Why do Australian students still struggle with online education?
AUSTRALIAN students continue to struggle with learning on-demand and online, with a new report finding more than two-thirds of students are unable to get the basic online instruction they need, with just 10 per cent of students able to access the full range of learning online.
In the last two years, the National Centre for Educational Technology (NCEET) has reported a number of problems, including lack of adequate training for teachers and students and the failure to ensure students have access to a high-quality curriculum.NCEAT’s study released on Monday shows nearly 80 per cent more students have difficulty getting online instruction than teachers.
Numerous issues with online learningA report released last year by the Australian Institute of Education found students who did not attend the National Curriculum Assessment (NCA) in the first year were significantly less likely to pass a core skills assessment than those who did.
Students who were unable to access online learning in the NCA, as well as other measures like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the College Board (CBB), were found to be more likely to struggle academically, particularly in their areas of study.
Professor Richard Tait from the NCEET said the study showed “a very worrying situation for students”.
“There is no doubt that the quality of learning we deliver online has become a matter of serious concern,” Professor Tait said.
“There’s no question that we need to be able to provide that online to our students.”
The issue here is that we’re seeing a significant increase in the proportion of students who cannot access online.
“And they’re finding it very hard to get that access.”
Professor Tait warned that the NCCA was an important indicator for students, with the data showing “significant gaps” in access to online learning.
“We know there are significant issues with quality of teaching, and we also know there’s a significant issue with student learning, particularly at higher education,” he said.
But NCEE chief executive Michelle Taylor said the issue of quality online learning was not limited to Australian students.
“Students who are unable or choose not to take the NCA are also being impacted by poor teaching quality in schools across the country,” she said.”[In] the current system we need a more integrated system that is tailored to meet the needs of our students.”
“It’s important for schools to have a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to learning online that enables them to deliver the best possible outcomes.”‘
The system needs to change’Professor Taylor said schools needed to make “changes to the system to get online”.
“We’re looking at the whole curriculum and how it’s delivered and how teachers are trained,” she told news.com.au.
“In the NACA, there are areas where students have trouble getting the core skills assessments.”
Students are missing out on essential information.
“They’re not getting the guidance that they need to get to make their own decisions.”
Ms Taylor said while students had a right to access their basic education, the system needed to change to ensure all students had access to it.
“For the most part, it’s going to be a bit more expensive in the long term, but the reality is that it’s a right that we all have,” she added.
“This is an issue that’s affecting us all, but it’s not going to go away overnight.”
Ms Tan said the government’s recent education minister, Christopher Pyne, had called for a national online learning strategy.
“It was really clear that he was really concerned about online learning and the quality,” Ms Tan said.’
Students are finding it hard to access access online”Ms Taylor pointed to the NCCC’s recent report, which found students in primary schools were more than twice as likely to experience a lack of online learning than students in secondary schools.
“He has put out a call for action on online learning,” Ms Taylor said.
Professor Taylor urged the government to make the system more efficient and transparent.
“What we need is to have an online curriculum that is delivered at an efficient rate, which is a good system that has all the skills, the information, the resources, the data and the support,” she explained.
“Then we need an education system that delivers the best outcomes for students.”