Jul 1, 2020 in Exploratory

The Internet is about to provoke small revolution within one of the most conservative world, meaning the world of higher education. The Internet has actually surpassed university libraries as the major source for facts and data and it is also challenging face-to-face lectures as a teaching implement. Thus, currently, online courses are offered via the Internet by numerous universities.  The current paper will demonstrate the effectiveness of online courses as compared to face-to-face lectures

Tennyson Mgutshini demonstrates that educational debate has long depicted online, or e-grounded, learning together with all non-campus-grounded learning possibilities as second preferable to traditional face-to-face possibilities. The facts demonstrate that evolvements in computing, especially with regards to the Internet usage, have stimulated a groundbreaking increase in the usage of technology-grounded settings within education. It is important to mention that both conventional and distance-learning institutions have actually amalgamated a broad variety of e-learning settings, encompassing podcasts, virtual debate/discussion rooms, virtual simulations/modeling and twitter boards into their syllabus and course of study. Web-grounded strategies provide a revolutionist advancement in learning via the pliability and elasticity of appearing at any time and any place, and at a smaller price on contrary to face-to-face alternatives. Thus, online disjunctives provide incompatible opportunities, especially for categories of learners, which have traditionally encountered difficulties in attending campus-grounded courses. They might be incapable to undertake university studies because of practical causes, including family situation, which does not allow them to move to a university town. In addition, a student might have a job, which means that this student will not be able to attend face-to-face lectures, preferring virtual classes and streaming lecture videos after working hours. Therefore, online courses provide students with a possibility to live far from campus. Regardless the reason of selecting online courses, they provide students with an opportunity to learn, as otherwise they would not have attended higher education.

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From the universities’ perspectives, online courses appear to be more cost-efficient on contrary to campus courses. In fact, universities can teach higher quantity of students utilizing the analogous or even smaller amount of resources on contrary to identical camps-grounded course. For example, the teacher is capable of re-using such materials as streaming lecture videos and it might lower the teacher’s time dedicated to preparation and attainment/fulfillment of the course the next time the same course is provided, presupposing that both universities and teachers save sources. Nevertheless, a research grounded on approximately 4, 000 students of the U.S. universities did not demonstrated any essential discrepancy in time dedicated between teachers who utilize a huge quantity of ICT and utilizes none or smaller quantity. 

The analysis of online learners’ experience demonstrates that learners appreciate convenience of distance learning. Nevertheless, they missed a number of face-to-face courses characteristics. One student noted that it is comfortable to work at a place and time, which is the most convenient for a person, providing a possibility to partake in courses, which are not locally available. In addition, the class composition appears to be an obvious advantage, it incorporates participants from around the globe. Due to the fact that the main message of the course stood for interactivity, the Internet appears to be the ideal medium in this regard. Online courses provide a possibility to receive numerous feedbacks from fellow students, and stimulate eager anticipation of deadlines. Nevertheless, online sources  neglect some characteristics of synchronous (face-to-face) discussions. Despite the fact that asynchronous discussions provide more possibilities and time for reflections, it actually sacrifice the spontaneity of confiding on another ideas. Moreover, sometimes it is important to perform numerous simultaneous conversations during online courses, which complicates the possibility to get involved profoundly and thoughtfully into ideas. Another student acknowledged that online courses did not provide sufficient quantity and assortment of interactive tools, as the majority of available implements facilitate comments posting and responding. Therefore, it is significant to use multimedia (audio and video) and interactive forms, as they allow students get involved in course content in multiple methods. 

Regardless the fact that some researchers believe that online courses are ineffective in practical learning spheres, Kuyatt and Baker vividly depicts that it can be highly helpful. In regards with allied health programs and nursing, there is an elevated requirement for Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) lectures, which are combined with diminished classroom space, the facts demonstrate that numerous schools try to adapt and arrange students via online classes in anatomy. As U.S. community colleges sustain at the forefront of equipping education in high-required fields, they also proceed with rapid development of online courses. Moreover, they also progressively enlarge the usage of alternative online software technologies, which assist students in understanding for example 3D anatomical data. Therefore, online courses provide a possibility to attract and involve students in learning, which can be fulfilled through appropriate designing and integration of instructional texts and visuals. It allows building new knowledge and skills for long-term memory. In fact, simple practice has to be integrated with interactive practice, as it leads to increase of expertise and proficient in any area. Kuyatt and Baker demonstrate that sense of community and student learning appear to be greatly connected constructs in ALN (asynchronous learning network) settings, emphasizing the fact that online learning environments should be solidly supported in education.

Thus, it becomes obvious that online course deliver the majority if not all class content via the Internet. Therefore, teacher and student interaction appears to be essentially text-grounded, while the learning setting appears to be detached from a location. Despite the fact that video and audio constituents might be incorporated into the course, written texts are the major method of communication between students, their classmates, and teachers. The major problem associated with online courses stands for students’ self-discipline. Online courses presuppose that the instructor provides the content, while student is supposed to take solid initiative in accessing, learning, and understanding the material. This is a main reason why such type of independent learning might appear to be highly challenging. The fact that some students might not have sufficient capabilities to be effective and efficient learners seriously challenges the principle and effectiveness of online courses. Moreover, a lot of student might lack stimulation and motivation to acquire knowledge and practice independently. In addition, those students who are new to higher education might be easily demoralized by specific learning challenge or distracted by other activities, resulting in drop-out. Therefore, online course complicate the maximization of student learning outcomes due to the fact that those resources, which stimulate learning in face-to-face settings appear to be solidly and essentially decreased.

Hence, despite the convenience of online courses, there is a chance that e-instruction might appear as ineffective in equipping adequate student support. On the other hand, face-to-face classes provide the possibility to consult with classmates, tutors, professors, professionals in learning centers on campus, or teaching assistants who will assist and support student in regards with different learning requirements and complicacies. Such resources are effective in directing students, clarifying and reinforcing the material, leading to education success. Due to the fact that online courses become more popular, teachers attempt to find new methods of incorporating above-mentioned resources and support forms into e-classes. Nevertheless, the major issues connected with online courses concerns the fact that drop-out level appears to be progressively higher analyzing the online courses, presupposing that such resources and support forms should become even more effectual and successful during the combat for student’s attrition.  The suitability of online courses also appears to be obscure. In regards with knowledge, which requires mere memorization, online courses appear to be highly effectual. However, these are lower-order learning aims, which include recalling, knowledge of fundamental facts and information, and apprehension. However, there is no possibility to expect the analogous result in regards to higher-order learning objectives, which incorporate analysis and synthesis of data and assimilation/adoption of practices and values. On contrary to online courses, face-to-face lectures in empirical and rhetorical courses involve students in demonstration of their comprehension and mastery of communication theories by teaching the theory to the class, equipping individual theory critique, etc. There is no possibility to demonstrate above-mentioned practice during online courses. Furthermore, there is no possibility to analyze and understand online course sustainability for educating public speaking, or debate and argumentation. Thus, it is highly important to study this facet of online courses to provide students necessary information before they make any educational decisions. 

The current paper demonstrates that it is obvious that online courses have numerous specific advantages. They are time- and place-convenient, accessible, and can lower classroom spendings for colleges and universities. Moreover, students who work are still capable to learn, while otherwise they would neglect their educational development. A lot of courses appear to be effective at fulfilling required learning aims and objectives. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that these advantages are accompanied with serious expenses. Finally, it is important to remember that online courses might not be appropriate or suitable for each student and for all instructional purposes and objectives.


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