At first, the news seemed great: “85% of High School Students in Online Class Pass.” I was catching up on reading the blog of a former instructor of mine from UT Brownsville. He encouraged us to click on the link to the article and read the comments.
One comment had me rolling on the floor laughing. While it sounded like a hippie anti-establishment rant left over from the 60s, I have to admit that I do hear this kind of reasoning every once and a while: Online Education is just a marketing ploy, with no real value. One part of the quote was just sad and misguided:
Online education is easy? Has this guy ignored the last 5 years of educational research? Most students felt that the online classes they took were as hard, or harder, than face-to-face courses.
My online courses were the first time I ever had a real challenge consistently over the course of any entire program. Sure, there were challenging classes in high school and college for me, but my online Masters program was the first time I ever felt like I was actually getting an overall value for my money for the entire program.
But, to be fair, maybe I am biased. Is there any evidence out there that online learning is just a marketing play?
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.