Online learning: A distinct advantage over traditional brick and mortar schools

Topics: Education, Virtual learning environment, Distance education Pages: 7 (2517 words) Published: July 8, 2014

Online learning: A distinct advantage over traditional brick and mortar schools

LAT1 Language and Communication: Research
Western Governors University

Online Learning: A Distinct Advantage Over Traditional Brick And Mortar Schools As the times change and technology advances, people need to look for new and better ways to apply this technology to their lives. This does not just apply to someone’s personal or business lives, this also can apply to the way individuals learn. Information is stored and backed up on computers. While online learning is the fastest growing segment of learning, this idea is not new. Distance learning began before computers and online classes. It started with correspondence schools, moved to audio books, tapes and videos. Students had little to no interaction with the instructor or with other classmates (Miller, 2000). There were several issues with this type of learning, mainly due to materials easily becoming outdated. This changed with the advent of the personal computer and later with the introduction of the internet in 1994. While the internet initially originated to promote communication between academics, scientist and government organizations, it helped to pave the way for a new way to deliver education (Miller, 2000). This turned into online learning. This new way of learning has caught on in many households around the world.

There are three areas of focus that will help differentiate between online schools and traditional brick and mortar schools. They are the following: What technological benefits that a person can come away with after completing an online degree?; How does online learning offer more flexibility to the learner compared to a brick and mortar school?; In what ways are online learning programs more cost effective than a brick and mortar school? With the discussion of these topics this will show that experts agree that online learning is a better learning forum than brick and mortar schools because they utilize the latest technologies, offer flexible learning to a wide variety of people and offer a lower cost solution to valuable degrees. This paper will look at the three factors that support online learning as a better format than brick and mortar schools. Technological Benefits

Online learning uses the latest technologies to provide the student with practical knowledge they can use after they have completed their degree. Online education is a microcosm of business practices and prepares the students for the real world (MacKillop, 2010). Online school programs help the students gain the knowledge they will need for when they are completed with their degree and enter the business world. They take real experiences from companies and teach based on them. Online programs require the learner to use several programs, maintain files and utilize email and other programs to turn in coursework. All of that coursework is distributed online either through email or websites. The internet also provides access to several tools to aid the learner in completing the required coursework. The traditional brick and mortar schools use text books and examples, whereas online schools use the current technology and focus on student experiences. “Online business courses allow teachers and students to utilize the same processes as companies when it comes to the use of computers and the internet, as well as communication, teamwork, self-direction and meeting deadlines from a distance.” (MacKillop, 2010). Online learning teaches the student how to multi-task unlike a traditional college setting. The benefits of online education helps the students gain perspective on where they fit into the world and keeps their learning relevant and rigorous (MacKillop, 2010). Online learning prepares students to work in groups, which encourages team building, independent learning and accountability of the students (Li & Irby, 2008)....
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