i Online Education is on the Rise | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Collin Zovnic

Universities are not the best idea for everyone, there are other options available. Universities are expensive and many people have to move because it’s too far away. While the alternative, online classrooms are just the distance from a computer. There are no amenities or extra expenses to pay for either, so it is not as expensive. Online education is good for higher education, because it is cheaper and more accessible than conventional classroom style learning.

Online learning takes place on a computer, so the classroom can be reached anywhere. It is cheaper because the only thing being paid for is the service, of using that website. Whichever website will be used, such as Professor Sandel’s course, allow the user to take classes from a virtual room. This virtual classroom has none of the amenities that universities have such as athletics and student organizations. In contrast to colleges like St. Norbert’s, online classes are a cheaper alternative to high priced universities.

College is very expensive now a days, some are even opting out because it’s too

Expensive to stay in. The price has risen exponentially over the past three decades, and hasn’t been improving. Since the 1970s college tuition has increased over 1000%. Convential universities are too expensive and restrict their access to only those who can afford it. The cost is a huge obstacle for anyone wishing to attend a college university.

Compared to the overpriced university education, online college by comparison costs next to nothing. In fact some courses are even free, and they are taught by some of the most prestigious professors in the country. Will Oremus a senior technology writer, has researched the growth of online education. “Why would anyone pay tens of thousands of dollars for an education at a mid-tier college when they could learn from Ivy League professors online for free (or, at least, for cheap)?” Will Oremus makes a great point here, he points out perhaps the greatest advantage an online college can offer, and it’s free. College universities will have to keep up, if they want to stay in business. Now that everyone has a chance to learn from a top professor, for basically no cost at all. What incentive do they have to go to college universities? This sort of access will dramatically improve the flow of intellectual knowledge on the web.

An online education allows for students to move at their own pace. The classes are not in a classroom but take place on the internet and don’t start at a certain time. I’d rather have to not rush to class, and enter only barely on time. An online learning education allows for a more personalized and individual experience. Not all assignments or activities, work for individual students. David Brooks discussed the pros and cons of online education in his article “The Campus Tsunami.” In one instance he points out the advantage to giving students more options and control over their learning material. This quote by David Brooks shows that an online education has much greater flexibility in a student’s progress. “It’s easier to tailor a learning experience to an individual student’s pace and preferences.” A student that has a personalized learning experience will be successful, when he or she has a schedule that is flexible. Everyone has their own personal learning approach, so being able to use those strengths more often, will contribute to greater success.

It has already been proven that an online education works just as well, as going to a regular university. Colleges have already poured millions of dollars into online education programs. Many are skeptical that the online courses offered up by colleges are effective but Brooks’ article he provides an answer to such skepticism. “Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning. Online learning seems especially useful in language and remedial education.”

Several colleges have already recognized the potential of online learning. In the article, “The Campus Tsunami,” Brooks suggests that online education is already on the rise. “Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology committed $60 million to offer free online courses from both universities.” As this quote clearly states, online education is already beginning to gain popularity. This trend will continue to rise as more catch onto the benefits of a higher education, taking place on the web.

Sources:

The Campus Tsunami-

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/opinion/brooks-the-campus-tsunami.html?_r=1

Coursera, Udacity-

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/07/coursera_udacity_edx_will_free_online_ivy_league_courses_end_the_era_of_expensive_higher_ed_.html

 

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