‚ÄúTechnological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.,‚ÄĚ first said by Aldous Huxley. This quote means that as technology develops, it hinders our abilities as humans. In terms of technology in education, what most see as advancement, others‚Äô question. How does the availability of online classes affect the quality of education?
Clearly, avoiding the commute from home to school and choosing the times you study is far more convenient that adhering to a schedule. Faculty can choose to give all of their lectures in one day and simply arrange them online, and students can somewhat dictate their own pace. This is a clear advantage over traditional school. For example, many students work full or part-time jobs. Online school allows them to log-in and study when they‚Äôre available.
Additionally, a university can save a lot of money by offering classes online. Property fees, such as rent and maintenance, are a large part of a university ‚Äės budget. Server space is far cheaper than physical space. Plus, if the university saves money, then tuition could be lowered and the cost for students would decrease. Over the past generation, the cost of college has increased by 400%. Reversing these tuition increases will make college more affordable for others.
Despite all of these advantages, colleges must ensure that the quality of education remains. Many critics of online education argue that students do not receive the same amount of individual attention. Studies have shown that because physical space isn‚Äôt an obstacle, online classes have increased the number of students per faculty member. This means that teachers have more students to support and therefore offer less and less time for each student. Furthermore, classes such as chemistry or engineer require an opportunity for students to interact with materials while supervised by faculty. How can these types of learning activities be conducted from a student‚Äôs home? Online education may be more convenient and it may save money, but does it offer students an excellent education?