To e-learn or not to e-learn ?
Before I start discussion about online learning, its good or bad sides, I will highlight great investment of the Internet to online learning. Without the Internet it will be impossible in whole. Many years ago people couldn’t even imagine themselves that it is possible to study not participating university or teachers. Most of them thought it is impossible because they got used to usual style of learning. It means they think that you can get education only if you go, attend and participate institution or lessons. Anyway as you know it is possible to study anywhere and anytime, our group and university is the best example of successful fulfillment of such educational program. The trend of online learning has started being very popular very recently. These kinds of study become fashionable and demanding due to internalization of all sphere of education. There are many different advantages and disadvantages of online learning. According to Young (2013) there are three types of learning: face to face, it is usual classes where a teacher stands and have lectures in classes, the next is hybrid –is when classes are mixed, partly online and partly face to face when students attend university two or three times a year 25-50 % of all course is holding online, and the last is online which is primarily or entirely online, students number is restricted to 45 or less.
Strengths: Some articles and their authors outlined strong points of online learning but they didn’t identified what exactly type of learning it is. The best advantage is that you are able to use it anywhere and anytime, it doesn’t matter who are you, most universities accept students of all ages. You can work and study easily without leaving your workplace or home. A student will have access to many online resources that are available on university e-library. Online learning method is student centered and level played; it is good opportunity to choose or to select the course according to your knowledge level.
Weakness: There were some highlighted drawback of online learning, Brandstorm (2011) wrote that the vast majority of children and their parents who will be involved in online learning should be aware about a lot porno or prohibited websites, those children can be contacted by pedophiles in case their parents will control all chats which their children usually have while they are using the Internet.
Some other drawback is that you must have good computer knowledge, Internet access, and the computer itself. You will meet some limitation as accessibility to the professor staff, you do not have opportunity to go and talk to them in the room as you are in another city or country, all you have to do is email them your question and wait for an answer. It is self-directed study when you are sent instruction and you have to do them yourself without any example sometimes or having opportunity attend lectures first and them do the assignment in practice. Also high rate of cheating, when teachers do not see is the assignment is done by the students itself. According to Brandstorm (2011) “technical problems on websites or Moodle’s are on the top” of disadvantages of online learning.
In conclusion, most authors gave their own vision on to do online learning or not to do, they gave arguments from both perspective and every person who decided to do online learning will weight the both side arguments to choose the best variant.
C.Brandstrom.,(2011). Using the internet in education: strength and weaknesses. Akademin for utbildning och ekonomi.
M.Young.,(2011, January).Comparing pros and cons of online, hybrid and face-to-face learning. Tomorrow’s university. Today. University of Washington.
Strength and weakness of online learning.(n/d)
Retrieved from : academic.son.wisc.edu/wistrec/archive/OnlineLearning/Strengths.htm