Traditional Education vs. Online Education
Now days, with technology generously available, schools are opting to implement online classes into their traditional teaching curriculum. As a result of this our society is divided in two different ways of thinking on the education. Some believe the modern method is better than the traditional method of teaching but yet these two methods are both successful.
Personally, I believe both methods should balance one another instead of attempting to substitute one another; this way their purpose of educating will be far more successful.
Online education, also called long distant learning, can be defined as a new method of learning through a computer network. This modern way of teaching gives students an opportunity to take classes online. Bill Gates recently predicted that in five years most colleges will be providing online education. “The self-motivated learner will be on the Web,” Mr. Gates said, speaking at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe. “College needs to be less place-based. ”(Steve) Online courses allow students to access course content, including reading lists and library materials, at any time.
This flexibility of online courses is primarily important for students who have young children, who are caring for ailing or elderly family members, who have full-time jobs, or who live too far from campus. Flexible hours are also beneficial because it allow students to work at their own speed; taking courses either part time or on an accelerated schedule. According to the article in the New York Times, titled “Study Finds That Online Education Beats Classroom,” the SRI International for the Department of Education, conducted a research on online versus traditional classroom teaching from 1996 to 2008.
Most of the studies were conducted in colleges and adult continuing-education programs. Over the twelve year span, the Department of Education found that, on average students doing some or all of the course online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, compared with the average classroom student scoring in the 50th percentile (Lohr). According to Barbara Means, the study’s lead author and an educational psychologist at SRI International, online education ultimate goal, is to provide learning experiences that are more tailored to individual students than is possible in classrooms.
That enables more “learning by doing,” which many students find more engaging and useful. However, advocates of classroom learning believe the online method isolates the students from one another as well as their professor minimizing the overall value of taking the course. They also claim that students learn better when working together with their instructor and their fellow classmates. Students learn better when they are given the opportunity to ask questions, join in class discussions, and they move the process of learning forward through their participation.
Face-to-face advocates firmly believe that this kind of interaction is not possible over the Internet; and for many types of education, e-learning will never meet the potential of live human interaction in the classroom. An article in the New York Times titled, “Second Thoughts on Online Education,” backs up the points made above. A recent research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, comes to the conclusion; “A rush to online education may come at more of a cost than educators may suspect. A research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Education Department, consisted on comparing the grades of one group online, and one in classroom lectures. The 312 students were undergraduates at a major state university. The data concluded that certain groups did notably worse online. Such as, Hispanic students who took classes’ online fell nearly a full grade lower than Hispanic students that took the course in class. Male students did about a half-grade worse online, as did low-achievers, which had college grade-point averages below the mean for the university.
David Figlio, an economist at Northwestern University and co-author of the paper, has a few conclusions as to what accounts for the differences in outcomes. The poorer performance of males and lower-achievers, he says the time-shifting convenience of the Web made it easier for students to put off viewing the lectures and cram just before the test, a tactic unlikely to produce the best possible results. The lower performance by Hispanic students online, Mr. Figlio said, might be due to missing the body language of the teacher and other classroom cues, which could be more important to a student whose first language is not English.
The truth of the matter is that there are advantages and disadvantages to every type of learning environment. It is best to use the advantages that each method offers to their fullest extent. It appears from the initial studies, that a combination of online and classroom learning will be the best teaching method for educating a person for the better future of everyone. According to Judy Willis, “The more regions of the brain that store data about a subject, the more interconnection there is.
This redundancy means students will have more opportunities to pull up all of those related bits of data from their multiple storage areas in response to a single cue. This cross-referencing of data means we have learned, rather than just memorized. ” However, it is important to accentuate that learning highly depends on the students’ motivation to learn. So it still comes down to the effort that the students put into their education that ultimately decides how beneficial the overall experience was to their future career.