Effects Of Online Learning On Education Essay Examples
With the advent of various channels of communication in the ICT sector, education, beginning from lower grades to higher levels of education has faced significant improvement (Uden, 2014). These improvements have been noted in the application of education technology to enhance education service provision. Specifically, online learning is the most current mode of learning in various institutions of higher learning. Also referred as e-learning, it has played a significant role in the contemporary educational systems leading to improved service provision (Uden, 2014). According to Professor Caroline Haythornthwaite of the Illinois University, e-learning, specifically Massive Open Online Learning is gradually replacing traditional classroom learning activities (news.illinois.edu/news). Professor Caroline associates this replacement with various benefits that learners acquire from open online learning courses. On the other hand, e-learning has been associated with several challenges that affect the normal learning systems (news.illinois.edu/news). This research will focus on the positive and negative effects of online courses of education systems as well as anticipated future effects.
Positive Effects of Online Courses on Education
Improved Post-Secondary Access
In a research article published by the Association of American Colleges & University, it is indicated that online courses have played a significant role in improving post-secondary access (www.aacu.org). This has been noted by its capacity to enable students enroll in colleges; especially those might not be in a position to enroll physically. Additionally, online courses create a platform where students can register more learning units compared to those who opt for face-to-face schedules (www.aacu.org).
Improved Writing Literacy
According to Professor Andrea Lunsford of the director of Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric, open online courses have improved writing literacy among the current youths (news.stanford.edu). She refutes arguments that have been going round that online media channels such as twitter, facebook among others have interfered with the writing capacities of the current generation (news.stanford.edu). In her argument, she asserts that online courses and other online communication platforms have improved the capacity of the current generation to write (archive.wired.com). Professor Lunsford, through her research on the effects of online learning on writing, argues that the current high rate of using online courses is a major paradigm shift (news.stanford.edu). That is, a paradigm shift from a generation where youths in colleges were never interested in learning to a generation where online learning platforms have enhanced communication, thus improving learners desire to write.
Reduced Educational Expenditure
Online courses have also been associated with the reduction of educational expenditure. Despite the fact that the initial costs associated with implementing online courses may be high, the overall long-term costs are usually low (Uden, 2014). The process of providing online courses has been associated with reduced expenditure that may be spent on purchasing face-to-face learning materials such as books and other resources. It also entails reduced expenses that may be incurred with hiring lecturers; this is majorly due to the fact that it is associated with reduced workload meaning that colleges may cut-off their expenditure on hiring more lecturers (Uden, 2014). Students also do not have to incur costs such as costs for renting hostels, transportation costs among others.
Diverse Students’ Learning Needs
Globalization has enhanced learning among students of diverse ethnicity and cultural backgrounds (Uden, 2014). This has been enhanced by the fact that colleges and Universities have implemented distance learning programs where foreign students are accepted into their local learning programs. In relation to online learning, it has also played a crucial role in the globalized educational systems, allowing ethnically and culturally diverse students to access education in foreign universities (Uden, 2014). Some of the Universities in the United States that enroll foreign students through online platforms are Illinois, Stanford and others that have employed online learning platforms.
Negative Impacts of Online Learning on Education
Reduced Inter-personal Connection
Despite the fact that online courses have been associated with various benefits, it has also been considered problematic in certain aspects of learning. To begin with, online courses create a scenario where there is reduced inter-personal connection among student and also between students and lectures. This challenge has been noted as a hindrance to motivation and confidence students gain when they are exposed to face-to-face learning environments. Inter-personal communication, common in traditional modes of learning is crucial for networking among students, leading to a facilitated information sharing. Lack of inter-personal communication among students learning through online platforms, subjects them to limited networking, thus reduced chances of exchanging ideas.
Traditional courses offer more platforms for peer-feedback as well as instructor feedback. However, in the case of online courses, students may not rely on such feedbacks owing to the fact that there is usually reduced inter-personal connection. That is, online courses entail activities such as updating students’ results on online platforms without an opportunity to provide feedback and further instructions to students. The fact that students who register for online courses do not have a direct contact with their peers has also facilitated lack of accountability in their learning activities. Peer students in face-to-face learning play a major role by acting as reminders and encouragement to their fellow students to complete their assignments.
Clive Thompson on the New Literacy. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-09/st_thompson
Democratization of Education for Whom? Online Learning and Educational Equity. (2014, February 3). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://www.aacu.org/diversitydemocracy/2014/winter/jaggars
News. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/october12/lunsford-writing-research-101209.html
News Bureau | University of Illinois. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://news.illinois.edu/news/08/1126elearn.html
Uden, L. (2014). The 2nd International Workshop on Learning Technology for Education in Cloud. Dordrecht: Springer.