5 Common Misconceptions about e-Learning

Over the years, e-learning has gained a reputation for being several things that it’s not. Here are a few mythbusters to think about before deciding whether or not online education has the credence to be just as viable as traditional education.

Students are required to self-study the material
Online class instructors are responsible for engaging their students and teaching them the subject matter. In fact, professors tend to put extra intention into the syllabus, unit organization and assignment instructions so everything is as guided as possible. It is up to the student to ask questions if something is not clear.

Employers don’t take online education seriously
Most employers take each job candidate at face value, relying on a combination of first impressions, work history and educational performance. As online education becomes more and more common, employers become less and less skeptical. These days, most online schools have the badge of approval from regional accreditation agencies.

There’s no interaction with other students
Peer-to-peer learning is central in online education, from discussion forums to presenting group projects using web conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype, and engaging in peer review of different kinds. In fact, some online classes have required “log-on” times or mandatory participation in chat rooms and on discussion boards.

Cheating is more common and easier in online classes
There are services instructors use, such as ProctorU and Turnitin, to guard against cheating and plagiarism. Some instructors utilize open note and open book tests, while others might forgo exams in favor of projects or portfolios. Whatever the case, instructors and course designers make it a top priority to protect the integrity of student learning.

Financial aid cannot be obtained from e-courses
The process of applying for financial aid is the same as any other school. For example, online schools in the U.S. use the FAFSA application to determine a student’s financial aid award amount. According to a study by Learning House, 81% of online students fit the criteria of a nontraditional student, who are usually more eligible to receive financial aid.

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