that actually promote good learning habits.
Self-Direction Not For Everyone
Online courses require a great deal of self-direction and discipline, and this isn’t necessarily for everyone in the learning process. Many people prefer more hands-on direction, and appreciate having a more accessible authority figure ready to answer questions.
Down the same lines, there’s real evidence that the learning process is impacted positively by personal interactions and the ability to bounce ideas and concepts around a room. This entire process is lost during online courses, where the closest thing is impersonal message boards that often become snarky or non-responsive within a few weeks.
Whether it’s an informed and friendly teacher or classmates to use as sounding boards, the classroom experience brings an element that online courses simply can’t replicate.
Want to know more? City Academy offers top middle school and high school charter programs tuition-free in Salt Lake City, and our staff is standing by to help you with every little detail.