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Xi 1 Wei Xi Kristen Foster CO150.401 26 October 2013 Can Online Courses Take Place of Traditional Courses?

November is coming, again its the time to choose our courses for spring semester. Everyone is busing arranging the schedule for next year. While I was considering to take the microeconomic class, my friends just said to me I see this course is available online, you can choose the online course! The credits are the same! I have never considered to take any online courses for I was largely unaware of this new kind of education method, though I know online education are becoming more and more popular these days. I have no idea whether taking this kind of courses will have the same effect as taking traditional courses in classroom. For this research project, I decided to study the question, Can online courses take place of traditional courses? This question deserved to be examined because more and more people move toward this new access to high education. Both students and parents want to see if it is worth taking those kinds of courses. And many scholars and administrative are investigating its potentials. I suspect that these new access to high education are changing the way people get educated. Before I could focus on the advantages and disadvantages of online courses, I first needed to learn more about what online education is and the current status of online education. I started by reading an academic research article Going the Distance Online Education in the United States, 2011 by Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, from the website onlinelearningsurvey.com, to give me a basic understanding about the current status of online

Xi 2 education. According to Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, they give a definition of online education as the courses those in which at least 80 percent of the course content is delivered online.(Elaine and Jeff, 7) I also learned that the more and more institutions made their longterm strategy include online learning, especially for some for-profit institutions. From 2002 fall to 2010 fall, the students who take at least one online course increased from 1.6 million to 6.3 million, which has 18.3 percent annual growth rate from this period of time. This high increase surprised me a lot. After I have a rough idea of the current status of online education, I want to know both students and facultys opinions of online course. I next turned to the database of our schools library. I found the article Comparing Student and faculty perception of online and traditional courses by Kim Sadler and the other 7 people in Academic Search Premier but theres no full text. I then type the title in Google and find the full text on sciencedirect website. It is also a database which contains huge amount of articles from all kinds of journals, e-books and so on. In this article, 8 authors conduct two separate surveys for students and faculty using a series of 7point Likert scales for the study questions. Both survey measures the perception of online course versus traditional course, both students and facultys idea of online courses and the demographic characteristics. For the result, students consider online course as more like a self-directed learning, they need less time and effort on it compare to traditional courses in classroom. In addition, faculty understand that professors plays an important role to students who attend online courses, those students however, do not. These discoveries helped me to better form my understanding of peoples different perception of online course. I was now several days in my project. I want to see others direct answer to my research question. I type can online course replace course in classroom in Google, I located an article

Xi 3 titled Can Online Course Replace Classrooms by Nwadiuto Amajoyi, the UC Santa Cruz student body president. In this article, the author starts his argument by mentioning the new proposal about online education of their school. He first claims that we still cannot be surely to say that the cost of online course is less than traditional course. He lists some examples of the influence to the academic services consumers. For example, there will be more students from communities who originally have no access to UC education sharing the services. He doubts the proposal by raising a lot of questions as Will there be teaching assistants for these classes on each campus? How will these TAs be funded? (Nwadiuto), Will this program account for differences in learning style? (Nwadiuto). Though the author realizes the benefits of online education, he declares that he wont go for it. This article gives me a straightforward idea of a person to my research question Can Online Courses Take Place of Traditional Courses. Well, next, I want to know more details about the advantage of the online courses. So I typed advantage of online education in Google. However, its hard to find some credible sources. I then changed the replace the keyword education to learning and I was fortunate to come upon a very helpful article. It is an article titled The Benefits of Online Learning written by . From that website, I learned that the author is the president of lvy Tech Community

College. The author strongly believes that the future of higher education lies with online learning.(Tom) He states that the people already have a job can save time with the online courses and students may pay lower tuition for online courses. He believes that online education will launch a revolution in the field of higher education. He also agrees that one day there will be totally virtual colleges and universities as We are in the early days of online learning. The
possibilities are limitless.(Tom) Toms point of view have helped me to understand those who

thought online education will take place of traditional education sometime in the future.

Xi 4 After reading some advantage of online course, I want to figure out whats the disadvantage of online course. I then found two sources related to this topic. The first article, The Trouble with Online College, is an editorial from New York Times. The author trying to argue that online college actually has many problems to deal with. For example, the attrition rates and the lack of close contact. The author mentioned a five-year study shows that those who took higher proportions of online courses were less likely to earn degrees or transfer to fouryear colleges (The Trouble with Online College) He described the current online courses as not well-designed. My second article, Americans Doubt the Rigor and Quality of Online Education, written by Allie Bidwell and published on the website usnews.com in early October 2013, is trying to inform people that the quality and rigor of online course is worse than the education in the classroom. Though most people agree that online education is flexible and the cost is just ok, the data in the article concludes that people are not satisfied with the quality of online education as only 5 percent viewed online programs as excellent, while 18 percent said the quality is poor, and 34 percent said those programs are only fair in terms of quality.(Allie) As finished collecting peoples words about advantage and disadvantage of online course, I felt like I understood why most people though online course leaves much to be desired. However, I want to know the real performance of the students who enrolled in online courses. So I started with an academic article appearing in the Academic Search Premier. The article Student Performance in Online and Traditional Sections of An Undergraduate Management Course, written by Thomas Daymont and Gary Blau and published on Journal Of Behavioral & Applied Management 9.3 (2008), is focus on the performance of students in online and traditional class with undergraduate courses. The authors conducted a survey and analyzed the data by statistic method. According to the table the made, they found out that when theres a

Xi 5 limitation on major, class and GPA, the students enrolled in traditional courses do better than those who take online courses. Males earn one-half letter grade less than females, but its not statistically significant. They also discussed some possible compensation principles for online class such as Thus, many online instructors can be expected to compensate by providing additional structure and reminders in, for example, the course syllabus, emails, and announcements.(290) After learning pros and cons and peoples different perceptions on online education, I have concluded that online educations rising sharply is inevitable due to its low price and flexibility. In other words, it represents the general trend. However, it still cannot shake the status of traditional in-class courses in high education. Admitting that online courses provide people a novel access to high education, it is incomplete. The traditional education has a much longer history after all. Online courses need to be improved and still has a long way to go. Now, I am almost finished my research and got my current answer to my research question, but I still need to do more research. For example, I havent found any article about ones own experience of taking online courses. I want to know ones true feeling after taking online courses. I will continue doing research on this part.

Xi 6 Work Sited Allen, Elaine. Seaman, Jeff. Going the Distance Online Education in the United States, 2011 onlinelearningsurvey.com Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group. November 2011. Web. 5 Oct. 2013. Otter, Ryan. Seipel, Scott. Graeff, Tim. Alexander, Becky. Boraiko, Carol. Gray, Joey. Petersen, Karen and Sadler, Kim. Comparing student and faculty perceptions of online and traditional courses Internet & Higher Education 19. (2013): 27-35. sciencedirect.com Web.10 Oct. 2013. Amajoyi, Nwadiuto. Can Online Course Replace Classrooms sfgate.com Hearst Newspaper, 15 Feb. 2013, Web. 13 Oct.2013. Snyder, Tom. The Benefits of Online Learning huffingtonpost.com The Huffington Post, 30 Jan. 2013, Web. 17 Oct. 2013. The Trouble with Online College Editorial. New York Times, 18 Feb. 2013 Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Bidwell, Allie. Americans Doubt the Rigor and Quality of Online Education usnews.com. News & World Report LP, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. Daymont, Thomas. Blau, Gary. Student Performance in Online and Traditional Sections of An Undergraduate Management Course. Journal Of Behavioral & Applied Management 9.3 (2008): 275-294. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.