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Should online classes be treated like regular in-school classes?

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Kathleen Trevino Kathleen Trevino 310 Points

Online classes should be different from in-school classes. While there does exist certain mainstays such as student involvement and interaction with the instruction, adapting online classes to be unique but effective just the same would prove to be productive. In both types of classes, information should be structured to be as comprehendable as possible. Unfortunately, online classes seem to be most likely to expand certain points unneccessarily or improperly to the point where students become lost or confused.

Alexandra Reyna Alexandra Reyna 415 Points

Hello, I feel like online classes should be treated like regular in-school classes in some ways. For example, the teacher should be teaching the same material, of course with adjustments. Also, students should still be engaged on zoom like they would if they were going to school in person. Although the teacher should not be mad if a student is not paying attention to zoom because they are kids and for them to be on a computer all day gets really tiring. Maybe more breaks for the students to rest their eyes or for the student to grab a drink or snack. 

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 5595 Points

I taught in person (secondary and higher education) for many years before transitioning to fully online in 2016. I have since focused my research agenda on best practices in online STEM education. Instructional strategies are going to differ between online and in-person teaching. Professional development plans will differ for faculty. While some moderating variables influence the trend, in general, online classes are at least as effective as in-person classes. 

There isn't a straightforward answer to your question, in my opinion. Because course design, instructional strategies, etc. vary between the modalities, no, in person and online classes should not be treated the same. But, because expectations for learning outcomes are the same between an online and an in-person class, they are treated the same in that regard. 

Ana Gonzalez Ana Gonzalez 715 Points

As a student taking online classes, I must advocate that online courses should be treated differently from in-person classes. Students who get easily distracted get reminders from the teacher to keep their attention at her in the classroom. Still, remotely at home, students could be distracted by objects, persons, and even situations from where the teacher has no control. For this reason, the classes must be interesting, objective, and simple to maintain the students engaged in the lesson. Repetition becomes a vital ally to minimize questions and to avoid getting students confused with instructions. 

Thomas Ryan Thomas Ryan 1055 Points

There's no one solution that works in every situation, but these are some tips that I think would help most virtual science teachers.
1. Online learning demands flexibility and students appreciate it when you acknowledge this. Ideally, your students would be in a bubble where nothing could disturb them during school. In reality, things come up. If a student needs to get up in the middle of class to comfort a crying toddler, don't make a big deal out of it. Tell them later what they can do to get caught up. Chances are, they'll be grateful for your attitude and do the catch-up work.
2. Don't jump to conclusions. A while back, I asked my chemistry students to draw a molecule. Watching the Zoom feeds, I could see most had their heads down and seemed to be drawing. One was staring straight ahead, looking like he was concentrating. I wondered if he was playing a video game, but didn't say anything because I wasn't sure. A few minutes later, he shared a detailed drawing he made with the digital art software on his PC.
3. Break the monotony. Put yourself in a student's shoes. Would you like to spend six hours a day, day after day, listening to lectures on Zoom, with tests being the only bit of variety? That's what a lot of students are experiencing. Put small groups in breakout rooms and let them do something together, even if it's just answering a worksheet. Let them work quietly in a personal breakout room from time to time. Let them explore with an online simulator. Science class should feel different, so make yours feel different.
4. If your school grants you flexibility with log-off time, then don't try to kill time until the bell. You finished everything fifteen minutes early? Tell students if they're caught up on all their classwork, they get to log off early. Give the others fifteen minutes of study hall and let them know you're available if they want help. If your admin says something, tell them some students feel guilty asking for help after the bell because they're using your personal time but will ask for help in this kind of situation.
Hope this was helpful!

Angelina Cicero Angelina Cicero 1915 Points

Online classes should not be treated likein school classes. Since Covid hit and all of my schooling went online it hit me hard because I had never taken anything online. Online classes are a totally different ballgame, with apps like Zoom they can be easier to teach class and communicate with the professor but I have found that not to be as affective as in person schooling is. With online classes everything has to be done in a certain way and completedby students by a certain time. In my experince that meant more assignments in a little amount of time which was very stressful. I also had this one teacher teach her class just like she would in person and it ended up being my hardest class when it shoud have been my easiest. With online schoolong it has to be done in a completly different way. There are upsides and downside to both schooling. With online I had more time throughout the day to get more work done, but I was als cut off fro my professor and study buddies in the class so I was on my own most of the time trying to understand the lessons. Whether you prefer online or in person scholing that is up to you overall I quite liked both, but in the end they both should be taught differently. Online shoud not be treated like regular school classes in my opinion. Some stuff can be treated the same but its a different experience overall.

Macy Harris Macy Harris 755 Points

Hi Angelina! 

I agree that it cannot be treated the exact same as an in-person class- it simply is not the same thing. In short, life happens. A lot of students do not have access to wifi, technology, or parental support. However, I believe that the biggest challenge would be classroom management. To keep everything the same within classroom management would not be possible. There is not a college class for keeping a class on task over a screen. Distance learning is different for both the students and the teachers. As a society, we need to learn to give more grace and try to make the best out of an unfortunate situation. 

Thanks for the thoughts! 

Macy Harris 

Riley Yelencsics Riley Yelencsics 140 Points

I have personally experienced both online and in person classes as a student but also as a preservice teacher. So I have been able to view things from each perspective. I personally feel that they do need to be treated differently. There are many distractions that come with online learning that some teachers may not fully be aware of. I also feel that when you are in person you may be able to better comprehend what is being taught. I know that in my own experience as working with online students, there is a disconnect present. It is hard to connect personally with someone through a computer screen. A lot of the time this interpersonal connection is what allows for students to feel comfortable and better understand the material. With that, online educators need to keep that in mind. They need to make sure they are properly engaging the students while being aware of the different type of learning enviornment present for the student. Overall, I think that they must be treated and viewed differently. I also think that teachers and students need to understand the two-way street of online learning. Teachers can only give so much without getting anything in return, so it is crucial for students to do thier best and truly apply themselves to the material being taught. But teachers can also not expect students to give their all with little motivation from the teacher. 

Amber Banning Amber Banning 10 Points

Online classes should most definately be treated as two different methods of learning. I completely agree that they should be approached and taught differenty. It has been challenging at times, but I think it gives new perspective to teaching and providing options for learning. I am not seeing students actually prefer not to use their chromebooks at school, as they are so worn out from doing online learning. With this being said, I do think it can still be used as an excellent resoirce for research and inquiry but do not feel as if it should "take place" of in-person learning. I think there is a lot to have been learned from online learning. 

Jessa Hamilton Jessa Hamilton 30 Points

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