Thursday, 28 November 2013

Online Education vs. Traditional Education: The Unresolved Debate

Recent surveys show that there are many people who support online education while some still think that they are not up to the mark or at level with traditional college education. Many believe that the quality of the courses taught in online colleges is not good.

Many people all around the world like the fact that online education provides many advantages to students who cannot attend traditional colleges, like affordability and flexibility. They think that it is the best way to receive higher education. This being said, many also believe that the value of online education is equal to that of traditional classroom education and some still think that online education is not a good option and the quality of education offered is not at par with traditional education.

Also, a few concerns about online education can be seen in the job market. Some employees said in a survey that few employers think that online degrees are valuable and some also believe that they are equal to a traditional degree but some employers still believe that online degrees are not good enough.

Despite all the support that online education gets, many think that the testing methods are not strict and grading is rather casual. They also believe that people who grade online test paper are less qualified than teachers in traditional schools and therefore don’t grade properly. According to some reports, the response is equal but is slightly inclined towards the negative side.

“If leaders in the field want online learning to have equal status with campus-based programs, they need to do more to demonstrate high standards for instruction, testing, and grading.” - A Gallup Survey Report
(Source: goo.gl/raEfz0)

A new survey at Gallup reveals a new statistic which suggests, in terms of quality, people consider internet based study programmes as ‘only fair’ in comparison with two years and four years college courses. Another survey conducted by Public Agenda suggests that many employers want to hire candidates who have a traditional degree from a mediocre college to candidates who have earned a college degree from top universities through the online mode. Employers even admit that online education requires greater discipline thus the quality of candidates might be better but they would still prefer students who have earned a traditional degree.

However, questions have also been raised on the quality of education in traditional colleges. The strategic initiatives manager of The Free Education Initiative at the Saylor Foundation says that people have this sort of mindset because they are not familiar with online education and lack awareness.

“I don’t think there’s any weight to the belief that quality suffers in online education any more so than with a lot of brick-and-mortars. We know brick-and-mortar degrees vary in quality, and that’s the same with online. Are there diploma mills online? Absolutely. But there are brick-and-mortars doing that as well.” - Jeff Davidson, strategic initiatives manager, The Free Education Initiative, Saylor Foundation (Source: goo.gl/raEfz0)

Therefore, the debate is still inconclusive as to whether or not online education is equal to traditional education if not better.

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( Source:goo.gl/0Z7GNv)