Essay about Online or Face-to-Face Instruction: Which is Preferred?

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“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education…The human mind is our fundamental resource” (Kennedy, 1961). If our mind is a fundamental resource as President Kennedy would suggest and our progress as a nation is tied to the progress in our education, does this mean that online education can enhance or even speed up our progress? Perception of online learning is a varied one, based on conversations with individuals at different social-economic levels. “Online delivery of courses have become increasing popular due to several advantages for both education institutions and the students in terms of flexibility in scheduling” (Lu, 2012, p. 963). The general perception is that the younger audience is more geared toward online learning, because they are more comfortable with new technologies. So, is an online classroom preferred to a face-to-face classroom?
Are online courses gaining popularity because you can cheat more? Spaulding (2009) did research on the “Perceptions of Academic Honesty in Online vs. Face-to-Face Classrooms” (Spaulding, 2009) in an effort to give instructors a way to bring this topic up to the students and reduce academic dishonesty in online instruction format. His hypothesis is that in fact a student in an online environment will cheat more than the student in a face-to-face classroom. After conducting a survey of 103 students in both online and face-to-face classrooms, he found that his hypothesis was incorrect. No noticeable difference was found in cheating between the two formats of classrooms. One interesting fact that came up in the survey was that 29.1% of students either observed or they themselves submitted another’s material as one’s own for academic evaluation at leas...

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...ances in Health Sciences Education, 29(6), 963-973. doi:10.1007/s10459-012-9435-3
Southwell, M., Galassi, M., & McRobert, S. (2012, December). Fish Cam: An Online Tool for Introducing Shoaling Behavior to the Classroom. Zebrafish, 9(4), 242-245. doi:10.1089/zeb.2012.0755
Spaulding, M. (2009, Winter). Perceptions of Academic Honesty in Online vs. Face-to-Face Classrooms. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 8(3), 183-198. Retrieved October 19, 2013, from
Szpunar, K. K., Moulton, S. T., & Schacter, D. T. (2013, August 1). Mind wandering and education: from the classroom to online learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(495), eCollection. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00495
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. (1998). Chickscope. Retrieved October 19, 2013, from Beckman Institute Web site:

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