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Can Everyone Be an Online Learner?

Online learning is not as easy as it seems in reality. Online learning is not for everyone and not many people can become students in such type of education. In order to be engaged in online learning, for a start the Internet classes, a person needs to understand that it is a serious education program that requires time and a hard work. Thus, to become a successful online learner a person needs to be self-motivated (to set oneself certain goals and objectives for learning and if something goes wrong, to be able to ask questions to a teacher), self-disciplined (to be able to strictly observe the educational schedule and perform all the tasks according to the deadline), and self-organized (to have strong organizational skills to manage time appropriately to perform every-day tasks as efficiently as possible). Also, online learning requires from students good searching, reading and writing skills. Usually online learning is a self-learning, the learner needs to find the necessary information oneself, to read and to outline it. Moreover, if one has decided to be involved in online classes, he/she should possess good technical skills as online training requires an access to a computer, strong computer skills, and a mandatory access to the Internet. Hence, as it turns out, online learning is even more difficult than face-to-face learning. Jenkins (2011) claims that “online courses probably not for everyone” and not everyone can be a successful online learner.

Various Theories Studied Contribute to the Answer

Andragogical theory and a theory of constructivism contribute to my answer. The theory of constructivism claims that knowledge is not transferred but created; thus, a teacher is a person who directs knowledge, but does not transmit it. This position is appropriate for online learning process because it requires from the teacher to direct students in their educational desires. Andragogical theory reveals the features of adult learning. It is worth emphasizing its main points. Online learning aligns with adult education through independent learning, which is based on the existing life experience and practical skills, freedom in the choice of goals, content, methods, timing and place of training, and a desire for meaningful learning as knowledge is needed to solve a specific problem and achieve a specific goal.

Supporting an Online Learner Who Does not Seem to Be Motivated

There are various methods and tactics, which can be used for motivating and supporting an online learner. Absence of marks, presence of humor, and unusual form of learning are some of the strategies to motivate students in online classes. Firstly, rather severe marking of students’ work in traditional classes can demotivate students. Online learning can replace traditional marking method with a game. For example, a student does not have a typical “A”, “B”, or “C”, he/she goes through the labyrinth or a quest. One can receive bonuses, not points for good job. Secondly, to motivate and support an online learner, a teacher should not conduct too formal classes. A teacher should joke and communicate in a game form. It may encourage students to attend the next lesson and to participate in the learning process in general. Thirdly, if it happened that a student lost his/her motivation, it is possible to review his/her form of training, since the one a student uses can be uninteresting or incomprehensible (Burns, 2011). Therefore, in online lessons it is necessary to include various games, multimedia presentations, and videos to motivate students. It is necessary to enrich the lesson with all available possibilities so that the student wants to read, watch, and listen. To support an online learner, teachers also need to use a system of rewards and praise. It is worthwhile to conduct various analyses of students’ works, answers, achievements and defeats, and to concentrate on their success (Burns, 2011).

Two Possible Scenarios in Which Online Learners May not Have or May Lose Their Energy and Interest in Continuing to Study Online

A person may not have an interest in online learning in a case if he/she got used to face- to-face communication with a teacher, peers, and classmates. Therefore, when such a student has to switch to the online learning format, difficulties and demotivation may arise at first. The second variant of losing interest in online learning is when student’s online classes are boring. The problem is in how a teacher presents lessons. If an online learner and a teacher do not have easy communication and interesting moments, a student quickly gets bored with such everyday obligation and routine task and soon, he/she loses interest in studying.

How Might Self-Regulation, Self-Motivation, and Reflective Practices Be Applied to Solve Issues?

Self-motivation, self-regulation, and reflective practices are very significant for effective online learning. Self-regulation contributes to planning, monitoring, and assessing the work done. This process includes goal setting, attention control, and different learning strategies (Zumbrunn, Tadlock, & Robert, 2011). At the same time, self-motivation is a practice that allows a person to set goals and achieve them, to motivate oneself by means of fulfilling those goals. Reflective practices help during the learning process to develop critical-thinking and decision-making skills and to train how tp respond quickly to various tasks. These practices can help to solve the issues in the learning process. As already mentioned above, they can help a person to learn effectively, think critically, and solve problems as quickly as possible. Maximum efficiency can be achieved only if self-motivation, self-regulation, and reflective practices are used simultaneously.

How Do Situations such as This Call for Strong Consideration by Teachers and Administrators of the Affective Performance Domain?

Affective domain plays an important role in the learning process. This method includes motivation, position, sensations, and values. It will also increase attention, interest, and responsibility of a student. Teachers and administrators can increase the effectiveness of learning by considering the affective domain in preparation for their studies, lectures, and practical lessons. That is, in the process of teaching, teachers and administrators should build their classes in a more playful way, that will cause positive emotions of their students, reduce stress, and increase their attention and lesson understanding.

What Learning Theories Most Clearly Support Authentic or Performance-Centric Assessment? Why?

Constructivism and connectivism theories most clearly support authentic or performance-centric assessment. That is why constructivism is a theory aimed at a student. Such a student builds his/her own knowledge based on personal experience, understands and reacts to the surrounding world in his/her own way. The student’s point of view is special, no matter if it is correct or right. Connectivism theory is an attempt to overcome static approaches to teaching and learning. From the point of view of connectivity, learning occurs in a rapidly changing world, students themselves learn and study; and knowledge is like a stream but not a structure.

Which Learning Theories Best Support Norm-Referenced or Fixed-Choice Assessment Methods? Why?

Behaviorism and cognitivism theories best support norm-referenced or fixed-choice assessment methods. A learner is passive in behaviorism. He is influenced by external factors and the environment. That is, the theory claims that reaction to stimuli and surrounding factors form behavior. However, cognitivism theory claims that learning process goes beyond external. It is the internal process of acquiring and storing information. A studying according this theory is a process of creating a student’s own cultural experience. A student’s activity is completely determined by the age stages of mental-cognitive development.

This text is written by Liana Wongа who is a writing editor at superb essay

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