Benefits of Online Learning

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Online learning offers more benefits compared to traditional classes. It is a tool that is applicable and effective in obtaining a degree without the hustle associated with a traditional degree. It offers convenience, flexibility, and saves time to perform other activities alongside education.

The authors of the publication are co-directors of the Babson Survey Group and professionals in biostatistics, and therefore qualified to write the publication. Increased relevance is evident as the publication partnered with academic journals such as Pearson and Tyton Partners. This report explains the state of online learning in USA higher education. It analyzes the use of online learning on its own or as a component of other learning processes. It presents statistical data on the utilization of online portals and platforms in higher learning. This source is relevant in my research on the benefits of online learning as opposed to acquiring a traditional degree. The benefits and the role online learning plays in education are discussed in this report.

Aspillera, M. (2010, August 5). What Are the Potential Benefits of Online Learning? Retrieved from https://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/benefits-of-online-learning.htm

This is a publication of WorldWideLearn. It is therefore appropriate as this is a site that deals with educational matters and issues arising in the world of education. Their staff are qualified to write on the presented content and their publications must be vetted by the site before publishing. The article lists and explains the potential benefits of online learning in this century. it also acknowledges the work of other researchers explaining the rise in online learners all over the world and the inclination from traditional degrees and diplomas. This source is directly related and resourceful to my research as it is in favor of online learning.

Chi-Sing, L., & Irby. (2008). ERIC - An Overview of Online Education: Attractiveness, Benefits, Challenges, Concerns and Recommendations, College Student Journal, 2008-Jun. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ816925 .

This 2008 study analyses online education comprehensively. The publication is education based, dealing mostly with educational sciences. It is therefore credible and ensures that the authors are also relevant and the journal ensures the information they present is relevant and credible too. The source analyses the challenges and concerns of online learning from a learner’s perspective and weighs them against the benefits that it brings. It explains the factors that make online attractive to most learners and makes recommendations to improve the state of online education. Because of the content this source offers, it is relevant to my research on the benefits of online degrees over traditional ones.

Gaebel, M., Kupriyanova, V., Morais, R., & Colucci, E. (2014). E-Learning in Higher Education. E-LEARNING IN EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS RESULTS OF A MAPPING SURVEY CONDUCTED IN OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2013, 1-6.

This is a population-based research report that was conducted over three months in Europe. It is a publication of the European Universities Association. The authors are therefore vetted and the content they present verified. The research sought to analyze and understand the impact of technology in education. It acknowledges the changes taking place in the field of education owing to the evolution of information technology in the world. It also discusses the potential benefits of mainstreaming e-learning to diversify information divulgence further. It also discusses the reception of the concept and the potential challenges that could be encountered. It is therefore relevant in y research on the benefits of an online degree rather than the traditional degree.

Green, L. S., Jones, S. A., & Burke, P. A. (2017). School Librarians Fully Online: Preparing the Twenty-First Century Professional. School Library Research, 1-21. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1150570.pdf

Lucy Santos Green is in the Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development, College of Education, Georgia Southern University. Stephanie A. Jones is in the same department. Panne Andrea Burke is in the Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in the same university. Their positions allow them to make commentaries and publications on the field of education and the emerging trends such as the utilization of e-learning I higher education. It talks about the access institutions now allow to online libraries to students of online learning. Libraries are one of the most utilized learning tools, and their automation and connection to the information grid supports e-learning. That it talks about online learning makes it suitable for my research.

Hamid, S., Waycott, J., Kurnia, S., & Chang, S. (2015). Understanding students' perceptions of the benefits of online social networking use for teaching and learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 26, 1-9. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1096751615000081

This 2015 paper is a publication of ScienceDirect, which is a credible journal for a variety of topics and fields, including education. It also focuses on psychology and social studies. In this article, the authors gauge the perception to online learning and networking among students. How students perceive this concept is essential in my research as it would be pointless to embrace the concept of online education if the perception and reception is poor. This publication provides perspective to my research as perception is an important concept in the implementation of any idea.

Hoxby, C. M. (2016). Online Post-secondary Education and the Higher Education Tax Benefits: An Analysis with Implications for Tax Administration. Stanford University and National Bureau of Economic Research, 1-60.

This research is by an expert in economic matters, Caroline Hoxby. The journal involved is also specialized in economic matters. This research analyses the implications of online learning on the tax benefits that schools and institutions enjoy. It shows that the prevalence of online education has increased from a third to a half in the last few years. The tax benefits extended to students affect how much they earn. Online students also enjoy the tax benefits that students from conventional universities. These benefits, however, vary with the number of students in a program. Online schools therefore pose compliance issues as compared to large traditional institutions. The relevance this source has on my research is based on challenges of online learning as compared to traditional colleges.

Janghorban, R., Roudsari, R. L., & Taghipour, A. (2014). Skype interviewing: The new generation of online synchronous interview in qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 9(1), 41-52. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3402/qhw.v9.24152?scroll=top&needAccess=true

The authors are PhD holders and therefore qualified to make commentaries on the technological matters. It acknowledges the relevance and use of interviewing in assessment matters. It also discusses the use of technology, Skype, in conducting interviews. Accepting the same is synonymous to using online classes rather than face-to-face interactive classes. It is a relevant source in my research because e-learning uses the same approach and argument used in the article.

Kulkarni, C., Wei, K. P., Le, H., Chia, D., Papadopoulos, K., Cheng, J., Klemmer, S. R. (2014). Peer and Self-Assessment in Massive Online Classes. Understanding Innovation, 131-168. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-06823-7_9  Springer.com is an online journal that is vetted by educational bodies all over the world. It is strict in the acceptance of publications, making the authors credible. This paper presents the concept of peer assessment in online classes. It introduces an alternative method of assessing performance in a way that a traditional college program cannot find sustainable. The trend and tendency to embrace these new assessment methods is in line with the implementation of e-learning. It is therefore a relevant source for my research.

Scott, C. L. (2015). WHY MUST LEARNING CONTENT AND METHODS CHANGE IN THE 21st CENTURY? United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2-16. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/

This paper is a publication of UNESCO. It is an important body regulating education and making policies affecting the same all over the world. The author is therefore qualified and vetted to comment on educational matters. The paper discusses the need to revise the learning strategies that schools use. It shows the need to embrace e-learning in higher education. It advocates for embracing online-based strategies in learning in the 21st century. This paper is therefore relevant in my research as it acknowledges the benefits and need for online learning.

Task Two

Thesis Statement

Online learning offers more benefits compared to traditional classes. It is a tool that is applicable and effective in obtaining a degree without the hustle associated with a traditional degree. It offers convenience, flexibility, and saves time to perform other activities alongside education. 

Introduction

Technology and its impact is evident in many facets of life, including education. Higher education is especially benefitting from information technology in the facilitation of studies as well as assessment methods and options. Studies show that 82% of institutions now offer online courses, and 91% offer blended programs with some units taking place online (Gaebel et al., 2014). There is also evidence of inter-institutional collaborations in setting and conducting online exams. However, online colleges require students to be self-driven and motivated. It also forces the student to choose from the available options since not all majors are available online. Nevertheless, online colleges try their best to incorporate as many choices as possible in their programs list. These programs are also dependent on network availability which is a problem in some areas. Despite the challenges, online degrees are more popular and effective than traditional programs. Discussed herein are the advantages of pursuing an online degree as opposed to a traditional one.

Body

Flexibility

The twenty first century offers so many opportunities to utilize for people of all ages. These opportunities allow students to pursue their educational goals while making a ling at the same time. Most companies and businesses now offer part time opportunities for such people to utilize as they take care of other pursuits in the processes. It is now possible for people to have multiple jobs and still manage to balance other aspects of their life. For students, such an arrangement is convenient and effective and will help them spin different plates without dropping any. This situation means that students can fix their classes and school activities around their jobs and still manage to attain the degree of their choice. They can choose study times and durations, and decide how long it will take them to attain their degree. They can choose when to graduate depending on their work life and other factors (Aspillera, 2010).

Flexibility is also in terms of scheduling classes. Students can study as they work, in-between shifts and as they wait to finish tasks within their workplace. They can have morning classes, evening, or even night classes conveniently. Since all they need is a computer and internet access, they can attend the classes from any place on earth, without any undue pressure. These students also have the option of pausing classes and commencing them later. They can also download notes and read them without the need for internet connection (Aspillera, 2010). They also do not need to maintain a specific dress code since no physical interactions are involved in their education.

Online learning also offers flexibility in terms of availability of programs. E-learning allows administrators to offer and facilitate teaching of courses that may not be effective in traditional settings. Physical classes require a quorum to commence, which does not favor people who are far away from the facility. However, with online learning, students can attend these classes from a distance. Most online colleges also develop and offer new courses that may not be available in traditional public and private universities (Aspillera, 2010). These online colleges are at the center of information technology and appreciate its impact in education and life in general. Therefore, they tap into these needs and opportunities to offer programs that are relevant in a technological world.

Cost

            One of the limiting factors to post-secondary education is finances. Students may have the desire to attain degrees after high school but lack the capital to facilitate their education. College, in some places, is considered a privilege that is only available to the most bight, or to those with money. However, online degrees are cheaper than conventional degrees as they do not involve as much interaction and supervised assessment. Since the input is therefore cheaper, it is easier for people to attain these degrees (Chi-Sing & Irby, 2008). Most online colleges are also funded by information technology firms, who aim at making them popular to spread the appropriateness of information technology in most human activities.

            The issue of cost also comes in the fact that students do not have to travel to the physical facilities that offer their studies of choice as it is in the conventional colleges. The cost of travelling is saved when students pursue online education. Most colleges may also need students to relocate to save the cost of travelling each day. However, these arrangements also introduce the cost of renting apartments or hostels and buying new furniture. The cost of living near the college might also be more expensive, making education overall costly. With online degrees, there is no need to relocate or travel, hence making the degree cheaper (Chi-Sing & Irby, 2008).

Social-Cultural Interaction

            Even though the aspect of interactions seems more plausible in a physical interactions setting, online learning also offers aspects of interaction among students. Research shows that online interactions are on the increase since the inception of social media (Hamid, Waycott, Kurnia, & Chang, 2015). Online colleges also offer portals where students can interact for social and educational reasons (Scott, 2015). They can raise topics of discussions and offer opinions and answers to these queries. These interactions are necessary and effective in the spread of positive cultures among students (Chi-Sing & Irby, 2008).

            Students can also exchange notes and other learning materials with others across the world. The exchange of these materials is also fast and almost instant. It is even faster than it would be in a physical setting (Scott, 2015). Students can also partner with each other in research activities and writing publications without having to meet at any point. There are platforms that allow for video calls among the students in case they need to discuss something in details. Online learning also allows students enough time to read and understand learning materials. In a physical setting, all students should learn at the same pace towards the completion of the program.

Acceptance in the Labor Market

            Most firms and industries now embrace the relevance and validity of online degrees. The new dimensions some of the programs offer are more marketable in the market as opposed to traditional degrees. Online degrees show that the degree holder is receptive to new ways of doing things in a way that traditional degrees do not. Therefore, even if the quality of both degrees might be the same, some firms may find the online option more pleasant and acceptable (Chi-Sing & Irby, 2008).

Ease in Blending

            Online courses and colleges are versatile and more accommodating than the traditional degrees. It is easy to blend aspects of online learning to traditional settings. Students can have some of the classes online and some of them in face-to-face gatherings. This arrangement allows them to save transportation costs on the days that classes are online. It is also possible for students to pursue two degrees at the same time. They may decide to attend physical classes during the day and then pursue an online degree in the evenings (Hamid, Waycott, Kurnia, & Chang, 2015).

Assessment Methods

            Online learning removes the possibility of obvious bias in the assessment of students. Since most or all interactions are online, the tutors judge and grade them on the basis of their intelligence and the quality of their work. It is easy for a tutor in a physical setting to become biased even without them realizing it. There are many aspects in the physical interactions that attract bias. They include speech and tonal variations, skin color, physical and facial expressions, that are absent in online interactions. The students do not also compare themselves with others, hence focusing on their studies instead. Most institutions now realize these variations and therefore facilitate online learning by providing WI-FI connectivity and computer rooms for the students (Gaebel et al., 2014).

            On the same issue of assessment, peer assessment is also possible and effective in online learning. The colleagues do not interact face-to-face with each other. Therefore, they can critique the quality of each other’s work without prejudice. Peer assessment allows for students to provide different perspectives in research to improve the quality of publications (Kulkarni et al., 2014). Students can also assess themselves and even grade themselves under the guidance and supervision of professional tutors.

            Most of the tests and quizzes in online colleges grade themselves automatically. Students get their results almost instantly when they do them. Therefore, they save time that could be spent waiting for results. The only exception is with essay questions since they require more analysis. This automatic method of grading tests allows them to do so many more tests and quizzes than there are possible in conventional degree classes.

Higher Retention

            Due to various challenges, some students may leave their degree programs before completion. Some courses may be too involving, leaving no time for other activities, or a job the student might have. Therefore, staying in the program proves impossible. However, in online programs, it is rare for a student to leave half-way for such reasons. The flexibility and convenience it offers allows students to learn at their own pace. They can even pause their programs and commence without so much stress (Gaebel, et al., 2014). They can also complete their programs fairly easily since they can schedule their classes as they wish.  

Conclusion

            Although traditional degrees are great and important, people should be more receptive to the idea of online degrees. Despite the benefits that ordinary degrees offer, there are so many more advantages of online degrees. The flexibility, convenience, and ease of facilitation they offer is incredible. The cost and other financial factors also favor the online degrees and colleges.

References

Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2015). Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED572778.pdf

Aspillera, M. (2010, August 5). What Are the Potential Benefits of Online Learning? Retrieved from https://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/benefits-of-online-learning.htm

Chi-Sing, L., & Irby. (2008). ERIC - An Overview of Online Education: Attractiveness, Benefits, Challenges, Concerns and Recommendations, College Student Journal, 2008-Jun. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ816925

Gaebel, M., Kupriyanova, V., Morais, R., & Colucci, E. (2014). E-Learning in Higher Education. E-LEARNING IN EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS RESULTS OF A MAPPING SURVEY CONDUCTED IN OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2013, 1-6.

Hamid, S., Waycott, J., Kurnia, S., & Chang, S. (2015). Understanding students' perceptions of the benefits of online social networking use for teaching and learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 26, 1-9. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1096751615000081

Kulkarni, C., Wei, K. P., Le, H., Chia, D., Papadopoulos, K., Cheng, J., … Klemmer, S. R. (2014). Peer and Self Assessment in Massive Online Classes. Understanding Innovation, 131-168. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-06823-7_9

Scott, C. L. (2015). WHY MUST LEARNING CONTENT AND METHODS CHANGE IN THE 21st CENTURY? United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2-16. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/

September 11, 2023
Category:

Education

Subcategory:

Learning

Number of pages

12

Number of words

3207

Downloads:

62

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