Today I have Matt Herndon as guest blogger. Please be sure to check out his unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.
Contrary to popular belief, education is about more than just learning—it's also about conducting critical thinking. Any student can memorize lists of facts and reproduce them for an exam, but this isn't the ultimate goal of schooling. The true purpose of education is to encourage students to become independent learners who are able to think critically, analyze situations and solve practical problems on their own. One of the best ways for students to develop this type of educational independence is through effective online learning
The Importance of Critical Thinking
The Role of Online Education
Though education in any setting can help students develop critical thinking skills, online education is especially effective when implemented properly. Below are some advantages of online education for teaching students to learn and think independently.
- Self-paced learning. When students participate in online learning programs, they must set their own schedules and complete required tasks at their own pace. This teaches students to analyze the amount of work they need to do, develop appropriate goals and take initiative on a daily basis in order to meet them.
- Less dependence on instructor. Students learning online don't have an instructor constantly explaining topics or answering questions every step of the way. Instead, students must think independently and figure things out on their own. As a result, students learn to question their assumptions, identify inaccuracies and draw valid conclusions.
- More interactive activities. When learning takes place online, educators can create a variety of interactive activities for students to complete. As students work through these activities, they hone their problem solving and critical thinking skills while simultaneously learning important subject matter.
- Ongoing discussions. Even online classes involve social interaction. In fact, online learning is uniquely suited for collaboration because students can communicate with one another at any time and from any location with an Internet connection. Instructors can post discussion prompts, and students can ask questions, respond to one another and debate important topics.
- Fewer distractions. Depending on where a student chooses to study, there may still be distractions in his environment. However, online learning allows students the option to learn their material and complete their assignments in areas free from auditory and visual distractions. In such environments, students are able to think more clearly and hone their analytical skills.
About the author:
Matt Herndon (@Just_Matt_) lives in the Indianapolis area with his wife and children. He recently completed his graduate work, studying communication and leadership development.
Many thanks to Matt.
Enjoy your reading!