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Personality Type and the Level Playing Field of Online School

16 Mar

Personality Type and the Level Playing Field of Online School

Posted By: 
Kimberly White

What a beautiful thing it is when students are celebrated for their individuality and are given opportunities to advance in their education in truly personal ways. Online school is one of the few unique environments in life where students, regardless of personality type, can step into their strengths. In online school, extroverts are not considered too assertive and introverts aren’t deemed as too shy. With personalized education platforms, extroverts can find stimulation through immediate interaction while introverts can simultaneously find solace in careful reflection.

Dr. Sallie Reissman, Senior Director of Online Learning and Educational Technology at Wilmington University, was asked who she thought would perform better in an online classroom, introverts or extroverts?

“The beauty of online learning is it works for any type of person because of the variety of communication options,” she said. “The student is in charge of their communication preferences.”

In physical classrooms and face-to-face courses, introverted and extroverted students clash in their communication styles and are rarely given the tools to effectively work together or perform at their highest level as individuals. In classrooms, extroverted students are the ones who raise their hands and dominate the instructor’s attention, while introverted students, who enjoy ample time to plan their response, are seen as un-participatory and slow.

In an online classroom however, the playing field is leveled and students are given equal opportunities to engage in their studies.

“Online learning allows both types of learners to participate fully,” said Dr. Reissman.

With online courses, students can use different communication tools to present their learning based on their preferences. A study was performed at the College of Education at the University of South Alabama which showed that both introverted and extroverted students have success in online courses when they utilize the tools that work best for them.

For example, the study showed that extroverts enjoy the ability to use chat rooms, threaded discussions and video conferencing when participating in their online learning. More introverted students however preferred to write down their thoughts and later email their instructors or submit their work in a prerecorded video.

The wide breadth of tools that online school curriculum utilizes and the array of mediums that information is presented in, gives students equal learning opportunities.

With online school, every student has access to tools and resources that empower them to be the best version of themselves.  Online school students are able to strive to reach their own potential, thus creating a more equal world.