As parents and educators, we at Superprof we understand that kids learn in different ways, and that if they don’t understand their subjects in class then there is a good chance that they will struggle when it comes to homework and revision.
Our one size fits all approach to education, is a cost effective way of delivering education to the masses. We all know that there are times when this approach simply doesn’t work if your child is bright or struggling.
There are different ways of delivering education, of course. Consider social learning, which recognises that kids learn when they are engaged they will be willing to participate, listen, learn and remember – something we refer to as the teachable moment.
I was interested to read a study by the University of Phoenix that proposed improving learning by student to student collaboration via chat rooms and message boards. This is in essence what Superprof does.
They have found that online learning makes students more likely to participate ― and therefore learn ― in their classes. They agree that large class sizes are simply too big to allow social learning, as you can’t put a hundred kids in a class and have a conversation. Students need small groups and individualised attention for them to have a truly meaningful and interactive experience.
”In a typical classroom, you have people who hide out in the back of the room and never speak up―they turn in their assignments and that’s it. In the online environment, particularly in classes that emphasize collaboration, that doesn’t happen. You hear from everyone … and there’s more student-to-student learning.
“I find the online environment to be so much richer than the face-to-face one. Instead of being put on the spot in a discussion, we have a better opportunity to reflect on concepts and ideas.”
Phoenix University conclude that online education can deliver real social learning to a much greater degree than classroom-based education:
“Classroom learning is held up as the gold standard, but there are things you get out of online learning that you don’t get in the classroom. For example, in an online class you think about an idea, have to put it in writing and make it cogent, then put it out to your group for feedback. You go through more steps than simply speaking what comes into your head.”
So the research backs up what we already know, so not earth shattering news. The problem of course is that social learning isn’t really available where it’s needed. That leaves us at Superprof showing the way.