The value of online learning has become increasingly apparent during the current climate of the world. Educators and learners have both been thrown into unexplored territory, with the transition to online learning in schools imminent in the coming weeks.
This immersion has sparked fear, curiosity, adaptability, and a deep exploration into the best practice to deliver e-learning. The great news? E-learning is only improving. According to Alexander, Truell, and Zhao (2012), the advantages of online learning include:
- Less stress.
- Ability to review content.
To support students in a world of online learning, it is important to focus on how students learn rather than the medium to do so. The theories of constructivist, cognitivist, and behaviourist approaches to learning all provide merit and overlap with ideal learning approaches in an online world. The overlap can be seen in the what (behaviourist), how (cognitivist), and why (constructivist) of learning.
A theory that supports this approach further is the theory of connectivism. Explored by Siemens (2005), connectivism assists in the guidance of developing online learning. Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations. Principles of this theory explore what the demands new-age learning has on both the educator and the learner. Chaos is the driver of this theory, and chaos is the feeling amongst a lot of people right now. From chaos emerges opportunity!
Alexander, M. W., Truell, A. D., & Zhao, J. J. (2012). Expected advantages and disadvantages of online learning: Perceptions from college students who have not taken online courses. Issues in Information Systems, 13(2), 193-200.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1). Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/