Online learning environment is a set of teaching and learning platform for digital aspects of education. Growing number of online learning courses convey strengths and drawbacks. Different authors evaluate the value of the virtual learning.
Oncu and Cakir (2011) argue that online learning environments have a promising future for all stakeholders of educational process, including researches, practitioners, and learners. The investigation called “Research in online learning environments: Priorities and methodologies” focuses on four research goals and matches four existing methodologies to improve student outcomes in online learning environments defined as learner achievement, engagement, and retention. In order to accomplish these research goals, formative research, developmental research, experimental research, and activity theory methodologies were recommended by authors. The first two types of research methodologies are mainly appropriate to improve the quality of designed online courses; experimental studies are useful to compare the effects of different teaching methods that influence learner outcomes.
Robinson and Hullinger (2008) identified the reasons for an increase in the implementation of Internet-related technologies. Besides the authors used vital engagement dimensions that the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) defined to measure student engagement in online courses from 3 universities. According to the findings of the article the online curriculum should dynamically engage students through challenging academic rigor, consistent and timely student–faculty interaction, a collaborative learning environment, and activities that enrich the development of the student. The present findings serve to encourage the application of the concept of engagement to improve the quality of online instruction.
From the personal point of view the development of online learning opens the new chapter in education. We all hear about the necessity to meet not only the needs of our students’, but also about the value of alignment between education and real life, more specifically how to apply learned skills in the daily life. Some challenges that digital learning creates are engagement and motivation of the students. Due to flexibility in the format, learners could easily be distracted from the online courses. Another challenge is providing valuable feedback from instructors. Online education has a vast majority of advantages as well. The opportunity to be educated from the distance cuts living and travelling costs for both educator and learners, and expands a time management schedule. For me it means spend more time with my family and children.
Oncu, S., & Cakir, H. (2011). Research in online learning environments: Priorities and methodologies. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1098-1108.
Robinson, C. C., & Hullinger, H. (2008). New benchmarks in higher education: Student engagement in online learning. Journal of Education for Business, 84(2), 101-109.
Salmenova G. (2014). Nazarbayev University. Graduate School of Education. Retrieved September 12, 2015 from http://www.instagram.com