Education: Learn from Distance

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Classes delivered over the internet have augmented the traditional style of face to face education by giving students the option to learn from a distance. The utilization of technology as the primary means for learning is a deviation from conventional methods. However, online based institutions are comparable to traditional colleges or universities because they offer the same standards of learning, while also requiring a firm commitment to obtaining a degree. There are unique challenges that online learning present, but by identifying and addressing those challenges, online universities are able to afford adults the opportunity to balance life with school, while achieving personal goals that aid in accomplishing professional goals. For those reasons, online universities are a feasible choice for adults seeking a degree. There has been a long running debate as to the validity of distance learning as an alternative to classroom study. Much of the criticism revolves around the belief that students cannot receive the same level of quality education through primarily self regulated programs. The idea that distance education somehow lacks the quality of courses delivered in person fails to take into account the following statistics. A ten year survey by Allen and Seaman (2013) between fall 2002 and spring 2012 shows a year over year increase in the number of students who enrolled in at least one online course while attending a traditional college or university. Furthermore, “There has been an overall increase from 1.6 million students taking at least one online course in fall 2002 to 6.7 million for fall 2011, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 17.3 percent.” (Allen & Seaman 2013, p. 18) The numbers from the A... ... middle of paper ... ... Assignments introduce effective learning strategies to students (time management, avoiding isolation, creating a personal calendar, etc.) and gauge their usage of such techniques. The results of the study on self regulated learning techniques suggest that “by using more effective learning strategies, one increases his/her levels of motivation, and the increased levels of motivation toward online courses lead to higher levels of course satisfaction and better grades.” (Ross et al., 2013, p. ) In addition, the results of the study on technology self-efficacy suggest “that students with higher levels of technology self-efficacy tend to receive better grades.” (Ross et al., 2013, p. ) It is reasonable to infer then that introductory courses aid in student acclimation to online learning, which increases motivation toward online courses, and leads to better grades.
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