Seven Online Learning Myths

For those of you who believe in the many benefits of a physical classroom, it might be time to face the fact that a huge change is occurring in the education sector. That’s right – online education is where the future is heading and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. In fact, online learning has become well and truly entrenched in the American education system over the last decade and a half, with some of the country’s most prominent universities and colleges allowing their students to access courses online.

One of the primary benefits of this is that some students are given the opportunity to study, whereas in the past, they would not have been able to, due to inability to attend a physical classroom. This form of learning has become so popular, those education institutes not offering online learning are beginning to suffer financially.

Despite the success of online learning, there are a number of pervasive myths that still do the rounds amongst the uninitiated, such as the belief that online learning is not as valuable or rigorous as classroom learning. Well, everybody who has ever studied online will instantly balk at that! Here are a few of the more common myths:

Online learning deprives you of social relationships

Obviously, you’re going to have less ‘in the flesh’ contact with your classmates if you’re doing an online course – there’s no arguing that. That doesn’t mean you’ll have less contact overall though! You’ll certainly have plenty of social interaction with your classmates and tutor while participating in group activities, online chat lessons etc. You’ll also have more time to spend with your everyday friends, as the time you’d usually spend commuting to and from a classroom, waiting around between lectures and similar can instead be spent doing whatever you’d like to do!

Professional and academic groups aren’t available to those who study online

Sure, a very limited number of academic groups (such as campus-only social clubs) may not be available to those who study online, but most are. It’s as simple as this – if you’re studying (or have completed) the same course as another on-campus student and they are eligible to join a particular group because of that study, then so are you!

Online courses are for cheaters

Ha! Any online student or former student will know this is ridiculous. If anything, online courses are even more difficult to cheat in. This is because the developers of online courses work very hard to prevent the ability to cheat. These prevention methods are also updated regularly, so there’s not much chance of getting around them. Cheating occurs a lot more frequently in the traditional classroom setting than in the online setting.

Online classes only involve reading

No, an online course may involve more reading than an on-campus course, but that is certainly not the only method of online learning these days. With everything available from online audio and video lectures, online group activities and discussions, multimedia presentations, written and online assignments and required visits to on-campus labs and classrooms, there’s no lack of variety in the online environment. 

Online classes enable anti-social behavior

Following on from the previous myth, because of the diversity in online assignments and learning methods, it’s almost impossible to sit back and hide behind your computer screen (sorry to those who were hoping to do just that). Almost all online classes these days require participation in group activities.

You can’t do an online course unless you are highly computer literate

If you’re able to turn a computer on, read simple step-by-step instructions, run a computer browser or program and type, then you’re able to complete over 95% of the online courses available (and certainly, 100% of our courses). Besides, if you ever get stuck, you can always contact your course provider and get full technical support. The online learning environment is actually excellent for building confidence and skills in computer use!

Online courses are too quick and therefore, less rigorous

Sorry to disappoint, but you’ll be taking on the same workload as that of an on-campus student. Sure, you’ll save plenty of time from avoiding the commute to a classroom, getting ready in the mornings (because technically, you can do online study in your pajamas – although, you didn’t hear that from us) and getting stuck in traffic on the way home, but we can assure you that quality online education is just as good and thorough as that completed in a classroom.

Whichever way you choose to study; we wish you good luck.

The CFS Team
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