On-campus education vs. online education! Is one better than another? Can you fully replace the other? Indeed it appears that online education is the way of the future. Educational institutions, corporations and government organizations alike offer different kinds of electronic teaching. But can a computer really replace a teacher and a blackboard?
How people learn
Each individual has a kind of learning that suits them best. Some people achieve fantastic results in courses taught online, however, most folks drop out of 100 per cent computer-led courses. Educational institutions, in addition to employers in carrying out staff training, need to recognize that there’s not any best way to carry out the instruction of a large group of people, and so must design programs that best suit the needs of their team as a whole.
Folks learn using many senses. This entails learning through both theoretical elements of a course, in addition to social interaction with both teachers and other students. Students learn from one another’s successes and mistakes, not only from what they’re told by instructors.
Each pupil has a perfect learning pace. Instructors are therefore confronted with the challenge of designing courses that move forwards such that those pupils with a slower learning rate don’t get left behind, while not moving so slowly that pupils with faster learning paces become bored.
In the era of high-speed information transport, online education is becoming a popular and affordable means for delivering instruction to people beyond the classroom, and sometimes all around the world. However, different procedures of online education each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Online education is still a relatively new idea, and in many respects still in the teething stages. Therefore, various problems arrive across different online education environments. For example:
1. Deficiency of instant responses in asynchronous learning environments: While some online education environments such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms function live with the inclusion of a teacher, most don’t.
2. More prep required on the part of the teacher: In an online education environment, a teacher can’t simply stand in front of a whiteboard and provide a course. Lessons in online education environments must be ready beforehand, along with any notes and instructions that may accompany the instruction.
Oftentimes it would also be necessary that the teacher not only knows the concepts being taught but the technology used to provide this instruction. This consequently increases the skill-levels required of online education teachers, putting greater demand on educational institutions.
Staffing levels are also greater for courses run in an online education environment, requiring such as:
The Instructor – able to educate both course content and be proficient in the use of technology involved
The Facilitator – to help the teacher in providing content, but can do so liberally
Help Desk – to assist teachers, facilitators and students in the use of the hardware and software used to provide the course.
3. Not all people are familiar with online education: Education is no longer just sought from the world’s youth. With a greater tendency towards continuing and adult education, there’s a need to design courses acceptable for students over a bigger age-range, in addition to students from different and diverse backgrounds. It’s hard, however, to design online education environments acceptable for everybody.
4. Increased possibility of frustration, confusion and anxiety: In an online education environment, there are a greater number of components making up the system that could fail. Server failures can prevent online courses from working. Software-based instruction software may require other special components to function. Computer viruses may infect applications required to conduct online education environments. If these systems are complicated, students may select the simplicity of On-campus education as opposed to taking the extra time and effort required to master the use of online education systems.
5. The Digital Divide: Many men and women who reside in remote areas and developing countries don’t have access to computers, making any sort of online education virtually impossible. Because of this, online education is just able to be targeted at the people lucky enough to have the ability to benefit from the technology involved. Likewise offering live teaching throughout the world means that different time zones and nationalities increase the requirement for multi-skilled instructors.
Along with these, there are also several legal issues related to keeping an online education environment. By way of instance, intellectual property laws, especially those relating to copyright, may or may not fully cover digitally created intellectual property. By way of instance, information on a web site isn’t necessarily thought of as public domain, despite being accessible to everybody. However, the Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2001 to make sure that copyright owners of digital materials, such as online education environments, could continue to provide their functions commercially.
Still, the most common type of instruction is conventional classroom-style learning. These instructor-led environments are more personal than online education environments and have the benefit of allowing for instant responses both to and from teachers and student alike. However, the classroom allows for less flexibility than courses run in online education environments.
Teachers in modern classroom environments continue to be able to take advantage of many kinds of digital teaching tools while still keeping the atmosphere related to the standard classroom environment. By way of instance, PowerPoint slides can be used instead of a whiteboard or blackboard. Handouts can be dispersed via course websites ahead of the event. But on the day, students continue to be able to actively participate in the lesson.
Like online education environments, On-campus education includes certain drawbacks, the most common of which is the classroom itself. This takes a group of people that, in a university by way of instance, could reach a few hundred individuals in proportion, to gather at the same place at precisely the same time. This requires massive time and financial commitment on behalf of both the pupils and the educational institution.
However, it’s this type of environment that’s most familiar to students throughout the world. People of all ages can get a classroom environment feeling comfortable with how a classroom-run course is performed. Older students who might not be comfortable with using information technology aren’t required to navigate their way through potentially complex online education environments, which makes On-campus education the most accessible form of instruction.