Friday, June 17, 2016

Unpacking the Problem of Unmotivated Online Students - Michelle Pacansky-Brock, EdSurge

Recently, I received this message from a college professor in response to a blog post I wrote: “I truly believe in the benefits of online learning; but only for those who really want to learn. And unfortunately, those students are few and far between—maybe 5 to 10 percent ... I have found many professors at my university and at conferences agree with this. We need to develop some sort of a methodology whereby taking an online course is seen as a privilege and an opportunity to learn a subject more deeply than in a face-to-face class. Until we do this, online course [sic] will continue to be considered by students as the easy way out—not seen, not heard, just getting by.” I’ve thought deeply about this message for a while and I’d like to unpack my reflections a bit more here. Learning online requires students to be more accountable, and online research shows that self-efficacy impacts student success online. But when we focus on lack of student motivation as “the” problem, we oversimplify a more complex and important issue.

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