Online Education vs. Classroom

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 information is according to the National Center for Education Statistics. (May 1) May declares that a study by the NCES found that the ratio of online students to classroom students are 10-1. (May 1) May reports that there are four styles of online, or distance learning. The first is called Open Schedule Learning. Advantages of this style are that the work is given within a deadline, and students have the freedom to choose when and where to complete this work. The second is Blended Learning.
It is similar to Open Schedule Learning, but with the requirement that students must communicate in some form such as online discussions or chat rooms. The third is called Computer Based Learning. It is such a style of learning that is similar to a classroom, but instead at the computer. Each session takes place at the computer at certain times, just like a classroom session would. The last is called Fixed Time E-Learning. This learning style allows the student to complete the assignments wherever they please, but must report online at a designated time. May 1) While online education has major advantages, there are some things it lacks as well. In a previously mentioned article by Terrence Loose, online education has some cons as well. A study that had the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation suggests that more discipline is necessary from students. Some students are prone to becoming lazy given that online education allows them to make up their own schedule. In addition, online instructors are unwilling to teach because of the increased time and effort it requires. (Loose 1) In an article by David W.
Morris, he tells of some key factors as to why an online education may not be efficient. Technology is an important one because many continuing education students and adults are not computer savvy. This would require getting familiar with the latest computers and software, which may be an entire class on its own. Reputation is another one. Some online critics claim that online education lacks substance, given there is no face-to-face interaction with the professors, faculty, and students. There is also little support services offered when the student is not on campus.
The reputation and credentials is also important given that some employers are likely to view an online degree as opposed to going to the institution itself. (Morris 1) Another article discusses why the classroom may be more beneficial than online learning. Cynthia Jones-Shoeman’s article titled, “Traditional Classroom vs. Online Learning” portrays some ideas on why the classroom may be more efficient. Having the technology itself, or being unfamiliar with the internet or computer software may be challenging for any grade; kindergarten through 12th grade, college and other adults.
Some online schools even cost more than regular colleges, and may not provide the same financial aid. Students may become isolated too. Shy individuals may become shyer as a result of online learning. And it might be harder to seek help when the teacher isn’t readily available. Also, the chances of the student understanding the material is greater due to the fact that a teacher is present in the classroom. Social and interpersonal skills are built through the student to teacher interactions, and with peers. Self-discipline is also better taught in the traditional classroom setting. Jones-Shoeman 1) In his article, “Distance Learning Advantages and Disadvantages” Amit Kothial tells of some more reasons why the classroom education may be better than an online education. His first thought is that students who don’t bide well to their own time-management don’t make deadlines, and also have a harder time learning discipline and time management because there is no authority present. Learning online at home might provide distractions, such as television, other family members, or toys, especially for the younger children.
Testing might have to be done with an honest adult or other educators to ensure that there is no cheating involved. This may pose a problem for the younger students if the supervising adult cannot comply due to personal or family matters. And lastly, online learning is not for every learning style. Some students need an auditory or visual aide to help them in learning. Some need further instruction on how to perform a task, or a problem on an assignment; those which just are not provided with online learning. Kothial 1) It has been presented that there are quite a few advantages and disadvantages to both online education and the traditional classroom setting. While online education provides individuals the freedom to set their own pace and schedule, it can hinder others as they may not learn or possess good time management skills. The traditional classroom setting definitely provides positive teacher and peer social skill building, but other students may want to avoid social interactions due to issues such as bullying.
No matter the type of education a student is pursuing, classroom and online education both offer promising educations. What it really comes down to is the individual themselves, and what is best for them. Works Cited Ingalls, Chris. “Online Public Schools Produce Profits But Some Are Failing Students. ” http. king5. com. November 1, 2011. Web. October 25, 2012. Jones-Shoeman, Cynthia. “Traditional Classrooms Versus Online Learning. ” http. suite101. com n. d. November 10, 2009. Web. October 25, 2012. Kothial, Amit. “Distance Learning – Advantages and Disadvantages. ” http. ezinearticles. om. n. d. June 23, 2009. Web. October 25, 2012. Lohr, Steve. “Study Finds That Online Education Beats The Classroom. ” http. nytimes. com. n. d. August 19, 2009. Web. October 25, 2012. Loose, Terence. “Fast Facts About Online Education. ” http. education. yahoo. net. n. d. Web. n. d. October 25, 2012. May, Ryan. “Traditional Education vs. Online Education – Should You Switch? ” http. businessdictonary. com. n. d. Web. n. d. October 25, 2012. Morris, David W. “Pros And Cons Of Online Education For The World Citizen. ” http. articlesbase. com. n. d. November 2, 2007. Web. October 25, 2012.

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