How Effective is Online Education?

How Effective is Online Education?

Length: 2438 words (7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"How Effective is Online Education?." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jul 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=19884>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How Effective is Online Education? Essay

- 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....   [tags: Effectiveness of Online Classes]

Free Essays
2438 words (7 pages)

Online Education as an Effective Educational Method Essay

- Online Education Over the years it has been seen that education has taken up several forms. With the advent of technology, education has also been integrated with technology. Previously it was seen that education was achieved through written forms of paper with pen or pencil. The use of pen and pencil can be dated back to the Roman Empire. However, with the developing pace the traditional means of attaining education are changing. The introduction of information technology has brought forth a new way of learning through the internet....   [tags: Education]

Research Papers
1425 words (4.1 pages)

The Cost Effectiveness of Online Education Essay

- 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....   [tags: university of phoenix online, online classes]

Research Papers
1542 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about Online Classes Are More Effective Than Face

- I agree that online classes are more effective than face to face classes for me because of my work schedule and other daily activities. However, I understand that some people can’t do online classes so I think it depends on the person. Online classes give students flexibility for realistic situations. There are many students who have other titles for example mothers don’t really have time to do everything so there needs to be time to do work on their schedule. Other students just have a lot on their plates to do face to face classes....   [tags: Education, University, 2006 singles]

Research Papers
718 words (2.1 pages)

Online Curriculum Is The Most Effective For At Risk Students Learning? Essay examples

- Introduction What is the most effective way of engaging at risk student in the classroom. What online curriculum is the most effective for at risk students learning. If these questions can be answered then all students can be as successful. Background Options, an alternative learning program comprises of 42 full time and 33 part time students, all of which are at risk students. To qualify as such a student certain conditions need to be applicable, these are but not limited to drug dependency, extreme anxiety, limited school schedule, and depression....   [tags: Education, Learning, High school, Need]

Research Papers
1160 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Online Courses As Effective As Being Within A Classroom Environment

- Online vs. Face to Face Are online courses as effective as being in a classroom environment. People are entitled to their own opinion. From my own experience, I think a classroom has the best environment to learn in. I made an attempt to be taught 4 college courses online, it didn’t work at all. I felt as if I wasn’t learning anything; it was as if I was basically wasting my time. There are a lot of difficulties and hassles that come with online learning. Between transportation problems, peoples schedule issues, family problems, etc.; most people find it rather more difficult....   [tags: Education, History of education, E-learning]

Research Papers
755 words (2.2 pages)

The Debate On Online Education Essay

- Education is important, and everyone can earn it regarding to their gender, age, race, religion, and even to people with disability. It is known that our society values education more than anything else because education is the gate to a better life. With education, the individual will have broad knowledge and skills so that one can get a better job which will lead to a better life. Not only the society encourages us to pursue education, but also the holy books such as the Bible and the Qur’an. For generations, we pursue our education by attending traditional educational institutions or we know them as schools....   [tags: Education, History of education]

Research Papers
1060 words (3 pages)

Essay about Is Online Instruction an Efficient Form of Education?

- 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 univers...   [tags: Education]

Research Papers
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Online Education Vs. Private Schools

- In today’s society, with all of the new technological advances and new electronic devices, traditional brick and mortar classrooms could be considered obsolete within a decade. Public and private universities are offering online education options, with classes students can take from anywhere in the country and world for that matter, without being restricted to a college campus. Some professors are applauding the online education system as a way towards educating our individuals, while others believe that online courses do not adequately keep a level of education needed for jobs in the workforce....   [tags: Higher education, Education, Adult education]

Research Papers
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Online Education Essay

- Online Education Online learning is definitely one of the newest and fastest moving industries; more and more students are opting to getting their degree this way instead of going to a land college, mostly due to the convenience of the schedule, where before a full time employee, could not fit schooling into their schedule, but they are finding out now that they can do this through the online environment, so they are utilizing this alternative way of achieving their higher education. Yet, the online environment is unlike the land college, because there is no face to face contact, so the University of Phoenix tries to make the experience as realistic as it can by: 1) providing a rEsource for...   [tags: E-learning Distance learning Online]

Research Papers
713 words (2 pages)

Related Searches

If a person who already lacks motivation to attend class with real-life professor is told to take a course with a virtual professor, it is a recipe for disaster. The self-paced nature of virtual courses may breed new levels of procrastination for college students. These types of courses are adequate for more mature students whom have learned to pace themselves, and can stay motivated.

Classroom Relationships

The effectiveness of a student’s learning is greatly augmented via the presence of fellow students [8]. The amount of learning that a person can do by working with another student is critical to the level of understanding and mastery that students can achieve. Students are more likely to ask each other questions related to the course materials than they are to ask the professor. The re-interpretation and paraphrasing of the coursework helps cement the understanding of both individuals.

For traditional undergraduates, the experience and growth that occurs from interacting with their peers is an important part of their undergraduate experience. Provided the institution is diverse (a goal of many schools), the student can learn about different countries and cultures via interactions with students of various backgrounds and origins. Learning is therefore transformed into a full-time occupation. At the same time, the student develops a stronger sense of identity and self. The student’s social and communicative skills become refined such that he or she can effectively communicate with people from all backgrounds. A person graduating from an online university would lack these interactive skills that are essential to success in the world today.

The fact that the student-to-teacher interaction is lost is also significant [23]. The personal relationships that students develop with professors are beneficial to their academic and personal development. By interacting with the professors, they can acquire mentors and role models. Their vision of who they are and what they want is affected by the interactions they have in college. By taking an online course, the loss of direct contact with the professor is significant. Students may feel too detached from the work.

Communication

The effectiveness of the manner of communication in the classroom is an element that is central to the learning process that students experience [11]. There are a new set of problems that arise due to the elimination of face to face contact that students traditionally experience in the classroom. Different manners of non-verbal communication, such as eye, body, and voice intonation will be lost. These are the ways that some students feel more comfortable communicating, instead of just explicitly stating their thoughts or feelings. Learning technical subject materials becomes tougher, because you can’t always interject to ask questions. Depending on the tools used for the course, it may be a while before a student’s inquiry is addressed. The experience could frustrate some students, while simultaneously slowing the learning of the material. What is further frustrating for both parties is the necessity of explicit detail because of the delayed nature of responses.

It is equally important to find ways of communication with which all the students will feel comfortable. Therefore, designers have to give a lot of thought to the backgrounds and cultures that students bring to the course [2]. Within that context, the professor should also find a way to provide individual attention and care to the students. In the process, he or she could find ways to gauge progress and keep communicating with the students in the class.

One specific example of the way an online course was structured was at University of Idaho in a course titled “Introduction to Educational Technology” [4]. The course was structured using a number of modules focusing on the traditional content for the course. Each module consisted of an overview, web-based instruction, a tutorial activity, and an assignment. The overview provided the student with general information on the module’s content. The instruction for the course was provided through a web-based facility, such as HTML text or web application. To cement the instruction received, the module followed with a step-by-step interactive tutorial. As most traditional classes, the module ended with an assignment to be submitted electronically. The students were encouraged to use modes of communication that included Chat sessions, e-mail, and telephone calls.

Perception and Attitude

One has to keep in mind the need for constant assessment in the development of an Internet based course. The success of the students in the course directly depends on their perceptions and attitude about the course [13]. The motivation and initiative might be there, but if the student doesn’t have a positive attitude and perception of the class, then it is pointless.



A regular, weekly survey should be distributed to the students so as to consistently evaluate the course and the students’ attitudes. The course should utilize the technology to customize the material to the individual’s learning style [22].


Effectiveness and Drawbacks of Technology

The current ways in which university professors have used technology to implement an online classroom is multi-dimensional. The central feature to a course online is the use of web pages through World Wide Web (WWW) as the major method of information distribution. It is a quick and simple way to make course information and factual data available to the class. The drawback is that it lacks any type of interactivity. Interactivity is crucial to the learning process. An active learner will acquire and integrate new knowledge more readily. To allow for interactivity, professors use web bulletin boards and e-mail. These methods are effective in allowing a student to ask any questions at any time, but, unfortunately, they are time consuming and they also lack synchronicity. Synchronicity is the ability to receive immediate responses and feedback. Many professors achieve this through web chat sessions. These sessions are effective in allowing for “real-time” interactions among students and professors, but the lack of face-to-face interactions can lead to impersonal and hard to manage conversations.



The resources mentioned are the basic tools to almost any Internet based course. In addition, some professors add multimedia facilities to help students visualize the course materials (these include video and sound clips). Professors can also create their own multimedia resources through the use of languages such as Java/Javascript and ActiveX/VB Script course [2]. Creating these resources require more time and technical knowledge.



School Web Pages Bulletin Boards Chat Sessions Telephone/E-mail Audio/Video



U of Wisconsin(1) Yes Yes No Yes NA

U of W. Georgia(2) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

University of Idaho(3) Yes Yes Yes Yes No

UCSF(4) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



Sources:

(1) Schlough & Bhuripanyo, 1998.

(2) Roblyer & Ekhaml, 1999. Model #1.

(3) Davis & et. al, 1999.

(4) DeBourgh, 1999.


It is important that the professors realize that implementing an Internet course will require more time and attention than teaching a regular college course. Using technology may cause many problems and difficulties requiring a large technical support staff.

Effectiveness with Respect to Different Subjects

The effectiveness of an online course lends itself to certain subjects above others. The technical fields: mathematics, the sciences, engineering, and business seem the most suited for instruction online. The visual representations that online classes would allow are a more effective means of teaching the technical fields. For example, a science course could be enhanced through animations and diagram images.

A professor teaching the humanities would have a harder time in adapting to online teaching. The nature of the discipline requires more individualized attention and more discussion oriented sessions. The current technology that is available would make discussions and group sessions much harder. It is important for researchers need to address the social ramifications of having discussions online. It is possible that they may promote more openness in discussions of sensitive and controversial issues, but the current structure of online forums leads to conversations that are impersonal and withdrawn.


Conclusion

An undergraduate education received through the Internet is not a good option for a college-aged student. The effectiveness of the current technology and pedagogy is not appropriately comparable to the effectiveness of physically attending class. The tools at the disposal of both student and teacher are not enough to facilitate communication to its fullest extent. Furthermore, the intangible learning experiences that undergraduates receive cannot be replaced by universities online.

Many schools are currently trying to convert some of their courses to web-based courses. The simple conversion to multimedia, and HTML of the course plan is not sufficient. The basic manner and structure of these courses needs to be affected [8]. The designer needs to think of innovative ways to customize the material. The technology needs to be reactive to slight changes in mood and behavior, such as a counselor or an undergraduate advisor. The designer needs to find ways to gauge the progress and understanding of each student. The psychological impact of physical contact (or lack thereof) should be explored. What kinds of implicit effects does an online education have? What are the sociological implications for the individual?

REFERENCES

(1) Bullen, M. Technology Meets Pedagogy in Online Distance Education. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(2) Cafolla, R., Knee, R. Adding Interactivity to Web Based Distance Learning. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(3) DeBourgh, G. Technology is the Tool, Teaching Is The Task: Student Satisfaction in Distance Learning. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(4) Davis, J., et. al. Developing Online Courses: A Comparison of Web-based Instruction with Traditional Instruction. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(5) Elson, B., Phelan, A. A Modular Approach to Education – Its Application to the Global Campus. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(6) Garcia, M., Maia, C. Approaching Distance Learning to Classroom Activities. A Faculty Program to Meet this Goal. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(7) Gerener de Gracia, B., McGlynn, D. Beyond the Learning Tool Paradigm: The Computer as a Medium in a Technology Enhanced Multicultural Education Course. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(8) Hemming, H. Online Teaching and Learning and Learner-centered Pedagogy. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(9) Hoffman, B., Ritchie, D. Teaching and Learning Online: Tools, Templates, and Training. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(10) Jaishree, O. Effective Online Teaching/Learning: A Case Study. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(11) Leh, A., Yahya, S. Challenges and Considerations When Conducting An Online Course. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(12) McCartney, B., Shannon, R. Web-based Teaching:-Do Learning Styles Matter?. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(13) Mims, N., et. al. How to Simplify Involvement in On-line Course Work. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(14) Mize, C., et. al. Talking Online: Promoting Student Understanding Through the Development of On-line Course Discussions. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(15) Persichitte, K. Tips for Course Conversion to the Web. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(16) Recker, M. A Website Does Not A Community Make. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(17) Roblyer, M., Ekhaml, L. Matching Needs and Distance Learning Formats: Evolving Guidelines for Planning , Design, and Delivery. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(18) Rogers, D., Jones, C. Partnership Learning: Models of Videoconferencing in Education. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(19) Ross, J. How Does Achievement Differ in Comparing Learning By Distance to Learning On-Campus: A Preliminary Analysis. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(20) Schlough, S., Bhuripanyo, S. The Development and Evaluation of the Internet Delivery of the Course “Task Analysis.”

(21) Santos, N. Web-based Education: How to Assess Students Performance? Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.

(22) Walczyk, J., et.al. Attitudinal Roadblocks: Transitions to the Distance Classroom. Proceedings of the Webnet 1999- World Conference on the WWW and Internet, Hawaii. October 24-30.

(23) Wang, H., Ouyang, J. Web Based Instruction Design: Basic Considerations for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers Training. Proceedings of the SITE 1999, Texas. February 28-March 4.
Return to 123HelpMe.com