Characteristics of Online Education
Online education is becoming increasingly popular. This holds true especially among people over 30 who are parents, husbands and wives who do not wish to engage themselves once again in a classroom situation in a college setting. It is a viable solution for those who consider the wild parties, the drinking get-togethers and the dorm food that once constituted their lives a thing of the past. It is a solution for the people who want to focus totally on the learning aspect of college, who need the flexibility in hours, and to be done sooner. This post will discuss the characteristics of online education, and talk about why it is the wave of the future.
There are four key characteristics to an online education that set it apart from a traditional educational experience, that every online school must have for it to be a fulfilling experience for the student, who, after all, is the customer in the business of online learning.
The first, according to Dr. Christopher Davis, professor at Touro College and expert on distance learning, is centered around the access to technology. Students expect that if technology is to be used in the course--as is inherently the case, especially in distance learning--it must be accessible, easy to learn how to use, and reliable. As Davis points out, "Technology should be seamless, and simple to use." What this means is that there should be easy directions to use it--and once followed--you are connected. There should be very few website down times--these are an interference to learning, and can lead to major frustration for the student. This could end up costing you tuition dollars in the long run. Students do not want to pay for a group of courses to be taken over a system which, for all practical intents and purposes, does not work as it should.
The second characteristic is the clarity of guidelines and procedures. These rules of classroom conduct and participation should be established in the very beginning. They should be in written form, ready to download, so that all students are "on the same page." For example, if a student understands early that he must make 40 posts a week, and start at least 5 threads in the discussion forum at minimum, if his final grade suffers for it in the end, it will be because he failed to follow the very clear directions in the instructor's written rubric.
3. Transformative Learning
The third item that's a very important advantage of this type of education is what Davis calls "transformative learning." It means that even though your course is not one on typing per se, because you must practice it all the time as a means of communicating, you naturally improve at it.
Fourthly, the process is on track to improve if there is a system of assessment happening. That means the instructor should be assessed by the students. Students are free to anonymously assess the professor, whether through surveys or by a third party. Of course the instructor should be able to assess the students through grades and giving real feedback. Also, the supervisors of the teachers should also grade the instructors on their performance, so that they too can improve on their techniques.
Why Online Education?
Characteristics of online schools are increasing every day and they can be a great alternative for someone who is looking to improve their career. The new wave of education is here. Click here to request more information.