5 Common Myths about Online Learning
There are many misconceptions or myths out there about virtual education and online high schools. In this post, we work to debunk some of the more common myths.
Myth: Virtual schools are not “real” schools.
Truth: Achieve Virtual Education Academy is an Indiana Department of Education accredited public high school in Indiana. Our students work through rigorous, standards-based curriculum in a variety of courses. We offer all of the core courses and several options for electives that a student needs to graduate. As a virtual student at Achieve Virtual Education Academy, you can receive your Indiana High School Diploma (Core 40, honors, etc.) without ever stepping foot inside a traditional school building.
Myth: Students are taught by a computer, not a teacher.
Truth: Our Achieve Virtual teachers are a very important part of our school. Every class has a dedicated teacher working one-on-one with students. As a matter of fact, our class sizes are often smaller than a face-to-face class size. While a teacher’s role is different in an online course than in a traditional model, they are very much an active part of each student’s educational experience. Teachers will coach, instruct, encourage, organize, and assist students throughout the entire semester.
Myth: Students are isolated and lonely.
Truth: One thing that sets Achieve Virtual apart from many other online high school options is our dedication to building community within our school and each class. Not only do our students interact frequently with real teachers, but they also experience lots of peer interaction as well. Our school’s online learning environment is set up to make it easy for students to work collaboratively with each other and socialize with their peers. Taking classes at Achieve Virtual is far from an isolated experience.
Myth: Online courses are easier than face-to-face courses.
Truth: Because we are a state accredited public high school, our classes meet the same rigorous standards that a student would find in any traditional school. We have the same attendance, testing, and mastery expectations. What makes virtual school a better option for some students is the ability to move at one’s own pace. Students can take their time on topics and lessons that are more challenging for them and move faster through content of which they have a strong understanding. The same standards are met, but without the limitations of pace and with more flexibility in the time of day that students complete the work.
Myth: Cheating is more prevalent in online courses.
Truth: In actuality, studies show that cheating is not more common or frequent in online courses than in face-to-face classes. As a matter of fact, George Watson and James Sottile (2010) of Marshall University found that cheating was happening with more frequency in traditional classrooms than in virtual programs. Our teachers get to know each student and their writing on a personal level. As our teachers design content, they also look for opportunities for authentic,engaging assessment that prevents cheating from taking place.
Watson, G., Sottile, J. (2010). Cheating in the Digital Age: Do students cheat more in online courses?. Retrieved 9 July 2014, from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring13