ECMP 455

Role of online learning in future education

This week, I selected to write a blog post on “role of online learning in the future education” but I had to do an intense search as to what different opinions and research is out there in regards to online learning. My blog post is more of a summary of a few articles that I read to get an understanding of the topic.

Online learning has become a widespread method for providing education at the graduate and undergraduate level. Although it is an extension of distance learning, the medium requires new modes of presentation and interaction.

Photo Credit: sachac Flickr via Compfight cc

There was a research based on facilitating cognitive presence to assess the depth of online learning, with a focus on the nature of online interaction in four distance education course designs. The Study Process Questionnaire was used to measure the shift in students’ approach to learning from the beginning to the end of the courses. The design had a significant impact on the nature of the interaction and whether students approached learning in a deep and meaningful manner. Structure and leadership were found to be crucial for online learners to take a deep and meaningful approach to learning.

Online learning can have significant impacts on social aspects such as the development of a community, the social roles of teachers and students, and the creation of online presence. These impacts not only relate to the social interactions and constructs entailed by online education but also to the subject matter learning.

Current trends in the field of distance education indicate a shift in pedagogical perspectives and theoretical frameworks, with student interaction at the heart of learner‐centered constructivist environments. Emerging technology tools such as wikis, blogs, and podcasts can be beneficial to foster student interaction in online learning. Although emerging technologies offer a vast range of opportunities for promoting collaboration in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments, distance education programs around the globe still face many challenges that may limit or deter implementation of these technologies.

Like all other things, learning online also brings in some pros and cons with it. I found a great article by Jason Gaya on “Pros And Cons of Campus Learning Vs Online Learning”. I would say, no doubt, adaptation to the current trends of learning is important but we should also focus on taking advantage from brighter side of each. One should not surpass the other.

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