Five Myths Surrounding K-12 Online Learning

By Vadillo, Guadalupe | Distance Learning, March 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Five Myths Surrounding K-12 Online Learning


Vadillo, Guadalupe, Distance Learning


INTRODUCTION

Frequently, when presented with an opportunity to innovate, we just go back to our old practices and assume that things are meant to be a certain way. This inside-the-box comfort zone can be a barrier when trying to profit from new scenarios. For example, it was not until a backache patient came to therapy and refused to He down at a major hospital setting in the United States that psychoanalytic couches were replaced by chairs so clients could sit down and talk directly to the therapist. The therapist in charge decided not to do what he had been trained to do, thus introducing a new era in therapy and he came to manage a 25 million patient therapy service (Kottler & Carlson, 2009).

MYTHS

When we observe what is going on in the majority of the institutions dedicated to online course design, we can see the inertia from face-to-face schools' practices. It seems that curricular design, timetables, sequences, human resources, and materials mimic those from brick-and-mortar settings. In this sense, the introduction of online learning has been seen as a sustainable innovation and not as a disruptive one, in Christensen, Horn, and Johnson's (2008) terms. That is, rather than addressing a lack of offerings, online learning has been conceived as a substitute for face-toface learning. This nostalgia from the way we were (and still are, in many places) is preventing accomplishments we could attain if we had a wider spectrum of possibilities. Those possibilities stem from the abolition of a series of myths the author of this article has observed in her professional practice:

1. COURSES SHOULD LOOK LIKE COURSES

How do courses look? They are generally presented in an orderly fashion, have a beginning, a body, and an ending, they have tests, quizzes, or other evaluation procedures, they have a teacher or expert, and they follow a certain pattern. However, a learning program that promotes math skills could resemble more of a Guitar Hero videogame session, or a course on economics could look like a level of Age of Empires and lack almost all of the abovementioned elements. Students may not embrace them as courses, but if they promote the desired learning outcomes, could they be considered as such?

Even in online master's degrees related to distance education, where ultimate innovation should be showcased, on the contrary a concern exists for having certain structures that relate the educational product to a traditional course. For example: it is often thought that there must be a paragraph establishing the educational objective of the course, another referring to the requirements and so forth. In invariably including these elements, we are restricting the creative possibdities the media has to offer. It is probably because we are still not fully comfortable with media that we tend to resort to our old habits. But we have to bear in mind that we can develop courses that look like games, letters, a visit to Universal Studios or to the Louvre, a secret mission, the play-offs, or any other means imaginable, and they can still be valuable learning experiences. Not only that, for thousands of students bored with traditional courses, they represent a golden opportunity to increase deep comprehension levels.

2. ONLINE EDUCATION IS SECOND BEST TO FACE-TO-FACE EDUCATION

Because a great proportion of online leaders at present have a long history in face-to-face education, many developed a hard-to-change premise related to the desirability of online learning. They came into the field believing that online learning should be used only if there was no faceto-face option. In doing so, they contributed to diminishing the real potential it has, for digital natives continue to demand this type of education as well as some traditional learners who prefer online learning over traditional face-to-face education (Daniel, 2007). The most recent meta analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (2009, in Patrick & Powell, 2009) concluded that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those in face-to-face instruction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Five Myths Surrounding K-12 Online Learning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.