Educators Management Liability: The Online Education Debate

Educators Management Liability: The Online Education DebateEducators Management Liability: The Online Education Debate

In recent years, virtual learning has become increasingly common, even at the K-12 level. Online education is most commonly seen at the college level, with seemingly more students opting for this type of unrestricted learning option. The enthusiasm for online education has led some educators to question if it’s right for their facility.

According to a poll released by Public Agenda, an independent nonprofit research group, employers prefer to see traditional, in-person educational experiences on the resumes of job candidates, rather than a primarily online education. They surveyed more than 600 human resources staff nationwide, and found that they were split fifty-fifty about whether young people could get a high-quality education online, mostly because it requires greater discipline on the student’s part.

When community college students were asked about online education, they had mixed feelings. 41% of the students asked said that they would rather take fewer courses online, while 39% thought they were taking the right amount of online classes. The research suggests that if colleges choose this route, they must try even harder to give their students an online education experience that’s worth their while.

Here are some perceived strengths and weaknesses of online education.

Strengths:

  • Students can learn anywhere, at any time, and at their own pace.
  • Students are allowed more time for interaction.
  • Students can control their learning experience and tailor the class discussions to meet their own needs.
  • The focus of attention is clearly on the content of the discussions and class materials with the social factors taken out of the equation.
  • Students have faster access to resources and materials that may enhance their learning experience.

Weaknesses:

  • There may be a lack of access for some students depending on economical or logistics factors.
  • Not all students have the same level of computer literacy.
  • Even the most sophisticated technology is not 100% reliable.
  • Students are required to have a much higher level of self-discipline.
  • Online learning is not ideal for certain fields or skills, such as public speaking, sports, medicine, etc.

To truly determine whether educators should be enthusiastic or skeptical about online learning, it’s important to consider these pros and cons. It can be a challenge to work in this new environment, but many educators feel it presents new opportunities.

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