IS ONLINE EDUCATION PROVING TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 2
Is Online Education Proving To Be Successful? 3
Review of the current market for online education 4
How Online education works 6
Is Online Education Proving To Be Successful?
The Information Technology era tends to equip people with the changing scenarios. Education standards and modules have shifted and currently learning is supported by communication technologies (Anderson 2008, 68). On its part, the society has positively embraced new forms of education through the years. Online education is one such form and it is known for its history. The aspect of E-learning or online education in most cases is not limited the acquisition of Information Technology competence or digital literacy. However, it encompasses various hybrid methodologies and formats, particularly the use of internet, software, online learning, CD-ROM or other electronic media (Anderson 2008, 87).
There are various terms for online education or E-learning. Some of the terms are: web-based Education, education via computer-mediated communication and internet-based education. Online education or E-learning is therefore defined as an interactive learning where learning content can be found over the internet. Online education is the use of computer network in presenting educational content (Mitchell 2010, 23). During the process, the learners are usually provided with an automatic feedback. In some cases, online education can be defined as the facilitation of two-way communication through computer networks to enable students to benefit in their learning process. In most cases, E-learning focuses more on the learning content as compared to communication between tutors and learners. With this in mind, this paper will generally elaborate on the current online education market across the globe. Additionally, the paper will give a general overview of how online education works (Mitchell 2010, 45). In doing this, the paper will do an analysis on whether online education is successful or whether it is bound to fail in future.
E-learning or online education entails the use of educational technology, electronic media and Information and communication technologies or rather ICT in education. In most cases, online education includes various media forums, which deliver audio, text, streaming video and animation. It includes technology processes and applicants such as video tape, audio and computer based learning. Online education or E-learning can occur outside or inside a classroom and can be self-paced, instructor led or even asynchronous learning. However, this type of learning mostly favors distance learners or flexible learners and can be used as blended learning process (Morabito 1999, 77). The extent at which online education replaces or assists other teaching and learning processes remains variable. In most cases, it ranges on a scale from none to complete online distance learning. The global e-learning industry is economically important. Development in multimedia and internet technologies remains a basic provider and enabler of e-learning. Additionally, most young learners prefer using ICT instead of the traditional models of learning.
Review of the current market for online education
Distance education or online education has currently experienced rapid growth especially in certain degree programs and courses. The history of online education started way back with programs delivered through emails before the development of the current online learning communities. Many primary factors have been attributed to the drastic growth of online education (Morabito 1999, 85). Expansion of degree programs and the changing demographics of learners pursuing higher education have been attributed to expansion of online education across the globe. By expanding past geographical boundaries, online education has currently enabled institutions of higher learning to increase their intended audience quickly. The combination of decreased facility demands and increased enrollment yields higher economic margins in terms of program capitalization on online education delivery systems (Haythornthwaite & Kazmer 2004, 82).
Learners being reached via online education acts as a new medium in the current education trends. Much of the approximately 33% yearly online enrollment growth has been attributed to new students base across the globe. An immediate different between average on-campus learners and online learners is that at least five out of six students participating in online learning are employed and cannot attend traditional classes. In different demographic terms, students participating in online education tend to be older and are probably married. Given the growing trends of online education in the modern era, the future events are likely to affect the education marketplace positively (Shelton & Saltsman 2005, 74). Education environment itself is moving faster each year. Most learning institutions are currently adopting this new strategy as an alternative to the common traditional classes model. On the technical front, internet availability and increase use of internet remains important and these factors are linked to technological competences.
In the online education field, this model perfectly fits and is likely that master’s degree program students will have different program demands as compared to students pursuing technical associate degree programs at the same institution (Haythornthwaite & Kazmer 2004, 102). Technologically, as more learners gain access to Information and technology, online education therefore finds a broader and potential market. Recent studies indicate that by the year 2000, at least 70% of homes had an access to the internet an aspect that gives online education an added advantage (Haythornthwaite & Kazmer 2004, 123). The current and the future markets of online education is therefore on the rise. There has been so much growth in the online education markets and its future seems stable especially for the higher education professionals. Researches on online education systems indicate that currently, educational productivity has increased especially with the presence of online education since it is inherently data-rich (Mitchell 2010, 76). Every link clicked, video watched and questions answered is easily collected and analyzed than before. Additionally, randomized controlled trials, which tend to be expensive especially in the offline world is cheaper in the online world.
How Online education works
The first step to serving new learners base with online education is to first design and establish an instructional environment. The fact that it is a unique environment, the process would most likely pose several challenges especially to institutions of higher learning (Bourne & Moore 2003, 32). Additionally, decisions on how the system infrastructure would be supported can be challenging. There is also the need to train faculty members and to provide support personnel. While designing an infrastructure, which will support the online education environment, it is important to consider how the tutors will deliver the instructions (Mitchell 2010, 65). In this case, interactivity levels and the infrastructure required would largely depend on various aspects including whether the time in which the class would occur is different and different-place environment (Bourne & Moore 2003, 46). Interactivity in this case remains an important aspect hence the need for instructional design.
Other issues to consider when designing an online education system are: The exact time for loggings and participation in the online interactivity, availability of computing and network resources and requirements of the students during the process. Network capacity demands remain an important aspect in online education systems (Shelton & Saltsman 2005, 87). Online education works through software and network activity terms for an institution. Alternatively, the system requires new support resources, which may be incorporated to maintain an online learning environment.
With the current online education markets studies, it is quite evident that the shift to e-learning is happening with the development of the world. This therefore means that education standards across the globe are increasing at a dramatic rate (Haythornthwaite & Kazmer 2004, 140). In order to establish which system works best for students between the offline education system and the online education system. In this case, an analysis can be conducted between the two systems. In the offline education world, a randomized controlled trial would involve at least 50 students, On the other hand, the online education world trial would involve randomly assigning one of two video clips to various students then monitoring their performance weeks and months later on their exams.
The findings in this case will highlight how online education system tends to allow learners work more quicker than in the past. Additionally, the online education system will dramatically shorten the amount of time the learners would take to learn what is at stake as compared to the offline education systems (Bourne & Moore 2003, 46). From the analysis, it is quite evident that leverage and scale remain the key issues. On the other hand, in the online education systems, the best teachers will have an opportunity to teach more students. However, that leverage would mean that the students will engage better teaching methods which would be diffused to them through by fewer teachers as compared to the offline world. Online education system will also allow more students to engage in the system much more rapidly.
Online education tends to offer tremendous savings in terms of time and money. Additionally, online education increases education quality for many learners but not all courses considering investment in complementary technology tends to increase. The extent at which online education assists other teaching and learning processes remains adaptable. It ranges on a scale from none to complete online distance learning. The global e-learning industry is economically important especially for the for-profit universities. Most universities across the globe are already adopting to the online education market in a bid to save unnecessary costs and for convenience purposes. Online education system tends to allow learners work more quicker than in the past. Leverage and scale remain the key issues in online education systems. In online education systems, teachers also have an opportunity to teach more students as compared to the offline education world. The leverage in this case would mean that the students will engage better teaching methods which would be diffused to them through by fewer teachers as compared to the offline world.
The online education system dramatically shortens the amount of time the learners would take to learn what is at stake as compared to the offline education systems. However, what is not clear is the exact systems and strategies to deliver the online content in future and how learning institutions will be able to assess these types of systems in the education market. Another issue that might create a problem in online education is the credentials aspect. Therefore, it remains unclear as to what systems will learning institutions credit their online students. With all these issues mentioned, it is therefore quite evident that online education system works more effectively in the current educational markets and standards.
With online education rapidly rising in the current education markets, it would therefore be important to improve the system to enhance education productivity. Online education system is the future especially with the advancements in technology. Therefore, a lot need to be done to ensure that everything falls in place to allow quick progression. Some of the recommendations to improve this system;
E-learning should never be place-based
Online education should never be state-based
Students participating in online education should be connected at all times
There is the need to share online materials
There is the need to make the online classes more interesting
Online education should be done in such a way that it results in textbooks eradication
The learning centers for online systems should be more available to learners.
The connection aspect among students engaging in online education remains important. The fact that most curriculum courses are the same throughout the world, there is the need for students participating in online forums to be more connected. Conversations in this can are more robust whereas learning is more relevant especially when the numbers of other students and teachers in which the students can connect increases.
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