Is online learning legitimate? Perception vs. facts

A recent US study revealed that almost 71 % of academic leaders see online learning as a crucial part of their long-term strategy.

Yet only 28% of the faculty value online learning and find it a legitimate educational model (http://tiny.cc/6equtx). I would not be surprised if our Canadian numbers stacked up similarly.

Sadly, as is so often the case, perception rules, regardless of the fact that study after study shows that there is little or no difference in learning outcomes between the varying delivery models.

This was confirmed by a recent meta study that showed that students who participate in online or hybrid courses performed the same or only marginally worse than students in face-to-face classes.

The study’s independent researcher acknowledged that more robust research is required in this area, in particular examining the differences in cost between the various delivery models, their impact on outcomes, and graduation and retention rates.

For now, we Instructional Designer need to be aware that the dominant context for online learning among our f2f teaching peers is that online learning is but the ugly stepsister to the traditional classroom-based model of teaching and learning.

This brings up the question: Who do we have to be to still be effective within this context?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *