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What is Online Education?

Education is much more diverse today than it was in the 1950s. One major innovation is the availability of distant learning courses and online education.

Distant learning can use many formats, from VHS videos or DVDs to online internet courses. Online education is a new way of teaching students of all ages; it has been gaining popularity in recent years because of the ease of the internet.

The internet has made it easier for people to stay connected and has provided people with unlimited resources on the World Wide Web.

Still, many educators have mixed feelings about online educating because there are so many pros and cons to the issue.

Mark Kassop, an advocate of online education and the author of "Ten Ways Online Education Matches, or Surpasses, Face-to-Face Learning," writes,

Can online courses match traditional face-to-face (F2F) courses in academic quality and rigor? Can online courses achieve the same learning objectives as F2F courses? Can students learn as much and as well online as they do in F2F courses? Not only is the answer to these questions a resounding "yes," but there are many ways that online courses may actually surpass traditional F2F classes in quality and rigor.
Online courses can provide a good teaching environment; their convenience enables busy individuals to get the same amount of education as students going to class, and all that is needed to get started is a computer with internet access. One computer can open the gates to a whole new world of learning and excitement.

To stimulate the experience, there are many classes offered online by city and university colleges. Long Beach City College has a few to offer, such as Psychology and Sociology, that are equal to or even better than face to face classes.

One example of a class that may be better online is Sociology, because it lets students observe human communication at public spaces, without the presence of the teacher.

The same work that is done in "regular" classes is expected from someone who signs up for an online class. The online class materials are the same as the normal classes themselves, but the books used can be ordered from book stores online.

Discussion on issues is done in chat rooms and forums where students present their views on the issue. This can be an advantage for foreigners who might otherwise be reluctant to speak up, because their English isn't perfect.

Using special equipment, live video and sound can also enable real time conversation with instructors and peers.

Other features on the online courses are the learning aides that can be used while taking the course. Certain programs can be made such as flash cards and games which can increase the learning experience of the student. These learning aides can be used on the student's time; they do not require the presence of the teacher.

Next: Advantages of Online Education


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