Online courses are offered by recognized institutions. The learner has access to learning materials for their course online, without necessarily having to attend classes in schools or universities like in the traditional classroom based mode of learning. Here learners also create their own convenient time and space. In addition to, the learner can easily commit in other hemispheres. This form of study is referred to as online learning. Sometimes online learning can be referred to as e- learning, internet learning, or networked learning.
On the other hand, traditional mode of learning entails the learner having to attend classes in their schools or campus, where they have direct contact with the tutor, who must also be physically available in these institutions. Learning materials for the learners are mostly available in printed form in libraries until lately where the learner can also access it on computers online. This paper analyzes the benefits of online learning as compared to traditional learning methods. It hypothesizes my interest and like for online learning over traditional learning methods.
Why I would like to take a distance learning writing course
Currently, most institutions and organizations are switching to online learning as their mode of study, (Simmons, 20). Learners and tutors have no limitation on space, time and location. Learning takes place almost everywhere depending on the individual. The learner is able to quickly and easily obtain up to date information on their line of study, and could easily be guided by experts on various fields, based on their level of needs. Tutors on the other hand can instruct and couch their students at whichever location they are, at any given time, with no interference with their personal commitments, (Anderson and Elloumi, 4). This is the reason as to why I like online courses and more so, love my English Writing Course!
Rovai (31), states that how the tutor develops the learning course will be reflected on the quality of learning, as its effectiveness is not dependent on the mode of delivery. It does not matter if the learners are confined in a single location or scattered, because they all have the share of the same cake. Companies that have adopted this mode of learning will not have to spend much of their focus on training their staff.
Online learning has the benefit of spending less time to produce results and feedback. The use of tools such as online quizzes by the tutors, make it faster to evaluate the learning pace of the students (Appana, 28). Due to the various course available online, one can acquire a certificate, all the way up to a doctorate, without necessarily attending classes in a school.
One can easily advance in their studies as they carry on with their daily lives, without having to quit on some and also one is not distracted by the other students per taking a similar course. Older students with families may find it difficult enrolling for classes where majority of the students is of a much younger age, and could fear discrimination. With online learning, age, physical appearance and disabilities are not a limiting factor. Such, is the reason why majority of individuals engage in these online courses. The factors that can inhibit learning in these scenarios are quite minimal.
Compared to the traditional classroom based course
Both online learning and traditional classroom based learning are effective modes that enable studies, as they both offer certificate, diploma, degree and even doctorate courses. In both, a learner, tutor and materials of learning must be present for learning to take place, but the manner in which they avail themselves differs between the two groups.
Traditional methods of learning that entails a physical classroom attendance of both the learner and the teacher, encourages free exchange of ideas and information, through active interaction of both parties. Assignments given in groups ensures all the group members participate actively and these one on one interaction aids in building strong interpersonal skills among individuals .Presentations of work in classrooms where students have to face a large audience aids in building individuals confidence to address people freely.
However, online learning on the other hand has numerous advantages over traditional classroom based mode of learning. Different people prefer different learning environments. Online learning gives people a privilege to make a choice on the area they are comfortable with doing they stuff, and where they concentrate best (Anderson and Elloumi, 106).Traditional classroom based courses, leave the tutor and the learner with no choice, other than to adhere to the set schedule by the learning institution.
Some colleges only offer some courses at a specific semester, where the learner may not be unable to attend classes at that particular session. Online courses offer flexibility, as one can study them at whichever time they are available, because all learning material and stuff are always available.
Online courses increase computer literacy skills, making individuals better suited for various tasks in organizations and institutions offering employment as compared to its counterpart, where the use of computers is limited, as mostly the hard copy learning materials are used. Typing skills are required in most institutions and the computer certificate is a must for many of these companies. Thus, the online courses build the typing skills of students. Moreover, individuals with computer skills are given an extra credit during recruitment of new employees.
It is relatively cheaper undertaking an online course, rather than the classroom based one as one requires one to commute to these learning institutions or rent a room close to schools for convenience. It also requires one to buy text books, print assignments, purchase writing materials and spend so much time in schools before completing a course. This may limit an individual from attending to their personal schedules, or even generate some income as they have little time left for such activities. Purchasing of all these materials is quite difficult and expensive. The little pocket money that students are given is not enough to cater for all these requirements. As a result most of the students find it hard sharing a single book with many others.
With the numerous benefits online courses have over the traditional class based courses, I will definitely go for the former, owing to the fact that I will spend less commuting to classrooms, study and work at my own convenient time and space with no paranoia of what my fellow learners will think of me and spend less time on my courses. Personally, I will be able to carry out my co-curricular activities without spending too much time running to classrooms. Furthermore, the e-learning interface that I am using is easy to comprehend.
Appana, S. A Review of Benefits and Limitations of Online Learning in Context of the Student, The instructor and the Tenured Faculty. International Journal of E-Learning 2008: p 7, 5-22.
Eaton, J.S. Maintain the delicate balance learning, Higher education accreditation and politics of selfregulation.2002.
Simons, R, Dobbs, G and Hand T. Enhancing quality in online learning: Scaffolding planning and design through proactive evaluation. Distance education, 2002: p 23.
Terry Anderson, Faith Elloumi. Theory and Practice of Online Learning Athabasca University.2004
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