The twenty-first century the exponential increase in technology has allowed people to have unprecedented access to seemingly limitless information unlike any other time in human history. Today people from all corners of the globe now have the ability to harness a vast sea of resources at their very fingertips. One of the byproducts of the technological revolution has been the dramatic increase in online, or distance learning, from perspective students looking for a more flexible option to pursue higher education. And although online learning does present a tremendous opportunity for students who may not otherwise
Many benefits are associated with enrolling in an online degree program. Flexibility, convenience, overall lower cost due to the savings of travel expenses and parking passes, and a higher degree of anonymity, are the most common benefits of enrolling in an online program. Moore and Kearsely(2005) indicated that most online students are adults between the ages of 25 and 50.(resource number 7) In 2003, 34 percent of 1000 representative higher education institutions offered a complete online degree program (Allen & Seaman, 2004)(Resource number 7).
Technology has taken many things to new soaring levels: medicine, long distance communication, and education, just to name a few. The internet has revolutionized the way we access, receive, and disseminate information to the point that we are able to earn degrees online in as little as a year. With these type of conveniences there are always opportunities for challenges. In-person classrooms provide the opportunity to network and connect with fellow students, engage in dialogue, and get your questions answered on the spot. Online classrooms have the potential of being static and leave room for passive learning. For the working professionals, online classes are convenient and offer a degree of flexibility that in-person classes don’t.
Distance education (DE) has historically had a low success rate. "From past to present, dropout rate of students is [sic] one of the main problems regarding to [sic] distance education. Related research showed that approximately 30% and 50% of distance education students fail to complete distance education courses" (Horzum, 2012, p. 1). One institution, the University System of Georgia, is searching for new methods to improve the distance education model, for studies have revealed facts documenting that distance education graduation rates have declined and withdrawal numbers have increased despite the fact that traditional face-to-face instruction have remained unchanged; moreover, Coastline Community College interviewed several students regarding online education, and a substantial percentage of those students interviewed stated that they never intended to earn an online degree program (Nash, n.d.). Distance education courses were not taken seriously, nor where they viewed as a beneficial form of learning, for there are no p...
There is good reason for the growth in online learning in college environments. Student populations have diversified since the introduction of the personal computer and internet (O’Malley and McCraw). Students with geographic, job, or other constraints are now able to benefit from a college education because advances in technology have enabled learning for those for whom higher education was previously not within the realm of possibility.
Whereas before, formal academic qualifications could only be gained by participating in a full-time course on site, the internet has allowed institutions to expand their reach and offer recognized courses on a contact-partial, or virtual basis. Institutions can do so with few extra resources, and for paid courses this constitutes excellent value, and a student will benefit greater educational access and greater flexibility to learn and get qualified. Flexibility is one of the most important benefits of online learning. Online learning is very beneficial when it comes to flexibility and working your courses and your daily routine, online courses give you the advantage of planning when you can do homework and study around your daily
When students are deciding on where to go to college at they have the option of choosing between online classes and the traditional classroom classes. Today some students are finding it much easier to maintain a job, family and start a college career all by taking online classes. Although some students still prefer to stick with the traditional classroom classes, they still have the option to take online classes. Both online and the traditional classes will provide the educational requirements needed to obtain a college degree and opportunities in the work field.
Furthermore, some may suggest that online learning is benefiting our students in society. There has been a breakthrough in time and geographical limitations of education via online courses (Ho, 2009). Online education is cost-effective, efficient, and easily accessible (Schmeeckle, 2003). Online classes are used for individual and independent learning in which the student can learn at their own pace (Gonzalez, 2009). Not only is online education beneficial for breaking down barriers, online education has the potential to help students learn material more efficiently. Students are more likely to seek help from their instructors when the material is taught online (Whipp & Lorentz, 2009). Computer use in statistical classes could help decrease math anxiety (Gundy, Morton, Liu, & Kline, 2006). In a study that measured online students’ ability to achieve the same efficiency of course material as face-to-face students, at least 98% of students reported that they had, so one may be lead to believe that online learning is just as efficient as face-to-face courses (Liebowitz, 2003). With all of the positive aspects of online education, one may wonder why there is any debate as to whether or not online education is beneficial for
Many people think online education can be more expensive than a traditional school setting. Previous generations did not have the option for online learning experience, so why should we start now? An interesting point about online education is that LeBaron (2010) states, “The largest school in the U.S. is the University of Phoenix Online, with a whopping 380,232 students. That’s over 5x more than the largest public school, Arizona State University, which has 68,064 students” (para. 7). Despite the cost effectiveness, distance education is becoming the educational model of the future.
Many students say online courses are convenient. Online courses allow students to plan according to their schedule, and the time and location that best works for them. Although online education may seem more “easier,” students should look at the cons of online education. In the feature article "Face-Face or Online Instruction? Face-Face is Better," the author, Arleen R. Bejerano, claims online courses take the students away from the college community and confines them to their home. The students no longer have interaction with the college community, which may cause them to miss out on some important opportunities. This may affect their possibility of succeeding to achieve a degree. The author suggests some students may become discouraged from learning independently, from facing challenges in academics, and fall behind or
Online learning, also known as distance learning or online learning, has become a new and successful means of receiving an education in a highly technologically enhanced environment (Regan, Evmenova, Baker, Jerome, Spencer, Lawson, & Werner, 2012). Kaymak and Horzum (2013) defined online learning as using Internet technology to gain knowledge and skills through the use of synchronous and asynchronous learning tools. Allen and Seaman (2013) stated that about 6.7 million students attending colleges and universities across the United States were successfully enrolled in at least one online course in 2011. There is an increased interest in online learning that continues to grow as a result of the amplified demands from the work place and the escalating availability of nontraditional educational options and providers (Allen & Seaman, 2008).
The opportunity to obtain a degree through an online setting has provided some liberation to students who then take advantage of that opportunity. The problem, however, lies in employment upon successful completion of an online program. Having an online degree possibly means some bumps down the road of employment, being that the degree could perhaps be ranked lower, as opposed to the traditional degree. Studies show that employers are more prone to hire someone with a traditional degree versus an online degree. In the Chronicle of Online Education, Carnevale states that, “The reviews of individuals who assess qualified candidates for particular positions demonstrate an inclination against online degrees, although these programs are becoming more readily accessible through universities on the web (Carnevale 2007)”. It is clear that even with the qualifications that one may possess from online education, employers still remain inclined. Some employers may feel that the degrees can’t correlate with one another and that one receives a better understanding of the coursework at traditional colleges. In the article, Employer’s Perspective of Online Education, Linardopoulos finds apprehensions regarding employer’s views of online learning. He says, “Online learning does not provide adequate