How Effective is Online Education?

2438 Words5 Pages

Abstract: Recently, there has been a rush to create web-based instructional courses. The approach that is being taken to create web-based courses is to create websites that will function as the central distributors of information and materials. Based on the format and content of the course, the student is to go through lesson by lesson to complete courses. In this paper, I address some of the problems inherent in this approach, especially with respect to 18-22 year-old undergraduate education. Introduction Technology has had a large impact on the field of education. The proliferation of multimedia resources and limitless amounts of information available through the Internet has fundamentally affected the learning process. Students no longer search through cards and stacks for magazine articles; almost everything is at the click of a finger. Multimedia resources are increasingly utilized in the classroom to help instruct students. Some professors are making conscious efforts to use new technology, so as to introduce and familiarize their students with it. The significance of technology in education is now being elevated to a new plateau. Education through the Internet, the great equalizer, may make it more widely distributed through the phenomenon of online courses. It is the thesis of this paper that online courses are not an effective means to educate traditional undergraduate college aged students (people from 18-22 years old). In the undergraduate educational setting, student proficiency and comfort with technology are stressed, but the essential mission of most undergraduate institutions (especially, liberal arts institutions such as Dartmouth) is on the development of the individual. The nurturing and supportive environment of most undergraduate institutions helps students mature and develop. The rave and fad of online undergraduate learning causes students to miss out on too many intangibles of an on-campus education. Our current theory on education hasn’t adequately dealt with the intricacies of a web-based education, and therefore the effectiveness of such is highly questionable. Initiative One of the most essential ingredients to an effective instructional environment is the initiative of the student. For the traditional undergraduate college student, this is one of the areas in which most problems exist [2]. The ‘traditional’ undergraduate college student should be construed as an average male and female between the ages of 18 and 22 who is at a transitional phase in life and learning to deal with independence.

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