Setting Online Learning Myths Straight

Posted on November 11 2013

There are a lot of misconceptions and apprehensions surrounding online schools and online learning. Much of this is actually grounded on the fear of what is unknown. You may have heard from the friend of a brother’s neighbor about how he has been victimized by a diploma mill. You may have this notion that online students don’t learn much but get to earn their high school diploma. Others may have the idea that an online school involves a lot of web-surfing.

So, which ones are facts and which ones are fiction? Here are some online learning myths set straight:

Myth 1: Virtual high school students are invariable students with medical issues or who have no access to a “brick and mortar school”.

Online learning may be an option that serves the needs of various types of students, not just those who have mobility or medical problems. There are individuals who also would like to get advanced courses so that they can graduate from high school early. There are families that prefer the type of learning and advantages that an online high school education has to offer such as a flexible school day, an opportunity to pursue other personal goals (in sports or the arts) and access to the lessons anywhere so long as there is an internet connection.

Myth 2: Virtual high school is for everyone.

On the flipside, online high school may also not be a good fit for certain types of students. Online lessons are flexible in that the lessons can be done at anytime of the day. However, there will still be deadlines on assignments and projects. A student should be self-motivated in order to thrive in this type of environment. The way the lessons are delivered also require the student to have time-management skills and the discipline to juggle the lessons with other interests such as his social life, hobbies, clubs and other personal goals. If a student has to struggle with motivating himself or managing his time, virtual high school may not be for him.

Myth 3: You don’t learn much from online courses than from “face-to-face” courses.

Admittedly, there are diploma mills that churn out high school diplomas without requiring their “students” to do much in terms of coursework. However, for accredited online high schools like The American Academy, there is a need to develop a curriculum that meets the accrediting body’s stringent standards. Actually, accredited online high schools require the same level of academic performance as that of traditional schools.

Myth 4: With online high schools, you only interact with a computer program.

Online high schools have online teachers (who are licensed and qualified to teach), as well as the student’s online “classmates”. Online schools also highly encourage (and even require) students to provide their active participation in terms of online discussions and forums. This way, students don’t miss out on the learning that interacting with peers and teachers provide.

Myth 5: Online high school courses are less time-consuming than face-to-face lessons.

You may be surprised. Online high school students will need to pour as much time on the lessons as any other regular student. For instance, if the student enrolls for 9 credits, he needs to spend a minimum of 27 hours or so weekly in order to finish reading materials, answer quizzes and exams and complete papers and assignments. However, the student will still save the time it usually requires for a student to go to and from school and wait for the classes to start.

Myth 6: Online high school courses require less mental energy than face-to-face curricula.

That is to say, online high school courses are easier than face-to face lessons. This is simply untrue. Online high school lessons may be just as demanding or even more as compared to face-to-face lessons. The curriculum for online high schools covers similar content and requirements as traditional curricula. Again, online high schools may require more effort since the student has more flexibility (and thus more temptations to procrastinate). This means a student has to be committed and determined in order to complete the courses.