Fully Online Courses in Colleges
Write an 8-10 page scholarly research paper in MLA format that uses a minimum of six scholarly sources. Your essay is a persuasive essay, which means that the goal of the essay is to convince the reader that your argument is correct. You should write an essay in which you argue whether or not colleges should offer fully online degree programs where a student could take all of their classes online. I know that some colleges already do this. The question you have to answer is, should they? Be sure to The reason that I am having you do an annotated bibliography first is so that you have a week of researching topics to help you focus your arguments and know your arguments so that you can write your final draft the following week. One of the big issues that students have on this assignment is that they don’t narrow the focus of their essay enough. Your essay will not cover every single issue related to this topic. That would require a much longer paper. Instead, your essay should fully discuss and cover a specific aspect or part of this argument.
Fully Online Courses in Colleges
Both the number of students that take online courses and the number of learning institutions that offer these courses have been on the rise. In 2001, only 3,077,000 individuals were enrolled in the courses. 56% of the universities in the US offered some courses under degree and diploma programs through the internet. By 2007, the number of students had risen to almost 4 million and 30% of the universities offered complete degrees through the internet (Kirtman 103). The number has rapidly increased since then because in 2011, more than 6.7 million students were taking their complete degree programs online (Stack 3). The statistics indicate that there is a rise in the level of preference for e-learning than the traditional learning methods. Moreover, organisations are improving their platforms to facilitate the completion of more degree and masters programs online. Education institutions should offer more complete programs through the internet since the learning tactic presents numerous advantages to both the students and the organisation.
One of the reasons why fully online courses should be offered in colleges is because students that study online perform better than students than study in traditional set up classes. According to research studies conducted in the past, most students perform better when they undertake online classes. Since the students have internet access, it is easy for them to do their researches online in topics that they do not understand (Arkorful and Abaidoo 401). Through the frequent online researches, the students have a thorough understanding of almost all of the concepts covered in the course they are taking. The higher performance amongst the online students is further caused by the fact that they are motivated. They are highly motivated by their ability to control and direct their studies. They therefore create more time to study that they would when they do not feel motivated to study. Their dedication has in most cases paid off as many of the students that fail in a traditional class, pass in the online classes (Shi, et al. 4).
Online college courses should further be offered in colleges because they are flexible in terms of time (Arkorful and Abaidoo 401). A student is not restricted as to the time that he or she can study or access the content posted online as part of the course whenever he or she is free to do so. This is unlike traditional classes set ups where the students have to attend classes at specified times and failure to do so would lead to them missing out on some lessons. This is not the case for online class students. They can choose to study the content posted online immediately after they have been posted or days after they have been posted. This would not hurt their understanding of the concept or be the cause of their missing out on some important lessons in the course. This further contributes to the online students passing more in their exams as compared to the traditional classes students.
Colleges should also include fully online courses in their programme because they give the students the opportunity to engage in other important activities in their life (Stack 13). Many students in the society today have to manage their time well as they are not only students but also employees and in some cases, they are parents too. This makes it difficult for them to attend all the classes while attending to all their life demands or needs. Fully online courses make it easy for them to attend to these needs. They are able to go to work at the scheduled time and thereby not have to collude with their bosses or miss out on business opportunities. They are also able to drop their children to school and pick them on time. They can then do their studies after they have finished running their errands. This is unlike the traditional classes where they have to sacrifice running their errands in order to attend classes.
The fully online college should further be offered in colleges because they have an advantage of flexibility in terms of place (Arkorful and Abaidoo 401). The students do not have to visit the college premises. They have the freedom to work from anywhere. The only requirement that they have to meet is have access to the internet. This gives them the freedom to visit any place of their choice on school days or weekends. They can therefore visit their friends and family at any day they consider convenient to them as well as sleep over. This choice is not available to the students that attend colleges that have traditional school setups. If they choose to visit during school days they end up missing classes and may thereby fail to understand the concept taught during those lessons. This flexibility further works to the advantage of the students because it increases their chances of passing their exams.
The fully online college courses should further be offered in colleges because they help the students cut down their expenses (Arkorful and Abaidoo 401). The students do not have to cater for travelling expenses since they do not have to travel to school. They online courses further helps the students cuts down on costs by ensuring that they do not have to pay for accommodation near their school but rather have to study in the comfort of their homes. The costs that the fully online courses further help save on are the cost of having someone else drop the children to school or look after the children while one is in school. One is able to attend to his or her children’s needs and thereby be able to form a bond with them. The students can use the money that they save on urgent and important needs in their lives.
The fully online college courses should be offered to colleges because it gives the students the freedom to concentrate their studies on concepts that they do not understand and spend less time on concepts that they understood right away (Arkorful and Abaidoo 401). This is unlike the traditional class setup where the teacher chooses the topic on which his or her lessons will dwell on mostly. This would lead to cases where a teacher dwells so much on a topic or concept that a student has already understood and less time on concepts that the student is weak in. This set up is disadvantageous to the students as they may fail in their exams since their weak areas did not get the tackled as well as they would have wanted. However, for the online students, they can easily do better in their exams as they can schedule to concentrate on their weak areas and thereby improve on them.
The ability to interact easily with other students is also another reason that supports argument for colleges offering fully online courses (Arkorful and Abaidoo 401). This is especially the case for introvert students that have a hard time interacting with other students face to face. It is thereby difficult for them to participate in discussion groups, which are an important aspect in the traditional class setups. The introverts that take fully online courses can easily participate in the online class or group discussions because they do not feel intimidated to participate. This makes it easy for the students to gain knowledge from their classmates. It is thus easy for them to pass their exams. This setup is thereby unlike when the introverts attend traditional classes where their performance flops due to their inability to engage in group discussions with their classmates. This proof makes the fully online courses the best choice for the introvert college students.
Availing online courses increases the learning opportunities for students. One of the ways opportunities increase is through improving the ability of the students from the rural and low economic areas to pursue further studies since the cost of learning through the internet is considerably lower. Students also have a larger pool of selection of courses. They could pursue their dream careers more easily due to the increased capacity at the institutions. People can also take courses that are not offered in their local universities. Thus, people in developing regions do not have to travel oversees to take various masters and PhD programmes. There are also increased opportunities for people with disability. Individuals with physical disabilities experience locomotive challenges, and thus may fail to enrol into the traditional-setup. Since online courses eliminates the problem, they eagerly role into the curriculum (Gilbert 15). Evidently, online studies eliminate constraints that have gotten in the way for people to become experts in their desired areas.
Learning institutions should offer online study options because of the ability of the tutors to individualize teaching (Gilbert 10). The students can readily ask questions on the materials they do not understand. Unlike the traditional classroom environment where there is no adequate time to address all the questions of the students, the online course presents a platform whereby there is limited limitation of the time factor. Moreover, the students are not timid to ask any questions. In a class full of other students, individuals may feel belittled to keep asking questions concerning areas they do not understand. Thus, they may opt to seek for more answers in the library or consider asking their classmates for help. In the online setup, the learners are more courageous to point out the areas they have difficulty in. The frequency of asking the questions is also not limited since they do not have to fear the impression they make on their peers.
The lecturers, on the other hand, are able to concentrate more on specific areas for each one of the students, thus improved understanding. From the study that Thompson (2010) conducted, instructors spoke of how beneficial individualized conversations were to the students. They would email feedback on the questions the students could ask and also on the results of the assignments. The feedback could trigger a one-to-one correspondence. The ability to trigger the conversation relies on both the student and the lecturer. The instructor could develop a rapport of trust and comfort through sending personalized emails and responding within a short time to the queries. While in the traditional classroom the lecturer is only able to simultaneously interact with the students, the online system favours the ability to address the individual needs. They concentrate on the areas the students may seem to have difficulty understanding (Thompson 695). The instructors may issue more materials and related questions that could enlighten the learners in these areas.
Numerous studies indicate that when students undertake online courses, their level of satisfaction is higher than when they attend the traditional classes (Kirtman 105). The satisfaction arises from the ability to optimize the learning process due to the help of the committed lecturers. The individualisation of learning increases the level of motivation of engaging in the process of acquisition of knowledge. The students gain satisfaction as their understanding of concepts of their area of interest expands. Secondly, students are satisfied from the online courses due to the lack of wasting time. People who attend classes get late as they look for parking spaces and walking to class. They try to solve the problem by going to class earlier, thus they have to wait for the lecturer and other students. E-learning helps eliminate such frustrations, thus increasing the level of satisfaction. Moreover, the ideology of having a flexible time and being in charge of one’s learning improves the satisfaction level.
Besides benefiting the students, online courses enable the learning institutions to solve the challenge they face of expanding studying opportunities in the face of a declining budget. In the traditional learning setup, expanding the opportunities for students would require increasing the size of the lecture halls and their number in order to accommodate more people per session. Moreover, there would be a need to increase the number of lecturers. The strategy is expensive as it would require more funds. Online courses, on the other hand, only require an online platform that can efficiently and effectively accommodate a large number of users. One lecturer can cover one course, thus there would be no need for increasing the number of tutors or holding more sessions to reach all the people. The institutions could have the interactive learning online (ILO), which can eliminate the use of the lecturers with the machine-guided instructions. The machines can send specific instructions to individuals, track progress, and advise the human instructor on issuing more individualized guidance (Gilbert 7). Thus, more students can enrol in a university to pursue the available courses without setting any limitation of the number of applicants.
it is advantageous for students, teachers and institutions when colleges offer
fully online college courses. The advantages that the students experience
include saving on time, increasing their chances of passing their exams, increasing
their options of courses and universities, the freedom to study at a place of
their choice and at their own convenient time. They further benefit from the
fully online courses because they are able to concentrate on working on their
weak areas, participate in class discussions easily and at a convenient time.
The fully online courses therefore have a higher satisfaction level for the
students. The teachers on the other hand benefit from the fully online courses
as they are able to post the syllabus content at their convenient time. They do
not have to be limited by the restrictions of traditional class setups where
they have to be in class at a specific time. The learning institutions as well
benefit from the online courses as they are able to cut down on costs. It is
the duty of the teachers, colleges and students to push for the administration
of the colleges to incorporate fully online courses so that they can all enjoy
the listed benefits.
Arkorful, Valentina and Abaidoo, Nelly. The role of e-learning, the advantages and disadvantages of its adoption in Higher Education. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(12), 2014, 397-410.
Gilbert, Brittany. Online learning revealing the benefits and challenges. Education Masters, 103, 2015, 1-32.
Kirtman, Lisa. Online versus in-class courses: An examination of differences in learning outcomes. Issues in Teacher Education, 18(2), 2009, 103-116.
Shi, Ningning. Online versus face to face college courses. MBA Student Scholarship, Paper 1, 2011, 1-12.
Stack, Steven. Learning outcomes in an online vs traditional course. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(1), 2015, 1-18.
Thomson, L. Beyond the Classroom Walls: Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives on How Online Learning Can Meet the Needs of Gifted Students. Journal of Advanced
Academics, 2010: 21(4), 662-712. http://joa.sagepub.com.pluma.sjfc.edu/content/21/4/662.full.pdf+html