People have discovered new methods to get access to life-changing educational possibilities with the widespread availability of personal computers. The sector of education has benefited greatly from technological innovation. Universities have been extending these technologies to enhance the availability of courses in the form of online and distant learning, in which a student may attend a class via computer without ever setting foot on a regular campus.
Since the introduction of the online format, internet courses have grown in popularity as more students choose this flexible education format. Thus, the notion of online learning is best described as one of many outcomes of a continuing technological advancement that has gained exponential velocity in recent decades (Bailey 28).
This article contends that internet courses are better and more effective than conventional college courses because the internet education platform is more inexpensive, flexible, non-authoritarian, nonlinear, and technologically friendly.
Course creation for the internet
The introduction of the public Internet in the early 1990s enabled the development and delivery of online courses. During this time, several higher education institutions used the Internet as a medium for educational teaching, however early kinds of online courses generally consisted merely of supplying digital copies of textual content (Allen 21).
The issue of how online courses should be prepared is so crucial since it influences course quality and hence efficacy (Bailey 29). According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, “91% of public four-year universities and nearly 50% of all private institutions, representing a total of 1.6 million students, presently provide distance education programs delivered through an online environment” in 2000. (Bernard et al. 391).
Internet courses are now provided alongside regular college courses in practically all higher learning institutions worldwide. The courses were intended in particular to fulfill the needs of learners who could not make time for regular courses owing to other obligations and the learner’s distance from the learning institution. However, the rationale for pursuing online courses has now grown to include personal preference as a cause for choosing internet learning.
Traditional university courses
The traditional college course learning format is as old as education itself. Traditional college courses are taught in college classrooms and require a direct and physical connection between the instructor and the students. This style is the most frequent method of learning across the world since it emphasizes sociability, direct consultation, and a wide range of learning (Ramage, Bean, and Johnson 31).
However, the system is not as dynamic and adaptable as online courses (Allen 22). Because these constraints are determined by the educator and the learning institution, traditional college courses may limit the learner in terms of location, cost, and time (Carr par. 5).
A critical examination of online and traditional courses
Students pursue courses for a variety of reasons, and the educational environment is constantly changing. The students recognize that they may be able to get degrees outside of typical on-campus classroom environments. “The beauty of online learning is that distance can be crossed via many interactive ways through the internet rather than through the static medium of a paper or a video distance education course,” Clark-Ibanez and Scott write (38).
For these reasons, students often turn to online learning opportunities provided by many colleges, which are intended to enable them to pursue a degree while causing minimum disruption to their personal life.
Because the internet platform is relatively flexible, these students may maintain other responsibilities such as job, raising a family, and social activities while accomplishing their academic objectives (Carr par. 6). Because of the flexibility of the online platform, a student may attend to the aforementioned responsibilities while pursuing education.
The rapid advancement of information technology gives extra incentives for consumers to think about while enrolling in web-based academic courses. Because of the internet, the notion of distance learning is no longer entirely connected with the medium of traditional correspondence, that is, a direct connection between the student and the educator.
People may now enroll in schools and institutions situated on different sides of the world, thanks to the internet, which successfully removes the lengthy time lag in the process of students and instructors speaking with one another. Many sociologists believe that the traditional face-to-face education medium has become conceptually obsolete as a result of this development (Erichsen and Bolliger 314).
E-Learning does have several distinguishing characteristics that give online students educational advantages over their peers in traditional college courses.
“In the network society, it is unavoidable that universities will have to deal with information and communication technologies (ICT), not only for research but also for education,” Erichsen and Bolliger write. Some even believe that universities will become virtual educational institutions” (317). Interestingly, unlike traditional college courses, internet courses are adaptable to an integrated learning process because they encourage less reliance on the instructor (Carr par. 3).
An empirical examination
According to the ‘discursively interactive’ learning theory, the current techniques of educating students in web-based forms are superior to conventional college courses. According to the discursively-interactive paradigm, learner-educator contact should be proactive and constrained to the topic of the lesson.
Internet courses, as opposed to conventional courses, are very adaptable. In fact, “the pivotal mediational function of discourse in learning lies at the heart of the revolutionary changes taking place in online courses” (Ramage, Bean, and Johnson 43). The standard of online learning presupposes that participants be constantly exposed to a wide range of educational discourses.
These discourses include proactive instructor-learner engagement, assignments, and course syllabi, all of which allow online students to actively and critically engage with the information they have acquired, which is relevant to their professional lives (Clark-Ibanez and Scott 38).
Extrinsic and intrinsic motivational theories in education have been distinguished. Advocates of an extrinsic approach to student motivation argue that the motivational rewards supplied by educators must be clearly within the scope of the curriculum. On the other hand, supporters of an intrinsic approach think that students should be supplied with psychologically healthy incentives to continue their studies for them to stay completely devoted to learning.
Effective incentives aid in direct learner engagement in the educational environment. It is critical to identify the factors capable of diverting students’ attention away from studying when providing appropriate incentives to excel in academia. In other words, teachers may never stop taking advantage of students’ ability to rationalize the consequences of their actions to ensure that their students do not consider dropping out.
When motivation is used in the context of web-based learning, it is assumed that many online students are less committed to studying as a result of teachers’ failure to provide strong ‘external’ educational incentives. Nonetheless, given that the concept of externally enforced educational discipline has never been an integral part of online learning, dismissing internet courses based on motivation is inappropriate.
It is critical to note that “every human being is seen as having an inherent motivational system and a regulatory system that, through ‘feedback,’ keeps the organism ‘on the beam’ of satisfying his motivational needs.” Satisfying motivational needs means that internet courses are better suited to people who must balance multiple learning needs with personal needs.
Indeed, both theoretically and practically, internet courses are preferable to traditional college courses because the online format incorporates motivational and interactive elements on a secondary level, in addition to allowing the learner to choose the most flexible and manageable learning schedule.
Furthermore, internet courses are well integrated and value technological advances in the educational and working environments. A learner who successfully passes through online education is likely to be more flexible to the technological metamorphosis than the counterpart who passes through traditional college classes since this platform is based on the application of technology (Ramage, Bean, and Johnson 33).
Merits of internet courses over the traditional courses
Non-linearity: As compared to traditional college courses, students pursuing online courses are in a position to exercise complete control over the structural organization of educational inputs such as meeting all the preset course requirements (Clark-Ibanez and Scott 28). This, in turn, allows them to adjust the process of obtaining educational content via the internet to match their intellectual learning with perfect precision (Clark-Ibanez and Scott 29).
Nevertheless, the fact that the opportunity of online learning negates geographical barriers and provides educational opportunities for fully employed individuals is not the only reason why it grows increasingly popular with more and more people. The premise of online learning is thoroughly consistent with the foremost principles of individual-oriented education and the establishment of preconditions for learners to be prompted to challenge prevailing ideologies (Ramage, Bean, and Johnson 35).
Flexibility: Due to the qualitative characteristics of a web-based educational medium, both students and instructors are provided with an opportunity to substantially increase the effectiveness of their daily schedules. The validity of this statement can be well explored in regards to the fully employed learners, who would be unable to pursue their much desired academic degrees if they were required to attend traditional “on campus” classes (Erichsen and Bolliger 317).