Should online learning be encouraged?
Online learning imputes technology and multimedia in education which has been well developed in established universities and community schools which are well equipped with ICT. Online learning has been a popular form of education imminently among those who requires a flexible study schedule to suit their job hours while in the mean time striving to earn a scroll of qualification which is supported by a research with more than 50% of students voted that it lessen the problems on timetabling.
Besides that, a vast majority of four fifth students favours online learning as there are courses offered which are not available in schools (The news 2007). Nevertheless, online learning could not fully excel or replaced the old method of learning as there are some barriers such as, it is only suitable to a small minority of students and extensive training is required for teachers.
First and foremost, most of the students in this era have been taught with a teacher through face to face interaction and this group of students would rather learn the traditional method in preference to using the internet or multimedia (Mussared 2007).
Furthermore, it is a lost for students who tend to procrastinate and put things off. Students who are taking courses through online learning have to be well equipped with self discipline and good time management. Also it is essential that the students are motivated all year round to complete the assignments and avoid distraction when surfing the internet. Dominguez(2007) mentioned that he experience himself easily being drawn away into doing something else when feeling unmotivated. Apart from that, there has to be additional training and skills to be cultivated by teachers to teach students via online. In order to come up with a successful online learning course, both party, the teachers and the students have to have adequate IT skills and the capability to send out or retrieve files related to the course.
This is a major problem that hinders online learning from becoming prevalent. Students or teachers with inadequate skills or technology cause the process of learning to decline. In the mean time, in a survey carried out, over half of the students doubts the quality of the course ( EduCon Pty Ltd 2007). The South Australian Gazette (2007) questions the credibility of a student obtaining a qualification through an online course and will the use of ICT increase the number of false certificates produce? Additionally, another issue arises for the science students as it is difficult to carry out laboratory work or hands-on science practical if the courses were online. This is supported by 30% of science students who felt a slight drawback on science courses which are offered online as it lacks practical work (EduCon Pty Ltd 2007). Besides that, Jerry a student taking an online course commented in a forum that when learning online, the questions posted by students will not have instant responds or replies from the teachers which is a drawback (Roy 2007). In a traditional classroom atmosphere, students tend to raise their hands and ask for further clarification on the spot when they do not understand the subject and the teacher would put effort to enlightened the student on the matter whereas this is will never occur in an online learning atmosphere. The urge of asking or query might die down over time if the student does not ask there and then which is a big loss.
All in all, online learning does have its perks take for instance online learning allows students to repeat subjects without sacrificing their job but this is only true for certain subjects and courses which offer online courses. Despite the advantages, there are more challenges and obstacles that have to be encountered to develop online learning courses which outweighed the advantages. Therefore, online learning should only be encouraged to a certain extend as it is highly impossible to stopped learning and gaining knowledge without a teacher spreading his or her knowledge in front of students face to face.