Our View: Evolving Thinking About Learning Platforms
There isn’t much debate that each person has their own way of learning. The “one size fits all” mentality just doesn’t work when it comes to gaining knowledge. Everyday conversation involves the basics of learning by hearing, seeing, speaking, or doing. But what if the conversation should be more than that?
In our current state of drudgery through the pandemic, styles and functional education have been some of the key topics spanning all levels of educational institutions. Combining what is best for everyone in terms of both safety and comprehensive learning has been a real challenge and an ongoing debate.
Both ends of the spectrum include the more traditional route of being entirely in person on campus, while the opposite end involves little to no human contact with online virtual classes. Then there are those options in the middle that have a bit of both with hybrid or synchronous settings.
So what do Clarion editors have to say about their preferences and what works best based on their experiences?
The conversation completely straddles the pendulum from start to finish. In some ways, online learning is beneficial and even necessary. Some students have pre-existing conditions, so it is safer to continue remotely. There are also instances where lifestyles, including work, family, and/or commuting, make online school the only feasible option. In many of these cases, the focus is on simply working on the basic requirements to complete the education as if you were wearing blinders to avoid distractions. Online schooling allows you to prioritize the essentials.
Other benefits mentioned for the virtual college experience emphasized the futuristic prospects where communication skills will be expanded as dating platforms extend beyond the person. And since the mandatory jump to online education has been implemented through various safer home orders, Virtual Classrooms is solving the problems to make it the best possible experience for its students.
As we now move to the other side of the spectrum, we see the opposite reactions to online learning where the benefits are instead seen in in-person settings. There’s no doubt that humanity was made for community, which makes virtual learning an isolating event that can dramatically affect mental health, not to mention eye strain and other bodily repercussions. Being remote creates unique challenges in connecting with other students for friendships, study buddies, or tracking down instructors who aren’t just a “knock on the door” from their office.
In some cases, online learning seems more self-directed and therefore does not seem to give the advantage or the money of being on campus. For those who aren’t just looking to navigate through school with the essentials, but rather plug into the college experience more with friends, campus activities, and parties, being online-only can be a huge disappointment. Watching a screen at an event doesn’t quite give the same experience as being there with all five senses activated.
Now that we know more about what the editors had to say, how are other students reacting and has enrollment changed at Madison College?
Each campus has its own factors but, in general, the data seems to come and go with the pandemic where fall 2021 had over 70% of classes online with 30% in-person to return with 70% in-person and 30% under some form of virtual format. School curricula would affect this, such as health and manufacturing classes which require much more hands-on learning. As one might expect, older age groups are competing for distance options, perhaps due to work and family, while those in their early twenties are signing up for more online courses. anybody.
If, yes, the challenge continues to find the best solution for everyone, it should also be noted that humanity was never made to be put in a box. Not everyone will learn the same or enjoy the same style of education, especially in-person or virtual. But it’s OK.
The debate will continue, but it points to how the human brain was created: to be unique.