Why online learning must remain part of the education toolkit

Critics of online learning often blame the medium itself rather than ineffective instruction, when the focus should be on how to deliver the best teaching possible using all available tools and formats
Andreina Bloom Parisi-Amon
By Andreina Bloom Parisi-Amon on August 08, 2022

Much has been written about the lessons from the Covid-19 induced pivot to remote learning in higher education but a recent feature in the New York Times entitled, “My college students are not OK,” caught my attention. The author – a university educator – shared his experience of poor attendance, lower-quality work, disengaged students and worse outcomes, noting that many colleagues had seen the same trends. He pleaded for more in-person classes and engagement, demonising online learning. “You can’t learn to use a microscope online,” he wrote. Although, the author noted that even now, with many students back in live classrooms, they’re still not performing to pre-pandemic levels.

Numerous studies and anecdotes point to deteriorating student performance during the pandemic and cite remote instruction as the reason. There seems to be a cause-and-effect bandwagon that a strict diet of online learning is bad for students at any level and a return to in-person instruction is the answer.

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Andreina Bloom Parisi-Amon
Andreina Bloom Parisi-Amon
August 8, 2022