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Why Remote Learning (Not Online Learning) May Not Work in the Long Run

When the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Covid-19 as a pandemic, schools immediately shut their doors. Courses were moved online. There were also discussions of scrapping the semester altogether. But alas, the spring semester is over, and here comes September looming nearer. Students scraped by to finish last semester, but many of them said that remote learning isn’t working for them anymore.

Remote learning is different from online learning. If you want to become a repossession attorney or any other profession in the future, it would do you well to focus on how exactly these two things are different. You cannot learn from remote learning as much as you can from online learning. Remote learning simply means using the same methods in a traditional classroom at home. Online learning is when courses integrate virtual engagement and discussions to facilitate distance learning.

Do you see the difference? If you are to learn about the law that governs repossessions, for example, you want to hear your professor discuss the merits of a case. You don’t want a manual or a module sent to your email instructing you how to “understand” a case. Students of any course want to discuss these topics with their professors and peers. Remote learning leaves students alone without particular guidance from their schools. It’s a band-aid solution that won’t work anymore when the semester starts in September.

What Students Are Saying

Dave Lungren, vice president of content solutions at Collegis Education, said that institutions need to reevaluate how they can use the internet to improve the quality of learning among students. Remote learning might have worked to complete the spring term, but it will not work when the fall term starts. Students are saying the same thing.

About 63% of students believe that their online courses don’t measure up to a traditional classroom setting, a national student survey by SimpsonScarborough said in April. The instructors and modules fail to meet the students’ expectations. Students are dissatisfied with their experience. Some also said they are being ripped off because they are not getting their money’s worth.

It’s not only students. Their parents are dissatisfied as well. One mother said she received a package from her son’s piano teacher. The package contains music sheets and some other things that her son needs to learn for an evaluation days after.

The problem is that the mother doesn’t know how to read notes or play the piano. She doesn’t know how to teach her son that. It’s the same reason why she opted to enroll her child in a piano lesson. But because of the way these courses are being taught right now, parents are forced to face their worst nightmare—not knowing the answer to your children’s questions.

Remote Learning vs. Online Learning

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It is forgivable for schools and instructors to resort to remote learning (using old methods in a new environment) because they were not ready before. But they had enough time to think of alternatives and more importantly, to integrate online methods into their courses. Remote learning doesn’t work anymore simply because students are left to learn on their own. They meet with their instructors asynchronously. The schools also decided to lower the standard required for student performance.

An effective online learning course will meet synchronously at least once a week. The instructors should discuss concepts and ideas via teleconferencing. Students should be asked to participate in these discussions to prevent their minds from wandering off. They should be evaluated based on these discussions, too, and not only on the papers they submit to their professors.

Online learning is about designing a course to be taught online. It’s about adjusting the parameters of a course so they can fit the tools available to the students. Students should establish a weekly routine similar to traditional learning. There should be deadlines, reports, papers, homework, and interaction.

The availability of different tools already boosted the capabilities of schools, faculty, and students to transition to online learning. And yet, 97% of the institutions surveyed by Bay View Analytics tasked instructors who had no prior online teaching experience to distance-learning programs. About 56% of faculty said they had to employ teaching methods they were not familiar with.

This creates a gap that is dissatisfying to parents and students. Instead of pushing students to aim to learn more, they will be disheartened because of the lack of preparations and the insensitivity from these institutions. Mr. Lungren said they will likely stop attending school for now. They will also prefer to attend a low-cost community college. Or, they transfer to a school that offers a better-quality online learning experience.

Distance learning will be here to stay. It is not a trend and neither it is anything new in the education sector. The pandemic should push learning institutions to break the barriers. They should combine the best of traditional and online learning.

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