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8 Misconceptions about E-Learning

July 10, 2013

I recently read an interesting article about ‘Getting Students excited about an Online Education‘. Actually the title is somehow misleading, because the intention of the article is to unravel misconceptions about Online Learning. However, by doing so students might get exited about Online Education.

monitor-66618_640Image by Gerd Altmann, CCO via Pixabay

Below are the 8 misconception the article ‘Getting Students excited about an Online Education‘ discusses.

I studied about six years with the Open University UK and I know quite well about the existing prejudice against online education and online degrees. Therefore I want to add my personal experience to the article.

“Online degrees are looked down upon by potential employers, the rest of the education community and peers.”

It is true that not all Online degrees are equally valued by potential employers. Here in Germany Online Learning gains more and more recognition, mainly in the postgraduate studies, but the majority of students still visit a brick university. Hence Online Degrees still need to gain more credence. Of courses it requires great determination

“working all day and studying online all night”

but I would recommend to study with an accredited institutions that has a good reputation like the OU. That helps greatly to improve your chances to benefit from your degree.

“Since online education is cheaper, the quality of the information you receive will be cheapened.

Well, you can study here in Germany for free and studying with the OU was a costly experience. Yet, having participated in a couple of free cMOOCs I disagree with the statement that online education means automatically less quality of information.

“Online education is only good for basic degrees. Not bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorates.”

I achieved a BA in Health and a MA in Online and Distance Education, thus this misconception is not true.

“Online classes are fundamentally easier than brick and mortar classes, regardless of subject.”

I took both classes – online and face-to-face, but I cannot confirm that online classes are easier.  Probably easier in that regard that it facilitates timing, but as well harder, because studying online requires a lot more determination and motivation to get started. I often had the feeling that tutors marked more rigours, because  I studied online and I did not have the feeling that I received my degrees as a gift. Definitely not.

“Online degrees are often in irrelevant fields”

Sure, but that counts for a brick university as well.

“I will miss out on the interactivity of an actual classroom. I will be less engaged.”

Definitely not, it is overwhelming how much interactivity you experience in an online class. More than I experienced in a lot of face-to-face classes.

“There aren’t ‘real’ exams or in-class essays, meaning it’s easier to pass an online class with less effort”

I had to sit ‘real’ exams with partnering universities and the exams I could finish at home where pretty tricky as well. Besides that, students from brick universities can write their final papers also at home.

“I won’t get any interaction or support from faculty”

There are good and supportive educators and those that are less accommodative. That counts for online and face-to-face education. Being a teacher I know that a lot of students are often afraid to ask questions during lesson and find it a lot easier to ask questions online. I can support these students a lot better online, than in the classroom – of course only if I am willing to do so.

The way we learn changes and Online Education takes on an important role. The article helps to reduce existing misconceptions and get students excited about Online Learning.

browser-98386_640Image by OpenIcons, CCO via Pixabay

So when are you going to take your next Online Class or MOOC?

You can find a lot of suggestion im my series “MOOC around the World” . Part 4 will soon be published at MOOC News & Reviews with more Online Classes.

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One Comment
  1. I entirely agree with you. I’ve had similar experiences, both at delivering and receiving learning online. As a learner I had to be more committed, had to make my own constructs and found myself more readily interacting with my learner group. As a teacher I have found that my learners seem to have a different motivation from those who attend face-to-face. They are more willing to think and work independently. The coursework is of a higher standard and submitted to given deadlines. This does not always happen on classroom based courses. As for quality, as you say, it can be high or low, in either online or attended programmes, depending on the teacher and the structure of the programme.

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