HowOnline Learning Supports the On-Campus Classes
Education has undergone significant changes that all aim at making itmore effective and ensures that it produces some of the best studentsthat truly understand how the society works. One of the significantchanges has been online learning that is also referred as distancelearning if the student is far from the main campus. It has goneahead to provide a better option where the students benefit from theendless opportunities that the platform offer. Not only does thestudent benefits from the program but also the parent that caters formost of the expenses that are needed in the universities. However,not everyone has acknowledged the presence of the online learningplatform. In fact, its presence has evoked mixed reactions withothers looking at it as a way that undermines the position of thetraditional model of schools. Based on the benefits it has, it isevident that it favors the society especially the students that oftenhave busy schedules and cannot attend the on-campus classes. In theprocess, the students can undertake the learning sessions at the timewhen they are free and will learn freely without any work demands.Besides that, the other benefits include the reduction of the vastexpenses that one might incur while undertaking the on-campus classesthat are much more than when one undertakes the online classes.Although critics of online learning will view it is a threat to thetraditional learning, the reality shows how it fosters thetraditional model of school by offering flexible lessons that supportthose that do not have enough time to attend the on-campus classesand also enhance their ability to engage each other in productivediscussions.
Currently, online learning ensures the working people and those onesthat are far away from the university can still attend the onlinecases at the time they prefer. Such an aspect allows them to attendall the classes that will help them further their studies without anychallenges that the on-campus classes present. For instance, theywill no longer be afraid of their classes interfering with theirworking schedules instead. A look at the traditional model of schoolreveals that “it isparticularly difficult for adults to have on-campusclasses because of the demands of jobs and personal schedules”(Huang, 2002, p. 27). In the process, they will be helping thetraditional model of school in offering education to those thatcannot access the classes. It also benefits the people that cannotaccess the campus because of the distance constraints and are worriedof the weather change or even being homesick. The presence of theonline learning platforms gives the students the opportunity oflearning in the comfort of their homes and they no longer have toworry about the weather changes and such aspects. Besides that, morepeople will continue to gain education and knowledge on the variousacademic fields. All in all, the students can undertake their courseseven if they are still working or at their homes.
The presence of the discussion forums in the online learningplatforms gives the students a chance to engage each other andexchange ideas that help them in reaching at the best solutions forthe different problems presented in the different subjects theyundertake. Such an opportunity is crucial in making the studentsunderstand what they have learned since the peer interaction enhancesthe level of understanding. The teacher-peer interaction tends tohave the hierarchy constraints where the student has to follow theformality while seeking any insights from the teachers. However, thepeer-peer relationships are far more insightful in the way that theyfoster the exchange of ideas and information in the long-run. Infact, Garrison (2005) insists that the online platform has “acommunity of inquiry is the integration of cognitive, social, andteaching presence” (134). The approach helps in reducing the needfor the teacher’s intervention since the students will still havethe ability to interact and solve even the learning outcomes thatseemed hard at first. They also gain vast skills such as teamwork andhow to solve problems with the help of their group members that areready to work together in the process of seeking solutions to some ofthe issues they have. They even understand that further researchafter attending the normal classes help them in gaining more insightssince such activities are students-driven and does not rely solely onthe teacher’s information.
Another group that benefits from the online learning platformincludes the elderly, teachers and working people that might want tofurther their studies but are reluctant to attend the on-campusclasses that have much younger students. As a result, the agedifferences in the on-campus classes might attract some stereotypicaljudgments from the younger students that might treat them differentlyor even unfairly. Instead, the online learning platform helps inenhancing the lifelong learning since the parents or other elderlypeople that want to further their studies will no longer worry aboutthe negativity associated with attending the on-campus classes thatmight have younger students. They can continue to learn anonymouslywithout the other students knowing their real age and making themavoid being judged by the other younger students. The elderly willalso have the opportunity to further their studies without the fearof the other younger students treating them unfairly or expectingmuch from them. The same older students might still have somephysical challenges that will prevent them from running from oneclass to another as evident in the on-campus classes. In fact, thecase of keeping schedule of all the classes they are supposed toattend might also seem a bit challenging in the end. Hence, theonline learning platform will turn out to be the best option thatwill support their need for further studies. Even Rovai and Jordan(2004) assert that the online learning platform will provide thestudents with the andragogy approach that often helps the olderstudents in lifelong learning. Some of the female students might getpregnant and avoid going back to school because of the stigmaassociated with the students that are already mothers. The samestudents might want to take good care of their newborn babies ratherthan attending school. Instead, they will benefit from theopportunity of learning while still handling the household chores asexpected. In fact, the online platform supports andragogy thatensures the students can decide what they want to achieve. In theprocess, the approach will be supporting the traditional learningmodel as opposed to undermining it since the older students will alsofind a way to enhance their education level at the comfort of theirhomes.
The online learning also provides the benefit of reducing costs thatwould have been incurred through the transport, meals or evenaccommodation that are evident in the on-campus classes. Evidently,the on-campus classes mean that one will have to incur some extraexpenses that will be in form of the transport, food as well as theaccommodation. Anderson (2008) proves that the students attending theonline learning will benefit from the fewer costs that they willspend. Such a scenario will be effective for their parents that usedto incur more expenses in the traditional learning model. Thebenefits will make more people attend higher education since theexpenses will no longer be a problem. Besides that, the hostels oftenprovide the challenge of the students being noisy and making itunfavorable for the students to engage in effective learningsessions. To some extent, the on-campus classes can even provideunsuitable environment that will be unsuitable for the students tochase their economic goals instead. Hence, the decision to use theonline learning platform might end up being cost-effective and leadsthem to achieve the same degree while still going on with the otherprojects that they might want to undertake such as work. The endlessbenefits are a reason that the online learning is the effectiveapproach and also supports the traditional learning model as well.
In conclusion, the online learning platform supports the traditionallearning model by making it possible for the students with busyschedules to attend the classes and benefits from the reduction ofthe expenses as well. Definitely, the online platform offers one theability to chase two things at the same time such as the educationand the career as well. In the process, one might even end up goinghigher in the organizational hierarchy system. Such an approach ismuch effective as opposed to the on-campus classes where one will beforced to leave the career and focus on learning alone. In overall,it helps in boosting education since it thrives on the weaknesses ofthe traditional model of school. In the end, it does not threaten thetraditional model but it supports it and ensures that thedisadvantaged people can still further their education. Some of thepeople that are benefiting are the working people, the elderly andthe mothers with new-born babies but still want to acquire higherlevels of education. The widespread benefits are some of the thingsthat are supporting that show how essential the online education isin the modern society as well. The scenario also presents variousbenefits such as the platform that enhances the group discussion thatalso helps the students in gaining multiple options to choose as achoice. The interaction also helps in enhancing the learning processand ensuring that they will have a better opportunity ofunderstanding the learning sessions as well. In the process, thereduced costs also help in making the students spend less in terms ofaccommodation or even the transport expenses as well. Evidently, suchbenefits have shown that the online learning platform has theopportunity of improving the state of education and it is not athreat since more people are gaining knowledge and skills that arecrucial in the society. All in all, the online learning will insteadsupplement the traditional learning model as opposed to interferingwith it.
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.