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Unread Oct 25th, 2006, 05:39 am
susan53 susan53 is offline
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
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Default Re: advantages and disaadvantages of on-line learning

We use on-line courses as a component of our courses in a blended learning approach. I've found there are some people who love them and some who hate them. When we first started they were a compulsory part of the course, but some people just never completed them, causing all sorts of problems for us and for themselves - we were teaching in-company and the company was basically throwing its money away. But these same people attended lessons recently and would do all the "pen and paper" homework you asked them to, so it wasn't a matter of general motivation. We now make them optional - they are complementary to the course but the student can opt out. If they opt in, they have to sign an agreement guaranteeing they will use the programme at least an hour a week. If they don't, they don't get the programme in the following course.
People who hate working on the computer therefore opt out. But we still have a problem with people who opt in but then "can't find the time". Odd - if you tell people they have two hours class a week they find the time with no problems. But one hour class and one hour autonomous study, and they're "too busy". In some cases we've tried getting round that by integrating the on-line work and the lessons very closely - but it's not a solution if half the class have opted out.
A pity, because when they're done regularly but with class back up, I find they work. I've seen progress from students who have done the on-line course thoroughly which is clearly superior to that of those who haven't. Obviously one reason for this is simply that they've spent more time studying, but when there are large numbers involved, a blended course is far more cost-effective than an all teacher-led course, and the only way companies can allow their staff to dedicate more time to English training within the limitations of their budget.
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