Online College Lessons for Instructors
It has become a well known fact that many colleges are now using the internet as a way to educate students. Despite this, there has been debate in the academic community about the effectiveness of these programs.
In this article I will go over the advantages and disadvantages of online education, and I will also go over some things which can be done to improve it.
There are a number of arguments which have been made about online education programs. Those who support it feel that it can allow a larger segment of the population to become educated. They also feel that it will reduce classroom capacity problems that have been seen are larger universities. Others feel that the increasing popularity of online colleges will bring about a complete transformation of the entire educational system. The statistics show that online degree programs have continued to increase in use for the last 10 years. While the revenues earned by online colleges went over $500 million by 1998, by 2003 it was in excess of $11 billion.
Based on these figures, it is easy to see that online education programs have become a multi-billion dollar industry. The number of students using these programs will continue to increase by roughly 30% for the next few years. In 1993, there were only about 90 online college programs. By 1997, this number jumped to 762. Some these online programs are offered by prestigious universities such as Duke or MIT. The way courses are setup online are very similar to their offline counterparts. Many college instructors will use the same syllabi for their online classes that they use for the classes which are offline.
The students in these online courses must complete a single module each week. They may need to read documents and watch presentations online. A number of message boards are provided where students must discuss their experiences with their classmates. This cycle will simply repeat itself for each course, and once the student has earned the necessary number of credits, they can graduate with a degree. Another feature which can commonly be found in online courses is E-Lectures. Unlike traditional colleges, a student can listen to an E-Lecture as many times as they like.
If a student has a question or problem, they can use the online discussion boards to get help from other students. It is also a great place to discuss information or events which might not be available in the class documents. The teacher can also communicate with students via a digital blackboard. In addition to this, many online colleges also offer live chat. This function is similar to a chat room, but allows students and instructors to chat together live in an online environment. Students will need to meet in the room at a specific time. These rooms can support a large group of students or a group which is much smaller.
While there are a number of benefits to online education programs, there are also disadvantages which need to be discussed. Many people are concerned about the depth or accuracy of online courses. Because of the advertising media which has run rampant on the web, some feel that it will damage the quality of online colleges. One of the primary concerns about online education programs is the isolation it will bring to students. Because piracy and copyright violations are rampants, issues must be raised about how to deal with this in an educational environment. Though many of these concerns are valid, it is likely they will continue into the future.
In any educational environment, there will be students who will fall behind the rest of the class. Trying to help this students succeed is the biggest challenge an online instructor will face. To solve this problem, many people have suggested created courses which are tailored to the needs of each individual student. At the same time, this program must be effective, and should be helpful to both the students and instructors. Using effective communication tools will allow the instructor to get feedback from their students. This will allow the instructors to become adept at teaching their students over the internet. The ability for online colleges to meet these challenges will play an important role in their success.