Online Education: Learning the Learners
A young girl enters high school with high expectations. Due to her high map scores, she is placed in mostly honors classes. She is told that a majority of her homework will be done online, but she should not have more than two hours of homework a night. She enters her earth science class, excited to meet her teacher and classmates, just to be sat in a computer lab with twenty-five other students. The class is on Edgenuity, an interactive virtual classroom with online teachers that read right off a script. The “teacher” in the computer lab does little more than telling the class to hush up, put their headphones in, and do their assignments. To the young girl's horror, both her pre-calculus and geometry classes are also Edgenuity courses. The physical teachers of both math courses act as more of a tutor than a teacher. They do not teach her, rather they correct her many mathematical errors before pointing her back to her online lectures. When the girl asks her academic advisor if she could take traditional math classes instead of online ones, her advisor tells her that all of the advanced math courses at the high school are mostly online so there is no sense in switching. With much reluctance, the girl agrees to stay in the online course. She stays up all night watching online lectures and taking detailed notes just to take ten questions. The girl knows she can easily find the answers to her quizzes online, but she wants to do it herself. She then moves on to the next unit, forgetting what she learned just moments before -the cycle continues. As the school year progresses her workload increases, and with it, her stress levels increase as well. She eventually masters the online program, memorizes all of the “relevant” information, and passes the courses. However, she cannot help but question the purpose. Unfortunately, the young girl’s situation is not unique. Many high schools are replacing traditional classrooms with online classes. High schools should not require students to take online classes because they do not accurately measure a student’s comprehension of the topic, encourage academic dishonesty, and are highly stressful.
High schools should not require students to take online classes because they do not accurately measure a student’s comprehension of the classes they take. The grading system of online classes is based primarily on the student’s assignments and exam scores. The scoring system is completely black and white, which does not allow students to receive any partial credit for things understood but not completely according to the grading system. This mostly applies to science and mathematics courses where one error can result in an inaccurate solution. The obvious problem here is the student receives minimal feedback on the mistakes they made, and are unable to learn from them. Another concern is most online courses allow students to take quizzes more than once. Students can...