i Why learning should go much further than the material | College Writing: Debate(s) In Higher Education
31. October 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Blog Post 2

AJ Floodstrand

In today’s ever changing world it’s clear to state that technology has made a significant impact in the current education system.  I have encountered several ways of education that have both positively and negatively impacted not only my education experience but my life in  general. Education is very important to an individual’s future and their life.There are many distinctive ways of how education can be administered such as the traditional in-class lecture, active in-class teaching, and online education. While all teaching methods generally have the same concept in mind there is a distinct  difference between them.  An active classroom education is much more effective than online education because it involves interpersonal skills such as collaboration, communication and  long lasting critical thinking skills that can not be taught elsewhere. These skills significantly benefit the student’s educational path and their future career endeavor that online education cannot provide. In-class active learning goes the extra mile to impact a student’s overall educational experience and life path.

In-Class active  learning is more beneficial than  an online education class because it provides many opportunities that it cannot provide elsewhere such as online education. Many students will encounter the online education atmosphere by taking an online class in their educational experience, myself included. However, it does not compare to the active in-class atmosphere that creates collaboration, conversation, and confidence to the student through the lesson. I have experienced the online education by an online lesson in my College Writing Class that was also taught as an active lecture as well as taking two online classes in throughout high school. During my online assignment Grounds for Argument, “Make a claim that is contestable and supportable”was very much similar to my online experiences in high school.  As a result of my past online classes, I was able to set my own pace and  connected quickly to the format of the online material.  It was extremely nice to have the unlimited time but I felt the lack of confidence in the material and demonstrating what I have learned.  While the in the class active lesson was time managed I was able I collaborate with my classmates, ask questions and communicate my thoughts with others. What I was able to do during the active teaching lesson, I am not able to do during the online lesson.  During the active teaching lesson, I was able to enhance my learning by demonstrating my knowledge to the material of claims. In general, the online lesson had the same message it was just delivered in a complicated method then it needs to be. This what criticize the most that an online class is typically too lengthy, it has too long of a text on every page. This makes me want not read the entirety of the passage in which I could be missing critical information. While the in-class lesson offered much more that just the lesson it created mindsets such as communication, collaboration  and asking my Professor questions.  Despite my previous knowledge on claims, the in-class lesson served as a quality refresher and a confidence booster opposed to the online lesson that just acknowledged the lesson. In-person active learning is more effective because it creates improvement on a conversation, collaboration and communication skills.

Throughout my high school journey, I had many wonderful teachers who helped guided myself as well as many other students.  I do not like to refer to the term as a “helicopter teacher.” According to“The Rise of the Helicopter Teacher” by Steven Conn, a helicopter teacher is a teacher who constantly/hovers makes sure a student is doing what he/she should be doing. I feel that this term put a negative perspective on teachers who go the extra mile to help students succeed. During my freshman year of high school, my math teacher used the active teaching style and was phenomenal at explaining the math concepts.  Generally, math is not my strong subject as many other students in the class struggled too. She was great at explaining and making sure that everyone who cared and wanted to understand the concepts was able too. Given that it was a freshman class, I understand and commend why she was so dedicated to making sure that everyone understood the material who wanted too. She could answer any questions out of class and always went the extra mile to make sure everything was okay. I like to define my math teacher, not a “helicopter teacher” but one who genuinely cared about her students. She always went well above and beyond the extra mile to make sure everything went smoothly and accordingly.  While she was very open in helping me as with others students, she also challenged me to every problem, circumstance and even found some ways to help me “understand” math.  I believe that by these experiences and active teaching set me up for a successful high school journey.

Online learning is great at handing out the material but lacks in the category of practicing and performing the material learned. Classmate Morgan Tollard  who encountered the online lesson and in class lecture agrees that online learning is helpful for timeliness but fails to  reassure confidence and create collaboration. “Although the pace was set and was more time consuming than the online lesson, I was more confident in my abilities to state a powerful claim. I could be more focused in the lecture and could ask to follow-up questions to the professor, opposed to only having a group of set readings. Having the opportunity to hear my peers’ opinions and insight was helpful as well. I was able to hear many sides of one problem, instead of only reflecting on my thought and opinions.”  Not only was it an in a class lesson, it was an interactive lesson with a powerpoint and a discuss.  When I took my online courses during high school learning and understanding the material was quite challenging. While I did well on the quizzes and final exam I don’t believe that I would be able to be confident enough to demonstrate and perform the material thoroughly  This shows clear evidence that the in- class lessons  teach much more than actual lesson itself.

There are several different ways of teaching in the classroom such as straightforward lectures, PowerPoints presentations and so forth. Active Teaching is an important aspect of learning in the classroom. Active teaching is going above and beyond to the minimum. Active teaching techniques include interactive lessons/lectures such as power points and discussions.   Based on Christine Gross-Loh’s article upon “Should Colleges really eliminate the College Lecture?” It really questioned the viewpoint on the typical straightforward  lecture and lesson.  As a hands-on learner, I could relate to the title vividly. More than 225 studies were done to analyze the current College lecture. “High grades and low failure rates were most pronounced in small classes that relied on active teaching,” Gross-Loh states that perhaps the Professor’s style of teaching in their lecture, public speaking style and duration that leans on the student’s knowledge perspective. Even so that studies have shown that Students zone out on typical lectures after fifteen minutes. This study speaks volumes because some lectures are ninety minutes straight. Active teaching is a good change for this perspective because students can become more engaged in the opportunity of learning and retention.  

In class, teaching is the best way for students to not only learn the material but also for them to express it and use it in their writing. Based on Anya Kamenetzarticle “3 Things People Can Do in the Classroom, That robots can’t” expresses the valuable outcomes that a teacher can bring to the classroom and students.  Unlike online education, in class teaching allows a teacher to collaborate with the students by creating stronger communication skills and develop collaboration among other classmates. According to Rebecca Winthrop director of Central Universal Education at the Brookings Institution study shows that teaching just doesn’t stop at a lecture.  The study conducted around the question of “What are the skills every kid in the world needs?” The skills presented such as no routine, interpersonal and analytical interactions are critical skills to develop to be successful in their post-education format. In high school, I took multiple Marketing Classes. These were probably one of the best classes I took during high school because I learned how to create an effective portfolio, participated in mock job interviews and many other helpful skills. In addition, I also prepared myself for a job by working in the school store and learning effective interview techniques. These skills have come in great help from applying to College and interviewing and accepting my job. While these skills are very much important they must be learned through active in class learning to receive the full positive effect.

          In-class active learning goes the extra mile to impact and help guide a student’s educational experience. Many skills are critical to learning in the classroom than just the lesson itself. It is just nearly impossible for a student to receive,accumulate and understand the concept materials in online learning compared to passionate, genuine, and active teaching style. Communication, Collaboration, and critical thinking skills are vital to the skills and knowledge received over the course of a student’s educational path.  Students are able to collaborate with one another during class, be able to think outside the box, and they are able to ask questions in ways that online does not. In-Class active learning is the only way a student can effectively learn and master these lifelong skills.

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