E-Learning | Research

Parents and Students Want More Online Courses, But Few Teachers Willing to Teach Them

Almost half of high school parents and students in grades 6 to 12 would like more online courses, but only 17 percent of teachers are interested in teaching online classes and only 20 percent use online curriculum in their classrooms, according to a new report from Blackboard and Project Tomorrow.

The report, "2013 Trends in Learning: Virtual, Blended, and Flipped Classrooms" was released at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2013 conference and expo taking place this week in San Antonio, TX. The report is based on the 2012 Speak Up survey of more than 460,000 students, parents, teachers, administrators, and support staff from 2,431 K-12 school districts across the country.

According to Blackboard, which sponsored the report, teachers who embrace online learning may be better able to prepare their students for the Common Core State Standards. “Blending learning technology with traditional teaching methods is surging in part because educators realize that to meet Common Core standards and prepare students for college with 21st century skills, they need to adopt creative and collaborative teaching methods,” said Sanjeev Ahuja, vice president of K-12 at Blackboard, in a prepared statement. “This is where technology plays a key role. It allows a teacher to innovate and scale their methodologies in a way they would not have been able to do without the technology.”

Fifty-four percent of teachers in flipped classrooms believe online learning can help students apply learning to real-world problems, a skill that is a core component of the Common Core State Standards, whereas only 27 percent of all teachers nationwide hold this view of online learning, according to the report.

Other key findings from the report:

  • 43 percent of districts are offering online courses;
  • 60 percent of teachers in flipped classrooms believe online learning motivates their students;
  • 54 percent of teachers in flipped classrooms believe the approach as increased self-directed student learning;
  • 89 percent of parents want their children in classrooms where mobile devices are used;
  • Administrators value online professional development for teachers in addition to student online learning;
  • The availability of professional development online courses has increased by 42 percent for administrators and 100 percent for support staff over the past year;
  • Virtual, blended, and flipped classrooms use more digital content with students than traditional classrooms;
  • Parents who have taken an online class for their own work expect their students to have access to similar online learning opportunities; and
  • Students see online learning as a more personal, controlled learning process.

The complete "2013 Trends in Learning: Virtual, Blended, and Flipped Classrooms" report is available on Blackboard's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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