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Current Aspects of online Education

Essay by   •  February 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  853 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,454 Views

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Since its introduction, online learning has completely changed the worldwide educational landscape. The accessibility of online education has allowed millions of learners throughout the world, to earn a degree and achieve the dream of continuing education. With the increasing amount of computer technology and internet connection many high education institutions are now beginning to see the importance of extending many of their courses online in order to reach a wider network. Moreover, as more of these online institutions are established and traditional bricks-and-mortar schools extend their courses to the online forum, the credibility of online schooling is also gradually improving. According to the Sloan Consortium and the Babson Survey Research Group in the United States, the 2011 survey research reveals that the number of students taking online courses has now surpassed six million, with nearly one-third of all students in higher education taking at least one online course. There are a number of forms to the way online education is structured. The format depends on the purpose of the online course; whether an individual is seeking a full online degree and taking a full online course load or supplementing an on-campus curriculum with online classes, it is important that they know which type of online learning format that they are taking so to understand the requirements expected of them. These different forms of online learning include: Synchronous and Asynchronous learning, Open Schedule Online learning, Hybrid Learning, Computer Based Learning, Fixed Time Online Learning, and last but not least Recorded Lectures.

Synchronous online learning is structured in a way the students and their instructor(s) interact in different places but at the same time. Students who are enrolled in this type of online learning are required to log on to their computers during a set time at least once a week. Students may learn through a number of technologies such as group chats, web seminars, video conferencing, and phone call-ins. Generally, synchronous learning works best for students who can schedule set days and times for their study. On the other hand, Asynchronous online learning is just the opposite of synchronous learning where by students and their instructor(s) interact in different places at different times. Students enrolled in this type of learning have the flexibility to be able to complete their course work at their own pace. Asynchronous online learning often relies on technology components such as message boards, pre-recorded video lectures, e-mail etc. Often, asynchronous online learning is preferred by students who have complicated schedules such as mature students, and tends to work best for self-motivated students who do not need much guidance to complete their course work. Another type of online learning is the open schedule learning, where by students are provided with a good amount of freedom on how to go about doing their work.

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