Online Education and Tutoring

May 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 4 Comments

Post written by Jodi Iman

Online education vs. standard classroom education at the high school level, which is best for our students, or is it a combination of both? I have always valued the positive effects a classroom community brings for students; however the arguments for the ladder, online education, are beginning to become more appealing to me.

In a study done by Heather Carr, a Doctor of Education student at Seton Hall University claims at Effects of Online Education, in an in-class environment,

geographical location, small school size, large school size, socioeconomic budget restraints and substandard teachers can prevent students from the same preparatory college or career demands….Computer-based instruction may allow equality where educational inequalities presently exist.

It is my belief that there are enough supporting factors that would lead me to come to the conclusion that a combination of both online and in-class interaction is a great option for our students. With all of the responsibilities we have for our students to be able to gain the best education they can, factors such as student-teacher relationships, classroom communities, student’s ability to create their own high school experiences are all factors that come to my mind when thinking of disadvantages of online education. There are, however advantages that have been presented in doing my research, smaller class sizes, higher student motivation, and availability of more courses than may be offered at the school are all reasons why I believe online education to be a valid option for our students.

One aspect, as a mathematics educator I was afraid of was the availability of the one-on-one aspect many students need in order to succeed in mathematics.  A Mathematics Education Blog describes math online tutoring allowing for “one-to-one interaction between the student and the tutor. It is the best tutoring medium for students who are shy about asking questions”. I appreciated the opportunity for greater participation for less verbal students.

With the issues of student-teacher relationships, course availability, one-on-one tutoring, a student’s personal high-school experience, college preparation and an in-classroom community, do you feel an online high school experience or in-class is better? Is it a combination of both? Is online tutoring a positive or negative? Are we losing the connection between the faculty and the students, or creating a new type of community? What factors made you choose your decision?

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4 Comments »

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  1. Jodi, here is a recent blog series written about Math education and specifically the online Khan Academy. Hope it gives a little bit different perspective.

    As for me, I’m taking the political blended choice. Strictly online loses the realness and timeliness that comes with human interaction during learning. Strictly face to face is limits the space and time in which one learns. Designing a culture of learning within the classroom that promotes collaboration can pay off online when students step up and teach each other.

  2. Jodi, I would have to say that I think a combination of online learning and being apart of a classroom community is the best for a student. Having taken both types of classes, I have experienced the benefits of both. When it comes to adolescents, I think that it is best for them to be in a classroom community, where they can receive human interactions with both their peers and the teachers. I think creating an online community that corresponds with our classroom community can really enhance learning. Whether this online community is a blog, or a tutoring site is up to the teacher. I personally would try to implement an online community, for the advantages that it has for learning, but also because it will engage students, just because it is online. For example, I would really like to implement Mission: Biomes, an online activity from NASA into a curriculum, http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/Biome/. It takes students through all the different types of biomes of the Earth. It is different and much more engaging than having the students sit through a lecture on biomes. I haven’t tried to find anything like this for math, but I’m sure they exsist.

  3. I think you ask a lot of valid questions, and many of them I regularly research for my blog on online education (http://blog.edvisors.com/). We recently interviewed a sibling of one of the writers for our company and she graduated from a regular undergraduate and got her master’s degree 100% online. I think that in her case it allowed her to work full time and her comments reflected that it did have a lot to do with learning style. She said, “students must be self motivated and dedicated to their own success to find value in online learning. Graduate level students may find online learning more valuable as they obtained the skills required to be successful during their undergraduate studies. The ability to obtain information from reading texts rather than listening to lectures is a key difference between traditional on-ground delivery and online education.”


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