Relax & Unwind With Online Learning

Relax & Unwind With Online Learning

Bridie Jackson

Bridie Jackson - Online Learning


After reading the article here at the Online-Teacher-Directory of April 19th 2013, “The Advantages of teaching online“, I felt myself asking but why?


I came up with this little theory, which also tallies with my own necessity: to teach a manner and environment that is natural, relaxed and friendly…



Relax & Unwind With Online Learning

Learning online still seems to ruffle the feathers of cynicism in lots of us (myself included, initially) and yet those of us who have braved this new world just can’t turn back. There has to be something in it. Just last year 2013 The Online Learning Consortium commissioned research into online learning in the US. They found 5.5million higher education students already are taking online courses and they predict by 2018 more than half US students will be taking online courses. So it’s popular.

During my hours of online teaching I have often wondered “WHY?” why does on line education work so well? The more obvious reasons like the functions, the synchronous components in the class such as video, audio, screen share, break out rooms etc., the time saving, the money saving, the anytime and place anywhere advantages of online are now becoming known but beyond all of these reasons to learn online, psychologically online learning makes sense and here’s why…(I think ;))

Most of us have experienced that “sucked in” effect of T.V., somehow having so much stimulation and activity squeezed into a small screen captivates us and the world around us dissipates into nothingness – much like the sleep state. An online lesson has that same effect – it’s like being face to face without all those distractions around you, leaving just the virtual class, your teacher and you – who are all but physically in the class, relaxed and comfortable. Whether you are at your desk, on a train or sitting in your favourite armchair, you will be where you choose to be – this immediately puts us in a more peaceful state of mind.

 

Bridie Jackson - Relax & Unwind With Online Learning

 

I think these factors also contribute to a more balanced relationship between teacher and student. The class is not held in either participant’s office/academy/home/school – the control of the class tools can be mutual too. The virtual classroom puts us in more equal positions, we are not so much teacher/student but more friends, as if sitting in a café having a cup of tea and a chat.

Now let’s regard communication during the lessons. There’s the possibility of using webcam – I use mine, my students don’t have to but often enjoy to. The voice connection can be via skype, landline, or a conference call. Phones do for communication what T.V.’s do for attention; during role-play lessons I notice how given a phone to talk into (even a toy phone) students suddenly become quite animated and more engaged in role-plays. With online classes the duration of the lesson, naturally takes on this advantage.

I have seen significant differences between the students rate of progress in my class taught lessons when compared to my online lessons. Online proves better. In 2009 research showed the results from online courses produced higher marks than their classroom taught equivalent*. With the development and constant improvement of software and platforms – these results we can only assume are improving still and will continue to do so. Online isn’t just popular it’s also productive, it works! The question arises “Is it the online element that helps or the relaxation?” Perhaps we could conclude that success in learning (languages) is largely based on being relaxed, great news, a stress-free environment and situation is something we can develop easily with a virtual class. We all benefit from an enjoyable, productive, quality lesson that feels safe and relaxed – anywhere.

 

* The report was a 93-page report on online education, conducted by SRI International (an independent research company) for the Department of Education. I found the article from a New York Times online Aug19 2009.

 

Bridie Jackson
Teapot English – Online Business English Lessons

For more information visit my Online-Teacher-Directory listing


October 3, 2014
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