Formalism in online education

Peter Serdyukov
2021 Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning  
PurposeWith the rapid transition of education from the traditional, classroom- or campus-based to the online format, there grows a need for not only taking advantage of online technology but also assessing actual and potential effects it can make on the learners, learning, education, and society. One of the risks inherent in online learning is its growing formalization both in the organization of the learning and in its process, which may gravely affect students' learning, health, cognition,
more » ... avior and quality of the learning outcomes. It can also produce serious implications for the society. This article investigates the origins of formalization, its forms and stages, and discusses asynchronous, precision, and automated learning formats from this perspective. Among many issues, the impact of formalization on the learner's development and socialization is considered. The author offers a pragmatic solution for deformalization of online learning.Design/methodology/approachQualitative analysis of contemporary research literature, educational trends and practices.FindingsIt was found that formalism permeates online education in many ways. It is present in asynchronous, precise and automated learning and may produce significant impact on students, their learning, and society.Research limitations/implicationsThis is a qualitative research based on the analysis of current research literature and teaching practices.Practical implicationsWhile formalism in education is an unavoidable evil, its impact must be diminished. Critical analysis and practical recommendations offered may help improve online teaching and learning.Social implicationsFormalism affects both students' socialization in the online learning environment, and patterns of socialization in the society. It also impacts students' cognition and behaviors. So, counteracting formalism may benefit the society's well-being.Originality/valueThe authors could not find any publications on this topic. So this is an original material which may contribute to improving online teaching and learning.
doi:10.1108/jrit-02-2021-0010 fatcat:wyjy6f5lrzactlkgxqjygynrci