Online education is a learning tool which is delivered and administered through the use of internet. Online education is a flexible instructional conveyance system that provides any kind of learning that takes place via the Internet. Online education gives educators an option to reach students who may not be able to enroll in a face to face classroom course and supports students who want to work at their own pace and on their own schedule.
Resources for Online Education
- Recorded lectures;
- Discussion forums
- Live Q&A sessions; and
The resources offered to us for online learning will depend on the institution where we take our online program. Some online learning programs may require us to order physical textbooks in advance by in the mail, but these are generally being phased out in favor of online Books and online-only methods of delivery.
For those institutions that have made the change to using 100 percent online materials, students can anticipate to study using a combination of cutting-edge technological resources with no need to go to campus to attend lectures, exams or personal discussion sessions.
School and course instructor will determine the pattern for each individual course and will select delivery methods that are best suitable for the course or program. What an Art History major needs to learn successfully online will totally different from what a Biology major needs.
Online education may be a completely new experience for students and teachers. If we are belonging to a more traditional learning background, read on to discover how to make the most of the study resources we may encounter in our online learning journey.
1. eBooks, textbooks & journals
These written resources are important materials in almost every course we will take when learning online.
Using the reading catalogue for each course, or on the advice of our course teacher, we will need to dedicate the amount of time we need to reading and understanding the topics in the literature. The main benefit of using this forum (particularly eBooks) is the fact that they are completely portable, allowing to study on the go from computer, phone or tablet.
When a course or program is being researched, remember to check whether textbooks are included in tuition fees! We may have to pay additional for our textbooks, or they may be available as online Books from our institution’s library.
2. Recorded lectures
A necessary way of obtaining a large amount of information in a relatively short amount of time, lectures are a staple of online and campus-based learning. With online learning, we can take lectures from our bedroom and any place of our comfort.
If we can make notes of the complete lecture; this will make it easier to review for exams, and any assignments we will need to complete throughout our course.
3. Interactive sessions
The greatest challenge that an online education provider has to face is how to replicate the in-person discussions that on-campus institutions can easily provide.
The possible solution of this problem is; Online degree programs often use a combination of discussion conventions and interactive question-and-answer sessions to give the interaction with other students and instructors we need.
Before starting an interactive session or online discussion forum, make sure to read the rules and requirements; some institutions may require to create posts that have a minimum word count.
Students can expect to study using a combination of technological resources with no need to go to colleges and universities to attend lectures, exams or in-person discussion sessions.
How Will Online Education Be Delivered?
The course or module of learning resources will be provided through the institution’s online education environment or platform. The education platform will different depending on the software used, but it will usually consist of a central online platform that students can get from their personal PC, mobile or tablet.
One of the major advantage of utilizing resources that are given completely online is unending flexibility.
An online students can choose to access course information and complete their assignments at their own schedule. This allows the students to fit study time in around work, family and other commitments. This also means that students who want to continue work and study at a same time do not have to put their careers on hold. Get the best of both worlds.
How is Online Education Assessed?
For those who are new to online education, this procedure can be intimidating. But there is no need to worry about it. Mostly, online institutions are experienced professionals, they will ensure that assessments are fair, comfortable, and designed to help us make the most of our learning experience.
Discover the types of assessments we are probably to encounter when taking an online degree program or course:
1. Individual Assignments
These are probably the technique of assessment that students will have the most experience with. For each assignment, students will receive their topic, word count and deadline. They will be required to produce a arranged, reasoned argument within the confines set out by their course instructor.
2. Discussion activities
Face-to-face discussions between friends and colleagues is something that we all do in our daily routine. However, an online academic discussion requires a different set of abilities, and might not come as naturally when we first start our online learning journey. You should not to worry about it, we will get the hang of it.
These activities will vary depending on the institution, but course instructor will generally start each discussion off with a question or topic for debate. Students then need to research the subject matter and post their replies to the task demonstrating their own knowledge and understanding. It will often end up in a debate with the ideas and views posted by fellow students.
3. Journal activities
As like discussion boards, journal activities are likely to be specific to online courses. A journal entry is an ongoing update giving the chance to reflect back on what learned during the period under review, and how to apply what is learned in the future. Online learning doesn’t take place in classrooms, and journal entries are straightforward ways for course instructors to get a understanding of how students are progressing through the course and if they are gaining knowledge in the right areas.
Unlike other assignments, it is acceptable to use a subjective, personal style of writing in journal entries and refer to yourself in the first person.
Exams are a key way to test learning. Institutions may choose to allow students to complete their exams on their own personal computer, in a location of their choosing. Because tutors have no way to oversee a virtual exam or test, they are typically open-book and open-note. As a viable alternative, many institutions will offer the option of completing ‘take-home’ examinations in the form of an essay or final assignment. Some institutions may use exam software like virtual proctors, or tools to monitor if you visit new web pages.
Students taking a degree program or an individual course online will still be tested at regular intervals throughout their study period to assess their understanding of the course materials.
Types of Online Education
These are the 10 different types of online education:
Computer Managed Learning (CML)
In the case of computer-managed learning (CML), also known as Computer Managed Instruction (CMI), computers are used to manage and assess learning processes. Computer managed learning systems operate through information databases. These databases contain bits of information which the student has to learn, together with a number of ranking parameters which enables the system to be individualized according to the preferences of each student.
As a result of two-way communication between the student and the computer, determinations can be made as to whether the student achieved their learning goals on a satisfactory level. If not, then the processes can be repeated until the student has achieved their desired learning goals.
Additionally, educational institutions use computer-managed learning systems for storing and retrieving information which aids in educational management. This could mean information such as lecture information, training materials, grades, curriculum information, enrolment information among others.
Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)
Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), also sometimes referred to as computer-assisted learning (CAL), is another type of online education which uses computers together with traditional teaching. This could mean interactive software for the students or the kind of training software used by Patrick Suppes of Stanford University in 1966.
Computer-assisted training methods use a combination of multimedia such as text, graphics, sound, and video in order to enhance learning. The primary value of CAI is interactivity. It allows students to become active learners instead of passive learners, by utilizing various methods such as quizzes and other computer-assisted teaching and testing mechanisms.
Most schools nowadays, both online and traditional, use different variations of computer-assisted learning to facilitate the development of skills and knowledge in their students.
Synchronous Online education
Synchronous online education enables groups of students to participate in a learning activity together at the same time, from any place in the world. Real-time synchronous online education often involves online chats and videoconferencing, as these tools allow training participants and instructors to ask and answer questions instantly while being able to communicate with the other participants.
This kind of community-oriented online learning has been made possible with the rapid development of online learning technologies. Before the invention of computer networks in the 1960s, truly synchronous online education was practically impossible to implement. Nowadays, synchronous e-learning is considered to be highly advantageous as it eliminates many of the common disadvantages of e-learning, such as social isolation and poor teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships. Synchronous online education is currently one of the most popular and quickest growing types of e-learning.
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Asynchronous Online Education
In the case of asynchronous online education, groups of students study independently at different times and locations from each other, without real-time communication taking place. Asynchronous online learning methods are often considered to be more student-centered than their synchronous counterparts, as they give students more flexibility.
For these reasons, asynchronous online education is often preferred by students who do not have flexible schedules, because it allows them to utilize self-paced learning. They can set their own timeframes for learning, and they are not required to learn at specific time intervals together with other students.
Before the invention of the PLATO computer system, all online learning was considered to be asynchronous, as there were no methods of computer networking available. However, nowadays, with the availability of computers and the World Wide Web, deciding between synchronous and asynchronous online education becomes a more difficult task, as each has their pros and cons.
Fixed Online Education
Fixed online education is a fancy name for something you are likely already familiar with. “Fixed” in this context means that the content used during the learning process does not change from its original state and all the participating students receive the same information as all the others. The materials are predetermined by the teachers and don’t adapt to the student’s preferences.
This type of education has been the standard in traditional classrooms for thousands of years, but it’s not ideal in online education environments. That is because fixed online education does not utilize the valuable real-time data gained from student inputs. Analyzing each student individually through their data and making changes to the materials according to this data leads to better learning outcomes for all students.
Adaptive Online Education
Adaptive online education is a new and innovative type of online learning, which makes it possible to adapt and redesign learning materials for each individual learner. Taking a number of parameters such as student performance, goals, abilities, skills, and characteristics into consideration, adaptive e-learning tools allow education to become more individualized and student-centered than ever before.
We are now at a point in time where laboratory-based adaptive instructional techniques can be used for mathematical sequencing of student data. When done correctly, this could mean a new era for educational science. While this type of online education can be more difficult to plan and accomplish than traditional teaching methods, it’s potential value and effectiveness is often understated.
Linear Online Education
When referring to human-computer interaction, linear communication means that information passes from sender to receiver, without exception. In the case of e-learning, this becomes a very limiting factor, as it does not allow two-way communication between teachers and students. This type of online learning does have its place in education, although it’s becoming less relevant with time. Sending training materials to students through television and radio programs are classic examples of linear online education.
Interactive Online Education
Interactive online education allows senders to become receivers and vise versa, effectively enabling a two-way communication channel between the parties involved. From the messages sent and received, the teachers and students can make changes to their teaching and learning methods. For this reason, interactive online learning is considerably more popular than linear, as it allows teachers and students to communicate more freely with each other.
Individual Online Education
Individual online education in this context refers to the number of students participating in achieving the learning goals, rather than the student-centeredness of the material. This type of learning has been the norm in traditional classrooms for thousands of years. When practicing individual learning, the students study the learning materials on their own (individually), and they are expected to meet their learning goals on their own.
This type of learning is not ideal for developing communicational skills and teamwork abilities in students, as it largely focuses on students learning independently, without communication with other students. Therefore, a more modern approach is necessary to supplant the communicational of skills and abilities.
Collaborative Online Education
Collaborative online education is a modern type of learning method, through which multiple students learn and achieve their learning objectives together as a group. Students have to work together and practice teamwork in order to achieve their common learning objectives.
This is done through the formation of effective groups, where each individual student has to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of each other student. This boosts the communicational skills teamworking abilities of the students. Collaborative online learning expands on the idea that knowledge is best developed inside a group of individuals where they can interact and learn from each other.
While this type of learning is more often used in traditional classrooms than in online courses, it’s still a valid type of e-learning which can be highly effective if done correctly.
Alternatively, some educational scientists have chosen to classify e-learning types more simply. They identify just two primary types of online education: computer-based online education and internet-based online education. This method of classification could be seen as more accurate because it differentiates online learning from online education, the two of which are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Some forms of learning such as CML and CAL are not required to take place online, but they are considered types of online learning nonetheless.
Positive and Negative Effects of Online Education
Online education has both positive as well as negative effects:
Positive Effects of Online Education
Online education offers many positive benefits since students:
- have flexibility in taking classes and working at their own pace and time
- face no commuting or parking hassles
- learn to become responsible for their own education with information available at their fingertips
- find the submission of assignments easy and convenient
- are more apt to voice their own opinions and share and debate issues with other students, as well as learn from other students during the group discussions
Negative Effects of Online Education
Possible negative effects of learning online are that some students:
- may miss the face-to-face interaction with the instructor and among students
- may prefer to attend traditional classes with an instructor who teaches and guides them through the course
- find access to the necessary technology challenging and the availability of technical support limited
In addition, some administrators and instructors who do not understand the workload may display a negative attitude toward online education.
Future of Online Education
Online teaching is here to stay. Many students prefer the online classroom since it offers flexibility in their busy schedules. With the proliferation of information and knowledge, students must become lifelong learners in today’s world, and online education plays an important role in helping individuals access the learner-centered and self-directed instruction.
With enhanced software, hardware, and Internet access, more options for online education will become available. With student enrollments increasing faster than classrooms can be built, students becoming more proficient with technology, and students pursuing an education that meets their needs, the future of online education will continue to grow. Online degree programs will become more widely accepted as they become a more common practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are the frequently asked questions related to online education.
Why is online education important?
Online education is important because it enables the teacher and the student to set their own learning pace, and there’s the added flexibility of setting a schedule that fits everyone’s agenda. As a result, using an online educational platform allows for a better balance of work and studies, so there’s no need to give anything up.
Is online education Good or bad?
While logistically sound, taking too many online courses or having poor online instruction can be harmful to a student’s future. One of the most glaring issues with online education is the lack of interpersonal communication. A big disadvantage to middle and high school students is the lack of one-on-one support.
What do you think about online learning and classroom learning?
It depends on the needs of the customer. In some cases a purely online solution is best. “purely online” is defined as interaction between learner and content via a user interface without an instructor, other students, or other means of transmission than online. Learning is possible anytime and anywhere the learner has Internet access and a few minutes to spare. That was my company’s model. It was designed for a specific professional development market in which purely online fit.
In the case of classroom learning, that is actually a much more complicated and thus involved answer. Generally speaking, I have found it helps to meet my students where they are, rather than hope to drive them like cattle to some ideal point where learning can take place. If I don’t have a learning tool to meet them at some clear point, I invent one. That has typically involved using simulations, role play, AI, immersive learning, student as teacher, etc.
What are the pros and cons of online education?
Here are some pros & Cons Of Online learning
Pros of Online Learning:
- No traveling time.
- You can attend class at any time according to your schedule.
- It is convenient for those who work a full-time job.
Cons Of Online Learning:
- you can not express your thoughts, feelings or opinions in writing.
- Emails, discussion board posts, and chats may be misunderstood because there is no visual person.
- It is difficult to form a real connection with your teacher.
What is your opinion about online courses?
Students can fit them around their existing responsibilities and commitments, and can engage with multimedia content and learning materials at whatever time is most convenient to them. Even better: they don’t have to travel anywhere to study, they can simply log in to the virtual campus from the comfort of their own home or office.
There’s a second reason why online learning has become so popular: it’s cheaper. Cost can often be a prohibitive factor in why individual students don’t enrol in courses they’re interested in. This is also an issue for corporations who wish to encourage their employees to undergo further training but don’t have much of a budget for conferences and training courses. Online courses are easily accessible on much smaller budgets.
The quantity of online education and online degrees in most disciplines is large and increasing rapidly. Schools and institutions that offer online education are also increasing in number. Students pursuing degrees via the online approach must be selective to ensure that their coursework is done through a respected and credentialed institution.