What Online Learning Can Offer Students

There is a famous quote by Tim Johnson that says, “There is no end to learning, but there are many beginnings.” My first reaction to this quote was, ‘That is a total lie’ as I thought that there surely is an end (i.e. when I graduate from college!). However, now I know that I was completely wrong because indeed there is no end to learning. I realized that there are so many other things that I can learn from outside of school. This is when I became eager to explore the learning opportunities beyond the school curriculum and that is how I landed on the world of online learning by signing up for a GOA course. Here are my takeaways from taking GOA’s Entrepreneurship in a Global Context course in detail.

Able to Become an Independent and Responsible Learner

Before taking the course, I actually worried about becoming the exact opposite of an independent and responsible learner. I believed that without the in-person support from the teachers and peers, I would not be able to learn effectively as I do in school. However, my worries were gone as soon as I was introduced to GOA’s online learning platforms. For instance, Canvas was one of my most frequently visited websites that I went to every day while taking the course.

(a screenshot of the Canvas “Home” page)

What I really liked about this platform was that it truly helped me to stay on top of my work as it allowed my course teacher to display countless resources in an orderly manner.

(a screenshot of the Canvas “Modules” page)

Here you can see how there are separate tabs for different units that the GOA calls “Modules.” The tabs were clickable and its drop-down menu feature helped with my organizational skills. I personally liked to keep one tab opened only as it allowed me to intuitively know which module I was currently working on. This was also my strategy to keep my interest and curiosity up throughout the semester as opening up the next module tap was like opening up a mystery box.

So, instead of being worried and afraid of not being able to catch up with all the assignments, I learned to be an independent and responsible learner who stayed on top of her work with the help of a well-organized system.

Able to Become a Great Communicator

This might sound controversial to some as when we think about the word ‘online learning’ we still associate it with the word ‘distance learning’ which (at least in my case) did not allow for easy communication with my teachers and peers. In my online class, I was able to become a great communicator. Like Canvas, there were other amazing online platforms that I really liked. For instance, Twist was my other most frequently visited platform because it was the communication hub in which announcements were made, group chats were created, and which also allowed me to ask questions to my course teacher.

(an image of a sample workspace in Twist)

However, there is more than a great online communication platform that allowed me to openly talk about my worries, concerns, or ideas with others; it was a safe, supportive, and motivational environment. I participated in various interactive activities like posting and replying to class discussion threads and having group face-calls where I got to meet and learn about my online peers around the world. These activities helped me to realize that I was in a group in which I did not have to worry about getting judged and criticized as everyone was being respectful and always trying their best to give constructive feedback to each other. And so, even though I inevitably experienced some inconveniences of online communicating (e.g. not getting instant feedback due to different time zones), I learned how to become a great communicator who proactively spoke and listened to others.

Able to Become an Internationally-Minded Learner

International Mindedness is a well-known concept within the International Baccalaureate (IB). But are you wondering what it means? According to an education expert Carolyn Savage, International Mindedness is about “understanding, respecting and valuing different cultures, embracing diversity and knowing that different perspectives have a great deal to offer.” As a student studying in an International school, I was naturally exposed to an environment in which this concept was being applied on a daily basis. However, the limitation of my school environment was that I was bound with a specific group of people (e.g. from the same grade level, from the same Chemistry class, etc). This issue was then solved by taking a GOA course. GOA’s mission is “to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society.” As they state so in their website, I experienced the great value of being connected in a “globally networked society” when taking the Entrepreneurship course whenever we had a discussion-based task.

For instance, there was a task in which we shared our Business Model Canvas (BMC) as the first practical step of establishing our own Start-ups.

This is one of the most memorable tasks from the course as it was the final project of the course in which I had put all the knowledge and skills that I learned throughout the semester but also because I was inspired by my peer’s compelling ideas that helped me to apply it into my project. I think this is the true beauty and value of being able to become an internationally-minded learner.

Experience it Yourself or Empower Your Students

If you are a student reading this blog, I highly recommend you to experience this learning process yourself by signing up for a course.

If you are a teacher reading this blog, please share this story with students in your schools to empower them to learn beyond what they are told to in school.

Hyeonmin (Minie) K. is a GOA Ambassador and Student at the International School of Prague.

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This post is part of our Student Spotlight series, where we feature stories from students who take GOA courses. Are you a current or former GOA student who would like to contribute or be interviewed for a Student Spotlight article? Or, are you an educator who has a recommendation for a student for us to feature? Email us at hello@globalonlineacademy.org with the subject title “Student Spotlight.”

GOA serves students, teachers, and leaders and is comprised of member schools from around the world, including independent, international, charter, and public schools. Learn more about Becoming a Member. Our professional learning opportunities are open to any educator or school team. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. To stay up to date on GOA learning opportunities, sign up for our newsletter.

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