Thursday, 23 August 2012
Online Tuition at IB Global Academy
"The most important single result of our study: It calls into question the position of the skeptic who says, 'I don't want to try this because it will hurt my students,' " says one of the study's architects, Sahit Khan, a president of IB Global Academy and the Brainstorm foundation. Mr. Shahbaz Shirazi, a Maths teacher of IB who taught a computer-assisted course in the study, was among the skeptics. "I walked away with a much more positive outlook for online courses," she says, as long as they are well designed ("not all are," she notes) and include regular in-person sessions (as opposed to courses taught exclusively online). Surveys by the researchers found online students spent about 25% less time on the course—both in and out of the classroom and on and off the computer—than the others for the same test results. Online students tended to be less satisfied with the course, perhaps because the Carnegie-Mellon course lacks the entertainment of videogames while in-person professors leaven lectures with jokes and anecdotes.