Students Are Motivated to Take Online Courses

Susan Patrick, President, iNACOL

Susan Patrick, President of iNACOL writes into the Chicago Tribune to voice her support for online learning initiatives in Chicago Public Schools. She finishes off her letter with a valid point, that students actually are motivated to take online courses, because they like it, and because online better influences their learning.

What’s more, students want to learn online: a national study showed 40 percent of middle and high school students want to take online courses.

Despite what critics say, there is no evidence that children in online or hybrid classes are any less socially adjusted than those children who attend brick-and-mortar, traditional schools.

In fact, one study showed virtual school students had better socialization skills due to the flexibility in their scheduling and more frequent social interactions in activities both organized through their schools and through increased flexibility to attend extra-curricular activities and clubs.

One size does not fit all for schooling — students are ready to go online to expand learning opportunities.

The most important thing to remember about online learning is that it can meet each child where that child needs the most help.

It provides gifted students access to more rigorous courses online, while offering struggling students the flexibility in pacing to master the lessons they need when they fall behind and stay on track for graduating with a meaningful diploma simultaneously.

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