Online Learning Trumps Classroom Students

Online Learning Trumps Classroom Students
Online Learning Trumps Classroom Students
In our increasingly digital world, education remains one of the most traditional venues left. Students still fly and drive in from all over the country, and some even from faraway corners of the Earth, to live in the same residence halls and attend classes in the same buildings that have housed and taught students for decades. Yet, education is now catching up to the digital revolution and has begun offering classes online, and even offering degree programs that can be learned completely on a computer. Many were quick to criticize the departure from the classroom norm, but with recent research indicating that online learners may actually have an academic edge over classroom learners, online education is finally turning from novelty status to one that commands respect.

Since the Internet was first invented in 1989, scientists knew that the technology held great promise. Now, more than two decades later, the Internet has dramatically revolutionized our day to day activities. Things like entertainment and shopping have leapt online, either in tandem with brick-and-mortar establishments or to a purely digital format. Even more official tasks, such as banking and filing tax returns, can now be completed online. It was only a matter of time before education followed suit, offering comprehensive degree programs for students who cannot adhere to a campus-based education. Yet, these students are not at a disadvantage compared to those in a classroom setting. In fact, evidence from a U.S. Department of Education study suggests the contrary.

The 2009 study found that students who participated in an online education program performed better than their classroom counterparts. This has been attributed to the fact that while campus-based students must take in their entire lecture within a single class period, which typically lasts only an hour or two, online learners can take as long as they need to absorb a lecture from their personal computers. This means that online students can reread their lecture notes as often as necessary to understand the material and immediate combine attending class with completing coursework, which helps to increase comprehension. This extra time devoted to studying can account for the better performance of online students in comparison to classroom students. Yet, no matter what the reasoning is behind the success of online students, the study shows that learning in a digital format is, in fact, effective. Even many traditionally brick-and-mortar institutes of higher learning have realized this and are now offering online classes of their own.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/03/

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