15 May 2011
Online Education: Pros and Cons
Sabri Bebawi defines online education as "the creation and proliferation of the personal computer, the globalization of ideas and other human acts, and the use of technology in exchanging ideas and providing access to more people"
So, technology makes an important role in our lives; from the radio, through television to Internet. In fact, the latter has literally invaded every single house in every single city throughout the world. Nowadays Internet is used in various fields, and in different forms. It is largely employed in business, economy, military and, of course, in education.
Education is perhaps the most beneficial area from this thriving technology. Numbers of on-line students are growing increasingly. However, every domain has double-edged weapon. My research paper is basically relied on this specific point. I am going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet in education. By using the internet I mean becoming on-line educators, not just using it as a means but also as a resource of learning.
On-line education has a lot of good qualities that add a whole new sense of easiness to the process of learning. Among these are the following: I.A Educational advantages:
1-Getting the course material easily:
An on-line student is capable of obtaining the course material easier than that of campus-based. He will not have to move to the instructor's place to get it. Instead, It will be sent to his e-mail or blog. Therefore, there will be no movement, and no waste of time at all. One web site says that " You do not have to work hard in taking notes of every lecture as in case of a direct college program. Universities and colleges offering online programs are facilitating transcripts, live discussions and training materials which can be retrieved via mail, e-mail or the school's website for reading, downloading and printing." ("Advantages of Online Education"). So, the instructor can set what the students must study by giving the URL, links, and websites containing the source related to the course. (David W Morris ). 2- instructors are available 24 hours:
Another advantage of on-line education is the availability of faculty members all the day long. Students can interact with them freely through emails, chats , message boards…. Etc. In a study conducted in Webster University's (MO) School of Education on 180 students from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, Roy Tamashiro, Ed.D. found that 22% of students have said that "Instructor is more accessible; quick answers to questions; help available 24 hours". So, this relatively big number indicates that the students themselves find it easy to communicate with their instructors. I personally when I was researching and wanting answers for my questions, I sent emails to a couple of the most well-known and busiest professors, Clare Britt1 and Richard Walter2 . It did not take so long until they reply (Britt took a day, while Walter about 4 hours! ). Even thought their time is precious, they found moments to email me back. So, you can imagine how many students constantly write to them
This specific point is hugely helpful especially for students who are shy to speak in front of other students. As I read once "Students who are shy, introverted or have language issues will appreciate that although online education programs often have a virtual classroom component, most do not require attending a physical school." ("Is Online Education for Me?")
3- sharing ideas very often:
Students are able to exchange not only ideas but also topics, solutions….etc. This can be done, beside the tools mentioned above, through chat rooms and forum posts. On-line learners can also share audio (books, articles, interviews….etc); multimedia materials related to the course. Some major companies offer servers and services that facilitate the sharing...