Now that everyone is rushing back to in-person learning, it is time to evaluate how we can use online learning in the future. Unfortunately, for a lot of teachers and students, the view of online learning was that it was a disaster. But online learning did work for some.
The focus of what we can do online now should be on the quality of the coursework, not on whether it was delivered online or in person. Many online resources can be used to create high-quality, rigorous coursework. The key is in the teacher’s ability to use these resources effectively. Too often the teachers are overworked as it is. An additional problem is that many teachers and administrators have not experienced a high-quality online course themselves.
It is important to have access to online resources, but it is more important to have the PD and support necessary to create high-quality online coursework. The question should not be online learning, yes or no. The question should be how can we create high-quality online learning experiences for all students.
The pandemic has shown us that online learning can be an important tool in schools. We should not give up on it just because it was hard during the pandemic. With some PD on how to create high-quality online coursework, online learning can be a great asset for schools.
What differentiates high-quality coursework? There are a few things:
- online learning should have the same rigor as in-person coursework
- online learning should be engaging
- online learning should be accessible to all students
If we can focus on these factors, then online learning can be a great tool for education. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Online learning can be great, we just need to make sure it is high quality.