Higher education has changed more in the past ten years than it has at any point since the 1940’s. The evolution of technology has blown up online learning broadening the horizon of who receives postsecondary education. Online learning offers an alternative to a traditional four year postsecondary institution of education. With technology only further advancing we can only look to see more of a contribution online institutions make to a postsecondary education. Many traditional universities even now are offering online degree programs alongside their traditional postsecondary educational programs. While online school may be convenient for some I feel a traditional postsecondary education is a much more effective way to learn information.
Students have proved studying with a pencil and paper is a much more effective way of actually retaining information. I am not saying technology is not an effective way to learn, however I feel online learning is a way for people to just do the work and get a degree. As opposed to learning and retaining information. During my high school experience I went to an engineering prep academy. There were no helicopter teachers, they could have all been engineering professors if they had wanted. They gave us the assignment and we all went to work. It was an extremely unique and forward thinking way of doing high school. I did very well with this style because I was able to put earbuds in and do what I had to do. It worked extremely well for those of us in the academy. Upon graduation If I had enrolled in the Milwaukee School of Engineering I would currently have enough engineering credits to be well ahead of all other degree seeking engineering freshman. This held true due to the rigor and fast pace of the academy. This is one example of how effective this style of learning worked for us among the academy.
I feel online learning makes it easy to do one or two lessons but I also find it dull. There is no conversation to have with someone who fully comprehends the material while learning about it which leads to a lack of discussion. While reading something and taking notes is a form of learning online learning certainty has its limitations in my eyes. Many limitations I see with online learning is the limitations of communication. This in turn leads to a lack of valuable in depth conversations with online learning While emailing a designated instructor may answer a question it does not replace an in depth conversation with someone that has a mastery or strong understanding on the material. In my opinion classroom learning is an extremely effective use of time. Due to the ability of questioning teachers and discussing the material with them. This can offer a deeper level understanding than online learning.
However online learning does have it’s advantages over traditional classroom learning One of the largest reasons being working at your own pace. Online learning lays out the material before you and allows you to work at whatever pace you wish. While deadlines will always still exist if you need three hours or twenty minutes for a lesson plan it is one hundred percent dependent on self preference.
When thinking of what I want my own education to look like, I wish for a traditional four year institution as opposed to an online degree. I am currently enrolled at St. Norbert College a small private liberal arts college. Coming from a stem based engineering prep high school the transition to a liberal arts university has taught me various pros and cons of a technology based education. I have learned it is very easy for me to fall off task with online learning, it is easier for me to just go to class, learn information, and do the work necessary. Going from a stem based educational system in high school to a liberal arts college has really opened my eyes of differences in educational methodology. After being at St. Norbert College for a little over two months I do not know if I wish to continue my education here. While I do enjoy the campus and social interactions I have had thus far. I am considering to changing my major to kinesiology the study of bodily movement. It is a topic that would earn me a job in the health and fitness industry. Something I have been passionate about for a long time. While more research needs to be done I do not believe I will finish my undergraduate education with St. Norbert College past this semester because St. Norbert does not offer the major I am looking for. I am glad to have come to this conclusion fairly early on. St. Norbert does offer the style of education I want however it is a waste of time to be here if I am not receiving the degree I want.