Nowadays in the context of fast changing world, with the development of technologies, online education is being considered as a unique opportunity to get access to programs in universities in various fields. Online education is getting more and more popular all around the globe, providing potential learners favorable circumstances to be well educated without in-campus learning. This article reflects all “stakeholders” interests, such as learners’, faculty members’, regulators’ of education, and universities themselves involved in “a new trend” in education.
According to Noam (1995) thanks to the speedy internet development, online education is getting “the pivotal element” of education. This article contemplates the impact of online learning on its participants (as cited in Mayadas & et al. 2009, p. 85)
Impact on students
Online learning is valuable opportunity for those people, who already work and do not have time to be in classroom, but are eager to grow professionally. From the data in research it is obvious that the quality of well-designed online course leads to similar results as in classroom lessons, which highlights level of instructors’ proficiency at universities.
Impact on faculty
Even though preparation for online teaching takes more time than for classroom teaching most of respondents among professors are satisfied with a new system in education due to certain meaningful reasons, e.g. flexibility, as for learners, so for instructors; professional development; teaching from home; importance for students and interactivity. However, those part of professors, who have been working for many years and not willing to learn working with new tool of education, are given assistance by the university. (Mayadas & et al. 2009, p. 87)
Governments, regulation and accreditors
Individual states are more powerful than Congress and Department of Education in regulating online education in the USA. Federal and State governments are searching the ways to protect potential online education users not impeding the growth of online education.
The authors emphasize that leadership representatives support online education strategic priority. According to them, those institutuions, which are not going to implement online learning will stay behind as they will not be competive in new conditions of modern world, as their profits are dependent from potential customers. (Mayadas & et al. 2009, p. 89)
In conclusion, in this mode of learning there are advantages and disadvantages. Everything depends on an individual case and from which perspective to look at the situation. Each case depends on such factors as students’ educational and professional background and personality traits.
The main strengths are that online education improves self- discipline, time-management, self-organization, it provides flexibility to study of “when and where” and “as long as it is necessary” to make it convenient for each student’s needs.
The main weakness of online learning, as Xu & Jaggars (2011, p. 375) claim lack of “additional instructions and institutional support” for students. Because of not enough technical skills some students can have trouble completing the course. Another problem is the quality of internet access (especially in remote areas). Asynchronous learning deprives experience exchange as it is classroom.
Mayadas, A. F., Bourne, J., & Bacsich, P. (2009). Online education today.Science, 323(5910), 85-89.
Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2011). The effectiveness of distance education across Virginia’s Community Colleges: Evidence from introductory college-level math and English courses. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33(3), 360-377.