Peer Interaction

The Missing Link in Online Education

You know what’s great about an online class?

The flexibility offered is next to none. There’s no specific time you’ve got to be in a classroom, and you won’t get in trouble for being tardy. Of course, there are due dates for some assignments, but let’s face it: with the sheer number of cute cat videos on YouTube, we need those deadlines to keep us on track.

There’s no commute. That means no traffic, you’re not worried about getting stuck in snow, and you’re not wasting gas and polluting the environment. And who doesn’t like to jump on the chance to reduce their carbon footprint?

Even more, you get the chance to increase your skills with technology, which is a skill you’re going to need in just about any career field. Why not learn to use the same pieces of tech you’ll need as an adult, all while gaining an education? It’s one of those two-birds-with-one-stone kinds of deals.

Online courses also look pretty sweet on your resume. Wait, what? Is that true? Yep. When you show that you can complete an online course successfully, you’re showing that you’re good with time management, you’re chock full of self-discipline, and you’re committed to learning.

Plus, it’s got the whole comfort factor going on. Where else can you get an education while hanging out comfortably in your pajamas? What classroom has a fully-stocked kitchen just a few steps away? Is there any other kind of school where you can snuggle with your cat or dog?  Online classes are just plain cozier.

 

You know what’s NOT so great about an online class?

Yep. You guessed it: there’s little-to-no peer interaction.

But, why does that matter? You’re here to get an education, right? Why should you worry about making friends and connecting with others?

If those questions are running through your mind, let us ask you this question: did you know that peer interaction and friendships are more important during teen years than at any other point in a person’s life?

Yep. It’s not just about learning when you’re a teenager.   Or rather, there are lots of pieces to learning when you’re a teenager—and learning how to interact with your peers is a big part of this phase of life!

 

But there is a better way…

That’s actually one of the greatest things about Write from the Heart Classes. We’ve got what most online courses are missing: the opportunity to meet someone new. And we’ve got it weaved into more than just one aspect of our program.

  • The Online Classroom is unique to the program. Most online writing courses offer one-to-one pairings with a writing tutor, meaning you only get one set of eyes on your paper. But, in our program, we work together. Instead of submitting assignments to an online black hole, everyone posts together. It’s as close as you can get to being in a real classroom without actually being in a classroom.
  • Peer Reviews happen on every paper, and we do them more than once. More than one peer will take a look at every single paper. It’s even been shown in a variety of studies that students will perform at higher levels when they know that another student will read their work. Talk about redefining “peer pressure.”
  • Discussion Boards aren’t just for posting assignments. We’ve got a variety of boards dedicated solely to sharing ideas, random thoughts, and for just plain getting to know everyone. The boards are closely monitored by coaches, as well, meaning that the program stays pretty shenanigan-free.

Yes, our coaches are wonderful. They’re trained, qualified, and skilled in their positions. But, they don’t have the answers to everything. And they can’t be our friends. Peers can, though. And here at WFTH, we love our peers.

And that is what’s so great about our online classes.

 

Written by Stephanie Constantino
Mrs. C is a teacher, writer, and stay-at-home mommy extraordinaire. She loves pushing students to the boundaries of their writing potential through using a fun and encouraging teaching style.  If you’d like the opportunity to work with Mrs. Constantino, or any of the amazing Write from the Heart coaches, check out our classes here, or contact us.