The following is a list of myths and facts related to online education which is sourced from http://www.inacol.org/.
1. Myth: Virtual schools are a separate delivery system from traditional education.
There are more than 500,000 enrollments in online courses across the
U.S, in schools and districts, meeting rigorous state academic standards
as virtual schools provide courses to students inside schools. Online
courses are in all 50 states and make it possible to offer advanced
courses or instruction that are otherwise not offered at the local
2. Myth: Online courses are for gifted and talented students only.
Truth: Online courses have worked well with
students of all kinds, including at-risk students, students in urban
and rural areas, those with limited English proficiency, and those with
special needs. Online learning has also been used successfully as part
of systemic reforms to help students who are performing below grade
level in large urban school districts.
3. Myth: Online courses lack interaction.
Truth: Students typically have more
one-on-one interactions with their teachers and fellow students in
online courses, especially when team projects are assigned. Teachers
report getting to know their students better, and students who are shy
or do not think well “on their feet” tend to contribute more in online
environments. Students are often actively interacting with
both resources and others in online environments.
4. Myth: Online students are isolated and therefore will be socially disadvantaged.
Truth: In fact, students often engage
actively both online and off as they complete assignments and socialize
with other students and adults in their schools, at home, and in the
community. Online students typically take only one or two courses
online, blending their learning opportunities with traditional
instruction in brick-and-mortar schools.
5. Myth: Online teachers have easy jobs.
Truth: Online teachers report that they
work much harder and spend more hours online than in the classroom, but
that they love it. They do not simply “move a class online” and “put up
what they teach.” Online instructional design, writing, management of
instruction, and communicating with students can take considerable time
and be quite different from what goes on inside a traditional classroom.
6.Myth: Online courses have to be developed from scratch.
Truth: Many online courses already exist that meet state standards and are accredited by
recognized organizations. These online resources have been developed by states, private
business, and independent organizations. At least initially, collaborating and sharing these
options may be more cost-effective and practical for school systems than developing online
7. Myth: Online course are easier for students than regular courses.
Truth: Most online courses are not
condensed or easier versions of regular courses. They are aligned to
rigorous state standards. They require active participation and operate
in settings under supervision of state-certified teachers, require
students take state assessment tests, have attendance policies, and have
competency-based academic progress requirements in effect.
8. Myth: A student is more likely to cheat online.
Truth: Cheating is no more prevalent online
than in the classroom. In addition, there are many technological ways
to deter it and track it. In many cases, the online venue and
communication enables teachers to get to know their students’
idiosyncrasies and skills much better. Teachers say that student writing
has a voice and that it is often easier to spot work that is
inconsistent or unlike earlier communication in online environments.
9. Myth: Virtual schools are about technology.
Truth: Virtual schools are about curriculum
and instruction for students. The “medium” is not the message because
the student, instructor, content, and learning goals are key.
Networks simply make it possible to provide communication, access to
extended resources, and use of sound, graphics, video, text,
interactivity, and other digital capabilities to strengthen
instruction. Most schools have the basic technology, Web browsers,
plug-in software, and access that are needed.
10. Myth: Online courses represent an “add-on” to already burdened school systems and teachers.
Truth: Online education does not represent
an “add-on.” It does represent an opportunity take advantage of online
resources, enable teachers to help students learn in ways that match
students’ needs and learning style, and transform schools. Online
courses may or may not decrease costs, depending on how budgets are
allocated and how online courses are integrated into
instruction. Training and support of teachers is also important.