Is Online Instruction an Efficient Form of Education?

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In the last twenty years, internet has become the driving force for the development of our society. It significantly changed our life in many ways, such as online education. In 2002, more than 1.6 million college students took online courses and unsurprisingly, this number almost tripled in 2008 (Allen and Seaman, 2010). Queen and Lewis found (2011), “74% of school districts with distance education programs planned to expand online offerings over the next 3 years.” However, although many students and instructors are using online education, the debate about the efficiency of online instruction comparing with that by traditional mode still going on as online education does not achieved universal acceptance. Thus, it is necessary to examine its effectiveness and to compare it with the traditional face-to-face way of teaching in order to find a best way for students to learn.

The most basic requirement of a successful online education is computers with high speed Internets. Larson and Sung (2009) suggested that traditional face-to-face was prevalent may mainly because that was the only option for students and teachers, as the high speed internet was not available in the past. On the other hand, as a result of better internet service availabilities, developed countries generally have much more online education provided and in contrast, many developing countries need to further develop it. Of course, students and teachers also must have essential skills to operate computer and to navigate web. As a result, certain people, such as seniors who do not know how to use computer and people with disabilities, are not suitable to get online courses.

Beyond basic technical requirement, students-and-instructor and students-and-students i...

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Perry, E. H., & Pilati, M. L. (2011, December 8). Online learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2011(128), 95-104.

Janet Ferguson & Anne Marie Tryjankowski (2009): Online versus face‐to‐face learning: looking at modes of instruction in Master’s‐level courses, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 33:3, 219-228

Battaglino, T., Haldeman, M., and Laurans, E. (2011). The Costs of Online Learning. The Thomas Fordham Institute.

Queen, B., and Lewis, L. (2011). Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2009-10 (NCES 2012-009). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.ioyu

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