Effectiveness of Online Learning

Effectiveness of Online Learning
Written by Purva Jagtap

An eminent American minister Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” The pandemic has caused heavy turbulence in the field of education, and now is the time when the education industry as a whole, needs to take drastic measures today to prepare for the future. Online teaching proved to be the most glaring and effective solution to the woes of teachers, students, and parents during the pandemic. Apart from the apparent benefit of remote learning, there are many other purported benefits of online teaching such as its effectiveness in teaching students, its use as professional development, its cost-effectiveness to combat the rising cost of education, its time saving, and the possibility of providing a world-class education to anyone with an internet connection. That is the reason why so many good online classes apps are being developed nowadays. So, what does the research say, and are these benefits tangible or a mere selection bias? Let’s find out.

There are a large number of studies that find positive, statistically significant effects for student learning outcomes while studying on online classes app compared to traditional classrooms. Some of the positive learning outcomes are improved learning as measured by test scores, student engagement with class material, improved perception of learning and of the online format, a stronger sense of community among students, and reduction in withdrawal or failure. From a more systematic analysis, researchers found that student learning levels for online classes app were better than offline students regardless of background characteristics and that students were greatly satisfied with online classes app. In a methodologically rigorous study done in 2012, students were randomly assigned to a traditional format(control) and an online teaching environment. The researchers found that there were comparable learning outcomes for both groups and that there was a promise of cost savings and productivity gains over time for the online classes app. Furthermore, these learning improvements and cost-saving gains are expected to increase as new tools and software for online teaching apps are being developed and tested continually. In a large political science course, using a mobile teacher app, researchers found that student using a peer-to-peer online teaching tool that helps students to write, share, answer, discuss and rate multiple-choice questions with little to no help from the instructor- had better learning outcomes and improved perceptions of learning as well as motivation to learn. To further develop the use and efficacy of the said mobile teacher app, a study on the effect of virtual achievements, a badge-based achievement system in the mobile teacher app, in a large randomized control trial found that there was a significant positive effect on the number of students’ contributions without a corresponding loss of quality. As the use of online classes app grows, progressively more aspects of “gamification”, the use of game mechanics and virtual achievements in non-game contexts to engage users, are being added to online classes app, to increase student engagement and learning outcomes. 

Even though it is still only partially clear that these findings generally hold true across studies, much of the research done on the efficacy of online teaching and the use of online classes app provide positive outcomes. Emboldened by the numerous research-backed benefits that online classes app provide, developers have continually evolved and added new features to their online teaching apps to make them more user-friendly and effective. Nowadays, simple and revolutionary features like live teaching through mobile provide impetus to many teachers looking to teach online, who are generally on the go or can’t afford to teach from a computer, or just prefer the simplicity of using a mobile. Mobile teacher apps save time and are very cost and energy-efficient. Online whiteboards help to start teaching instantaneously and hassle-free with the help of mobile. 

Therefore, the results from global research done in the field of online teaching indicate the numerous benefits of online teaching over traditional teaching and we can infer that the online classes app will continue to become a more integral part of students’ and teachers’ lives in the future. So, we must sign up as an online teacher or a student to experience the benefits that online classes app bring along with them, firsthand. 

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Purva Jagtap

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