Benefitsof Online Learning
Although some scholars look at distance learning as a platform thatis a threat to the traditional learning, in reality, it helps inbolstering the traditional model of school by offering flexiblelessons that support those that do not have enough time to attend thenormal classes.
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Online education helps those people that have busy schedules butcannot attend the traditional model of school because of theconflicting schedules.
“It isparticularly difficult for adults to have on-campus classes because of the demands of jobsand personal schedules” (Huang, 2002: 27)
It overcomes thetime constraint in the way that the students have the freedom toattend to the classes depending on the time when they are free. Thetraditional model of schools tends to have a fixed schedule ofclasses that cannot be changed to accommodate the interests of one ortwo of the particular students in the class that has conflictinginterests.
It helps insupporting the thesis by showing that the flexibility offered by theonline learning platforms is possible.
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The students interact in online discussion forums in order toexchange ideas, critique and learn to accommodate suggestions thatothers have offered.
Garrison (2005)insists that “acommunity of inquiry is the integration of cognitive, social, andteaching presence” (134).
The discussionforums offer ‘a community of inquiry’ because the students areable to interact with the aim of exchanging knowledge and gainingfrom the discussions. With the diverse minds and ideas, they are ableto solve the topic and achieve the learning outcomes easily withouteven the teacher’s intervention.
It helps inshowing how the online learning platform is bolstering thetraditional model by facilitating teamwork, creativity, andproblem-solving skills among the students.
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It fosters lifelong learning since the parents, the teachers and theelderly can seek education without worrying about the huge agedifference that might be evident when they resort to the traditionalmodel of schools.
Rovai and Jordan(2004) reveal that the online learning uses learner-centeredapproaches that also facilitate andragogy approach.
Lifelong learningentails the older people such as parents, teachers or even theelderly that might want to acquire a certain aspect of knowledge. Thetraditional model of school will be a challenge to such a groupbecause of the age differences in the existing students that are muchyounger. Hence, the online learning will give them a chance to learnwithout being stereotyped and being misjudged by the classmates.
The explanationproves that the online education supports the traditional learningmodel and it is not a threat to its existence.
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It overcomes the distance challenge and saves a lot of costs thatwould have been spent on the accommodation, transport and meals thatare incurred in the traditional model of school.
Anderson (2008)shows that online and distance learning results in fewer costs thatare evident in the traditional model of learning.
Obviously, theonline learning will reduce other costs such as the transport costs,accommodation and the meals since one will be staying at home. Theapproach saves a lot of funds that can be used for other productiveactivities.
The explanationreveals the endless benefits that the online learning offers to thestudents and their parents that will have to incur the costsrequired.
In conclusion, theonline learning model has multiple benefits that also support thetraditional model of school.
Anderson, T. (2008). Towards a theory of online learning. Theoryand practice of online learning, 2, 15-44.
Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitatingcognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. TheAmerican Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133-148.
Huang, H. M. (2002). Toward constructivism for adult learners inonline learning environments. British Journal of EducationalTechnology, 33(1), 27-37.
Rovai, A. P., & Jordan, H. (2004). Blended learning and sense ofcommunity: A comparative analysis with traditional and fully onlinegraduate courses. The International Review of Research in Open andDistributed Learning, 5(2).
Swan, K. (2001). Virtual interaction: Design factors affectingstudent satisfaction and perceived learning in asynchronous onlinecourses. Distance education, 22(2), 306-331.