#ocTEL; Are learners who tend to take a ‘surface’ approach likely to learn more or less effectively online versus face-to-face?

My students have either Dyslexia/Dyscalculia or some form of moderate learning difficulty. I would say that the majority of them are surface learners. They try to take in just what is required to pass their courses, before either moving on or ending their education (some might return to learning at a later date).

Though most like to use different types of learning resources, they also require the back up of an actual person, plus interaction to encourage and reinforce what has been carried out. For some it would be a task in itself to remember to carry out on line activities independently.

Some students who are intent on ‘getting on in life’, not using their learning ability to hold them back, or as an excuse for not achieving, will take a strategic approach, using any resources and activities to increase their chances of achieving their goals. My workplace uses a VLE, which can be accessed in college, and from home; it includes course materials, and visits can be monitored. Again visits depend on the confidence of the students to ‘drop in’, despite how they appear in class.

I think that if students were told that the online activities were a progression from what had been covered in class they would be more likely to look at them. Another approach could be to use it to help develop independent learning; preparing them for higher education.


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