As more research is being performed into how students learn, we are discovering that some students are able to take control of their learning journey and can process information in an online environment better than others.
Across Canada, schools are developing hybrid or stand-alone online programs, while other institutions are dedicated solely to providing world-class online education. At OVS, we offer exceptional online learning in Ontario and our comprehensive online learning programs provide the best possible preparations for students to get the experience needed for college admissions, or to enter the workplace.
Unfortunately, a number of parents have continued misgivings about the power and potential of online learning. Some of these are based on antiquated notions such as “online learning is little more than a correspondence course hosted on the internet.” Other misconceptions are based on misapprehensions about the platforms themselves. In fact, a lot of people are scared about interacting with new technological systems, and the thought of learning another can be daunting.
However, a massive amount of research has been dedicated to this space. Every day we get a clearer picture of how students can harness the internet and online communications technologies to learn and how programs can be structured to ensure the highest possible level of success. OVS has over 130 online courses on offer, anchored around professional best practices such as Mayer’s 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning.
Let’s take a look at some common myths about online learning and see why OVS’s programs are the way of the future!
Myth #1 — Online learning doesn’t give students enough support
This myth holds that once students are enrolled, they are on their own. Many people fail to realize that a lot of high-quality online high schools maintain full student success teams and guidance departments that provide support to struggling students.
In fact, with the innovative education systems laid down by OVS, support staff can automatically analyze a student’s attendance pattern and proactively reach out to provide additional support. Students at OVS can contact their teachers at any point and receive a response within 24 hours. Students are never left to deal with their problems alone. At OVS, there are comprehensive tools and services available around the clock to provide support.
Myth #2 — Online learning requires technical expertise
This misconception may have held water twenty years ago, but now breakthroughs in the disciplines of UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) have ensured that ease of use is central to the design of all well-built online systems.
A simple look at Amazon’s interface when it launched in 1994 and its current iteration in 2021 will show how much easier it has become to navigate and use these systems.
When a system is built from the ground up with usability in mind, students who don’t have a lot of technical experience can still navigate them intuitively. Many of the systems and portals that OVS uses have User Interfaces similar to what students are already familiar with — such as YouTube or Facebook.
Furthermore, the OVS support team, staff, and teachers have been perfecting the system for over a decade and serve as great resources when students have problems or issues with the systems.
Myth #3 — Online learning programs don’t help students develop their social skills
Social skills are essential for success, and high school is an incredibly important time to get grounded in skills like time management, collaboration, and leadership. Some people think that online education fails to serve students in this regard and that face-to-face conversation is the only acceptable way to learn and develop social skills. Nothing could be further from the truth!
In the modern, globalized economy, a lot of professional conversation is going to be mediated through technology. The ability to hold interest and attention during a Zoom call is as increasingly important to success as proficiency in public speaking.
OVS uses a variety of assessment criteria, including video assignments so students develop familiarity with these essential life skills. For example, in Grade 12 Chemistry (SCH4U), students get to build their social “soft skills” through virtual labs and discussion forums.
Myth #4 — Online diplomas are worth less than those from a traditional school
Not all eLearning programs are created equal, it’s true. When selecting an online high school, it’s vital to do your research and make sure that the diploma that you get at the end is worthwhile. OVS is accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education and has all inspection requirements to be given the right to issue Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) credits.
The credits that students earn at OVS are the same as those issued by all public schools across Ontario. So, a diploma earned from OVS is going to mean the same to a university admissions officer as one from a conventional day school.
Myth #5 — Online learning is not structured
Some people hold that online learning programs lack the structure that physical learning environments have. The reality is that online learning programs hold as robust a structure as any conventional setting.
Let’s take OVS’s popular MCR3U course as an example. Here, students develop their understanding of mathematical functions, an essential part of any post-secondary pathway involving the sciences. In this course, students earn 70% of their grades throughout the course, during periodic evaluations in a variety of different formats. Only 30% of the final mark is dependent on their final examination. This structure allows teachers to identify areas students may be struggling in long before it significantly impacts their grades.
While there will always be misconceptions surrounding new innovations, the truth is that eLearning offered through an accredited virtual high school provides students with the structure, support, and flexibility to help them succeed. Hopefully with these 5 myths debunked, you now have a clearer idea of how remote learning can help students get ahead and train them for the future.