There are a lot of myths surrounding online professors. Some say they aren’t as good, or that they care less about their students. As we enter the online age, it’s important to separate myth from fact so we can make informed decisions regarding our education.
1. It’s Hard for Students to Get the Professor’s Attention Online
Actually, most students find quite the opposite is true. In a classroom with several dozen students, it’s hard for professors to give each student the time and attention they need. When instructing an online class, professors are able to focus on each email or instant message individually. He or she can address each concern thoughtfully, instead of in a rush to get to the next class.
2. Online Professors Don’t Teach as Much Material
In truth, students who are tested on their proficiency after an online class score better than those who learned in a brick and mortar classroom. Without the distractions of a classroom of students with questions and comments, the instructor has time to present each topic and cover it fully. Often, traditional classrooms produce so many distractions the professor has to truncate the material.
3. Online Professors Aren’t Really Teaching
All professors, no matter what type of class setting they’re teaching in, have to choose text materials and devise a method of presenting this material in a way students can understand and remember it. The multimedia experience offered online lets professors develop classes that are more dynamic than ever before. These rich experiences give professors new tools for presenting information, but the professors still have to meet the same rigorous criteria as other instructors.
4. The Best Professors Aren’t Teaching Online
As more colleges and universities offer online classes, more professors realize the benefits both to students and to themselves. Most professors teaching online also teach in a traditional classroom setting. They’re the same people. Online classes are simply a way for professors to expand their work, giving them multiple ways of teaching students and earning a living. For example, if you’re going for your business management degree, you’ll need a professor with a strong background in business whether he’s instructing in a classroom or over the Internet.
5. Online Professors Don’t Get to Know Their Students
Just like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, we see it is quite possible to get to know someone online just as well as if you were together in person. It’s probably more likely a professor is going to remember your name when they see your emails, submitted assignments, and instant messages daily than if they were trying to associate your name with a stack of papers on their desk.
6. Colleges Need Fewer Professors to Offer Online Classes
Some fear that the abundance of online classes might lead to fewer professors with jobs. Again, behind the online class a real, trained, experienced professor is the driving engine of the experience – whether that experience is online or in a classroom. The Internet is no substitute for excellent professors who know what it takes to educate people.
We should look at online professors the same way we do every college instructor: as highly trained professionals who uses the tools at their disposal to provide an enriching learning experience for all students.