Career Learning for Adult Self-Sufficiency (CLASS)

Training our Youth: On-line or in-Person?

Posted by Youth Services - On July 20, 2010 (EST)

Authors Smith Jaggars & Bailey (Community College Research Center) discuss in their paper July 2010 Effectiveness of Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education Meta-Analysis whether complete on-line learning is beneficial to all students:


 while advocates argue that online learning is a promising means to increase access to college and to improve student progression through higher education programs… some evidence …suggests that, without additional supports, online learning may even undercut progression among low-income and academically underprepared students.”


What do you believe is a better way to train and educate our young people?  On-line?  In person? Or a hybrid between the two?

User Comments (7)
On July 20, 2010  Maisha Meminger said:
I utilize a "Hybrid Approach" when in the classroom. This allows an instructor to do face-to-face teaching and give assignments and some instruction via an on-line tool. This is most important when working with students who are not use to computer based training; it gives them a chance to get their feet wet and also provides support. Hopefully using a Hybrid Approach gets those students who would not normally take an on-line course more comfortable. However, forcing students who are not prepared for a semester long on-line course may not be fair-- Without the proper guidance, they may get frustrated, give up, and not return to school AT ALL- We do not want that to happen.

On July 22, 2010  Charles Modiano said:
I think that Maisha has it right which helps explain the findings of the study. Online training is supposed to COMPLEMENT and SUPPORT preexisting training. In that sense it is effective. Whe it becomes a replacement for positive and dynamic instruction, then it becomes a problem. If a teacher believes the online triaining is a substitute, then the young person will often be worse off.

On July 26, 2010  Phyllis Richardson said:
I agree with Charles, the young person will be worse off, because some don't have the tool to do online training, and I'm from the old school their nothing like the classroom and one on one talks with your teacher.

On July 26, 2010  Adrienne Bailey said:
I think a hybrid beteen both options are good ways to educate young people. Either method can help young people obtain the skills and knowledge needed to successfully complete their education and obtain future employment.

On July 27, 2010  Kate Quin-Easter said:
I'm a proponent of hybrid education. Especially if it's started early in the educational system, then students become comfortable acting in a professional manner when online. This might help down the line when a student, especially those in rural states, needs more education but has little or no access to it through 'live and in person' classes. Online education is great, but it takes a level of professionalism, dedication to proof-reading and ability to interact through typed words rather than voice. This is particularly true, I find, when engaging in an ansynchronous class setting.

On July 28, 2010  Joe Stoup said:
Online learning as a standalone method of instruction is quickly becoming a "solution" for training needs. However, as this study finds, online learning may not be best for low-income and academically underprepared students. It would make logical sense because lower income households often cannot afford computers and/or internet access. Students from a disadvantaged household may not be ready to interact with technology as a platform for learning but they are used to the classroom setting. Online learning has to be developed in a way that promotes interaction, integration and application. Too often the "online only" crowd thinks that sticking a PowerPoint or discussion board in a learning management system is enough for todays youth. The technology generations which are now entering the workforce demand a much more robust experience online in order to succeed at learning. Thus, sticking a PowerPoint online with a voiceover is just going to bore them. Online learning is a type of learning that has to be well packaged and presented at an extrodinary level in order to engage the youth. Without those levels of development, a hybrid approach to training makes the most sense. Students are given an opportunity learn online while an instructor still has classroom time to identify any additional needs the learner may have. Hybrid (or blended) learning is definately the way to go for today's training environment.

On September 29, 2010  Phyllis Richardson said:
In person is always a good thing. That way if the young person needs to ask questions or get more information the instructor is right at hand. I always think face to face is better. Because their are s lot of kids who are Visual learners and need to be in a classroom setting.

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