When distance learning was first introduced, it was met with a lot of negative feedback. Many did not understand the value of education taught so differently from traditional learning within confines of a classroom. However, that did not stop distance learning from successfully becoming a large part of today’s educational sector.
Today’s online learning is not what it was when it was first introduced. Let’s see what is fact or fiction when it comes to learning via the Internet.
- Distance Learning is a New Concept
False! Distance learning has actually been around for hundreds of years. Contrary to popular belief, the birth of the Internet did not spawn the concept of distance learning.
The Internet has, however, improved the concept tremendously. Before online learning, distance learning was often a one-way street, taught via radio, television, and the telephone. Students could not always communicate with professors; when they could, they were not able to communicate with their peers.
However, according to Forbes, “Online learning is moving beyond this primitive, one-to-many broadcast model to become a social, collaborative, personalized and interactive experience” (Shockley). The introduction of the Internet did not lead to the invention of distance learning, but it revolutionized distance learning; now, students can experience an interactive, virtual classroom.
- It’s Hard to Use an Online Classroom
Unfortunately, this false notion drives away potential online learners constantly. Although some students might struggle with technology, online learning has developed more user-friendly tools, enabling a greater number of students to utilize this option of learning! A number of schools, including FNU, utilize Blackboard for their virtual classroom settings. Blackboard is easy to use, and there are several tutorials for anyone struggling with the technology!
- Deadlines Are Up to the Student
Online students must be careful about thinking they are in control of their due dates and schedules. Yes, online learning offers a greater amount of flexibility, but as with any class, students are still expected to be responsible adults. Those who turn assignments in on time are just fine!
- Students Don’t Take Online Classes Seriously
It’s true that everything is what you make of it. Of course, it is true that there are a number of students who fail to regard online learning as a serious educational experience. Then again, that is their loss: these students waste their finances, time, and a few points on their overall grade point average.
We highly recommend taking each online class at face value for what it truly is: an upper level educational setting in which a professor imparts his or her knowledge to students via assigned reading, tests, research papers, projects, and other tasks. Just because other students fail to take their classes seriously does not mean we want our students to follow in their footsteps!
- Online Classes are Easy
Keep in mind that online classes are the exact same thing as traditional ones. In an accredited institution, professional professors are going to be teaching the class, and they will expect university-level quality, regardless of whether or not they have met students face to face. In layman’s terms, online courses are equally as challenging as a traditional college level course.
- Online Programs are a Scam
Please do not be fooled into believing this! This type of thinking is somewhat understandable, considering that diploma mills currently exist, but that does not make it acceptable to classify each and every online institution into this category.
When choosing an online program, it is absolutely important to verify the school’s accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education suggests not only checking for a school’s accreditation, but also verifying the source of accreditation!
- Online Courses Don’t Prepare Students for the Real World
At Florida National University, we have a number of professors who are active in their field of work. That means that they understand what it takes to gain and maintain a career in your chosen field of study. Make connections with professors who are professionals in the field, and learn from their first-hand experience regarding career paths!
- Online Programs Lower the Need for Staff
This thinking is based on the idea that virtual classrooms do not need professors. On the contrary, virtual classrooms still need professors to assign tasks, facilitate group discussions, and to distribute examinations. This of it this way: schools might find themselves facing just the opposite. Universities cannot force professors to take on online classes on top of their traditional seminars and lectures. Therefore, some college might find use of new professors to offer any number of online courses, in order to optimize students’ learning experience and possibilities.
FNU: Fueling New Forms of Education
Don’t be fooled by these online education myths! If you are interested in learning online or in a traditional classroom, consider earning your certification, associates, baccalaureate, or master’s degree with Florida National University (FNU). Apply today!
Shockley, Brett. “The Case For Online Education.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 30 July 2012. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.