Online Education vs. Classroom

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Adrienne Uy
ENG 1050 – DC12M
Informative Synthesis
11-7-12
Online Education versus the Classroom
An education paves the road to success. From high-school, college, or on-the-job training, the classroom has been the traditional setting for teaching and learning. But nowadays that is rapidly changing. With technology at an advantage, more online schooling and training is taking place of the traditional classroom. Both public and online schools have its fair shares of advantages and disadvantages, but recent research suggests that online educational benefits outweigh that of regular schools and classrooms. Students find that an online education provides less pressure, the ability to concentrate better, and avoiding negative social interactions. While all that might be true, what about the aspects they miss? Examples may be friends, positive social interactions, and building social skills? Is online education really as effective as land based education?

In the article, “Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom” by Steve Lohr, he discusses studies that were conducted by SRI International for the Department of Education. The studies were done on kindergarten through 12th grade, in colleges and in continuing adult education, in both classrooms and online. From 1998 to 2008, 99 studies were conducted, that found that the online students testing scores ranked in the 59th percentile, while classroom students ranked in the 50th percentile. Their conclusion is that online education is more personalized to each individual student. (Lohr 1)

In another article by Chris Ingalls, he reviews the same idea; that online public schools are the way to go. In Forks, Washington, the Quillayute Valley School District has had a major increase in online students. The town’s online high school is the Insight School of Washington. In the Insight School of Washington, there were just over 2,000 more online students than in the regular classrooms. Patrick Mayberry, a student at Insight says, “You are able to concentrate better than you can in an actual classroom.” (Mayberry 2) Mayberry enrolled at Insight to avoid bullies. As a result from his online education, his grades have improved. (Ingalls 1-4)

Online education adheres well to college students and their busy lives. In the article, “Fast Facts About Online Education” by Terrence Loose, he gives some pertinent points why online education is the way to go. His first point is that some online degrees are quite popular and in demand. In December 2009, a study by a research and consulting firm for higher education called Edventures, conducted a study on the five bachelor degree programs with the most students enrolled. They are Bachelors in Nursing, Computer Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Education, and Business. Secondly, online education adheres well to college students and other adults. Having to study and work at one’s own pace and schedule is great for the busy college student that works, has a family, or just wants to make their own schedule. His next pro is that employers are likely to hire, even with an online degree. He points out that the effort, time and discipline required for online degrees are just the same as that needed in the classroom. Furthermore, most online education uses the latest technology. This is important for students; to keep up with computers and software, as it is used in an array of careers. And lastly, even a master’s degree can be earned online. This is suitable for those students who want to pursue certain careers while working full-time or have other priorities, such as family. (Loose 1) The article, “Traditional Education vs. Online Education – Should You Switch?” by Ryan May, talks about undergraduates pursuing online education. According to the article, twenty percent of all undergraduates took at least one online course. Four percent of the undergraduates took the entire program online. This...
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