Teaching math through online

  • #1
How effective is online learning?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
How effective is online learning?
Effectiveness in any teaching depends on what and how it is taught. I can imagine some subjects to be enhanced by online learning (say basic arithmetic or grammatical skills via drilling, with use of fun educational "games" or drills), but for other subjects to be not so great (you can't really learn to light a bunsen burner or do a distillation online (at least without perhaps much investment and danger on your behalf). For subject in between, it probably really varies, in part because of varied availability of applications (and varied knowledge of these applications by instructors). Unfortunately, online there's also a lot of crap.

Of course, any instruction is also only effective if you actively engage yourself as a student also. You'll "learn" more of the basics if you drill more, and you'll also need to spend time using whatever tools you do find for more advanced topics. There's lots of online lectures (ex. the MIT open coursework), the great HOMEWORK AND COURSEWORK QUESTIONS help forum here on PF to help you work problems, some great online youtube demos, etc. Good online instruction will try to use as many of the good tools out there in a balanced way.
 
  • #3
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0
This varies greatly. I have seen several studies showing differences in efficacy based on demographic. There seems to be fantastic outcomes for at-risk secondary students. However, for a lot of other groups, online learning just does not work.

I have not seen studies based on subject, but I am sure they exist. I would assume that subject and course will vary greatly. I would not mind taking financial accounting online. However, computer science 101 would be very difficult for me. Accounting seems to be taught ok by email and spreadsheets. Mistakes can be communicated in a mostly satisfactory way. However, in programming, conceptual vs. syntactical bugs can prove difficult to communicate. This difficulty in communication can lead to misconceptions.

Student motivation plays a key part in anything education related.

Efficacy of online learning depends on too many factors. Basically, it is very effective when provided as a choice in certain subjects when a particular demographic is present and satisfactory tools are available.
 
  • #4
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
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Where is the leadership, and where is the honesty?
There are frequent advertisements or requests on craigslist from students asking for help for their online courses. The students want someone to do the course questions for them. The students want someone to do the examinations for them. Conclusion- unethical practices are too strong a tempation.
 

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