Factors in play when learning online

 “Persevering at online learning is also affected by computer and information literacy, time management…online communication skills…self-esteem, feelings of belongingness in the online program and the ability to develop interpersonal skills with peers.” (p.199)

I have learned from reflecting on the passage that online learning has an array of factors that inter-play as one persevere through it.  What caught my attention is that even self-esteem could be one of the factors as well as feelings of belongingness because I think these feelings have not surfaced along for me in PIDP 3100.  The biggest factor in my persevering is time management since writing and researching truly takes time and perseverance.

As a result of this passage, I realize that learning a course can be conveniently learned online as long as one reflects that some factors can come into play.  One can build on the strength of having computer and information literacy and time management and one can also confront the weakness in online communication skills for instance, depending on which of the factors are strengths or weakness.  For me, the part where I have to create a blog site was problematic but I guess the passage was correct in the sense that I just needed to persevere.  By watching Youtube, asking my instructor, and viewing previous assignments, I was able to overcome the problems I encountered. Online learning really is staying online most of the time and staying online is one activity that is as rich as being in the classroom.

The quote change my mind on the part that one must be prepared in different areas as mentioned and that perseverance is a virtue to take away.  It is very easy to spend online learning time in watching a feel good movie or deleting emails to de-stress a bit but if one views the above passage; one would be enlightened that a little persevering here and there would make movie-watching less tempting.

As an adult educator, online learning is important to enrich my lessons as the internet is a great resource, more than it had ever been.  With online learning comes the realization of my strengths and weaknesses.  The more things I can do online, the more that I have confidence in my computer and information literacy level.  Also, the more that I have people to connect with, the more that my sense of belongingness and self-esteem are elevated.  Words of affirmation from online contacts are great ways to say that I am doing okay online.

The passage has helped me consider the factors in the passage if ever I will teach an online course.  I cannot assume perseverance, computer literacy, information literacy.  I have to check if these are present and have to have a way for these to transpire before online learning.  I also have to accommodate for self-esteem and sense of belongingness.  Some students are taken aback with first try, but with the mention of perseverance and being aware that such factors come into play, the mind is set to overcome.

I had a question before if online learning can be more effective than face to face instruction.  I have found an answer in the study of Means et. al. (2009) where a meta-analysis of the evidences of the effectiveness of online learning was conducted.  The result was something I find hard to believe because student in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face to face instruction.  However, the finding suggested that it should not be attributed to the media, per se but with a lot of factors, probably the ones mentioned in the passage.

References

Bierema, L.L. & Merriam S.B. (2014). Adult learning – linking theory and practice. San       Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R. , Bakia, M. & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED505824

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