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Online learning at secondary school prepares students for university

Secondary school students aged 16-19 years old who study courses online are better equipped for university and are able to study independently, use virtual learning programmes with ease and source relevant academic sources online, research from the Institute of Education University of London (IOE) has found.

“Those students who had experience of online study were more autonomous, were more independent, were able to regulate their own learning practices more successfully than those who hadn’t"

Spearheaded and funded by UK-based Pamoja Education, the research captured data from over 100 students aged 17-23 years of age across universities in 36 different countries, 58 of which had studied at least one two-year course online as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) while at school.

A high 94% of students surveyed said having the ability to find academic resources online was valuable and 78% considered it important  to be able to use online tools to plan and coordinate group tasks in university study.

“Online learning not only gives students the chance to develop independence in their learning and other skills essential for university and the workplace, but it also acknowledges the learning preferences of students in this digital age,” Ed Lawless, Principal of Pamoja Education told The PIE News.

“Schools should be investigating online learning options as a way to complement traditional classroom pedagogy, and prepare today’s students for the next stage in their learning”

“Schools should be investigating online learning options as a way to complement traditional classroom pedagogy, and prepare today’s students for the next stage in their learning,” he added.

“Those students who had experience of online study were more autonomous, were more independent, were able to regulate their own learning practices more successfully than those who hadn’t,” commented Martin Oliver, professor of education and technology and head of the Learning Technologies Unit.

“They had a repertoire of tools and approaches they could use and they were able to draw on these to help them in their studies,” said Oliver.

Pamoja Education’s Anne Keeling told The PIE News that many nations can learn from this study and look to countries like the USA, where in several states, such as Florida, through the Florida Digital Learning Act, online learning is now mandatory in secondary schools.

UK-based Pamoja Education works in cooperation with the International Baccalaureate is the only provider of online IBDP courses for students aged 16-19.

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