English 130223 November 2003 Internet is been a major part of everyday life of the new generation.From gathering academic information to plain entertainment, computer withthe access to the World Wide Web can serve our needs. The World Wide Web isreally having the big influence and impact in the society. In recent year,all levels of educational institution adopt the new way of teachingacademic material.
The Internet base or hybrid (traditional and Internetmixed course) started to flow into the mainstream education. Internet baseclass is been more popular nowadays. And this would raise a lot of issuesthat need to be solved. Would it be better for teacher and student tocommunicate? Could teacher accurately catch the needs of student? Or is itjust a way for student to cheat with less effort? The effectiveness ofinternet-base course would be a topic of discussion for many years to come. From traditional to the new approach of teaching, there are many newskills in order to teach or learn successfully. There is a great deal ofpreparation for teacher to enable their teaching skills transform bycomputer. Mr.
Glenn Hameroff, a man who has been a history teacher for 30years said, “my first reaction to teaching on the Internet concerned thegreat speed at which everything took place.”(Hameroff) The experience ofhis first class online was not pleasant, because the communication base istotally different from a traditional class. The information float at freewill, and student are too productive to talk on every topic that they want.Therefore, Mr.
Hameroff plans to slow his second chat room lesson on thechat room down. With some limits on this universe to provide order,direction, accountability and learning (Hameroff), the lesson hasestablished a sense of teamwork and the class become sufficient andmaterials are well delivered. Online teaching is unlike traditionalteaching; there is a more effort before the actual class. When teacherprepare for a traditional class, he or she has to prepare the text,supplement, exercise and games for class participation. However, onlineteaching is more than that.
A great deal of effort would be focus oncreating material that is readable on the web, and advance email ofdirection for class discussion. The preparation of class materials, setting guideline for communicationsand actual class interaction are the basics elements to create an effectiveinternet-based course. And here are some in depth analysis of theseelements mean to the online course. User friendly and reliable technologyis critical to a successful online program, and if all the technical partof the online program are in tact, online program enable teacher toconcentrate more on each student by spending less time.
The traditionallearning can be add-on with the computer aids learning. With differentsetting, computer enables educator use different methods that help teachingin many different ways. The computer will be a key element to reorganizeand redefine intelligence. The problem solving operation will replace themechanical operations that human have been doing for decades (Nuuhauser).Education curriculum will naturally change because many of the requiredskills will be handling by the computer.
Computer can bring closer manybarriers of people’s difference in intelligence because computer has thepotential for adapting to individual differences in abilities. It alsoallows more interaction between learner and teacher because teacher canbetter understand what the learner need and can help focus on the realproblem and enhance the efficiency of teaching. Other online components may also be used to enhance the flexibility ofteaching, e.g.
, interactive web pages for posting course notes, otherresources, virtual labs and online stream videos. There are many onlineresources that dedicated their work to help the online education work. Oneof the support providers is called Illinois Online Network(http://www.ion.illinois.edu/IONresources/). Illinois Online Network is aneducation network of resources for the state of Illinois’ college anduniversity to promote the effective use of networked informationtechnologies to enhance traditional classroom instruction, and to build thefoundation for developing, delivering, and supporting courses delivered ina completely online format (Illinois Online Network).
The have listed a lotof research that shows the effectiveness of online learning. As a premierewebsite that earned several prestigious awards, the information that theygather about online learning can help us understand better of how toutilize the Internet based courses (Illinois Online Network). More and more educational institute joins in to help developing theonline teaching platform. With some network build up the resources basethat help teacher better prepare their material, some big computercompanies put their heads down to develop the crucial ground work of onlineeducation. Publishing conglomerate Pearson PLC (London) join America Onlineto establish online learning tools for K-12 curriculum, higher educationlearning and parental involvement tools. They join in together to form bigalliance that helps each sector of education move forward. Their alliancegroup focuses on how to enhance the technology for teacher to use on theirdaily teaching.
Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino gave us an idea of how theycan help the education system. Different education level and differentgeographical area can off set the needs of the teaching material, butPearson layout the workflow that can serve the specific needs for eacheducational sector (Publishing And Internet Powerhouses). The elementaryschool teacher portal will include lesson planning software, teachertraining materials and parental access. The college student portal willprovide subject-specific learning materials for key academic disciplines.The adult-learning portal will provide information and resources relatingto personal and professional development. (Publishing And InternetPowerhouses) With all the help from the teacher side, we all know online educationcan really enhance the learning experience.
With more interactive and morefocus with technology help, teaching online course is very effective.However, are we sure that student can gain the same amount of material fromthe new online learning versus the traditional learning? Let’s see whatstrength and weakness of online learning. Online teaching enable morepeople to study whatever they are interested in because with the help oftechnology, all they need is a computer with the access to the educationalinstitute’s computer center for instruction and resources (Strengths ofOnline Learning). People can also learn at their own spare time at theirown pace because online learning offer assessment for student to learn attheir convenient time and even with their own pace. The online formatallows a new kind of interaction between teacher and students becauseeveryone material and resources is shared in a place that everyone canaccess to, plus everyone can ask their question and get direct responsefrom teacher (Strengths and Weakness of Online Learning). The directresponse is very efficient because this one on one response thru thediscussion board can be more in depth and share around for every student tolearn more from each student’s difficultly and that can help themselves tolearn in a faster pace.
All of these benefits already enhance the momentumof learning. But what really changes is the structure of teaching itselfenhanced. In the web article ‘Strengths and Weakness of Online Learning “it stated that the nature of the semi-autonomous and self-directed world ofthe Virtual Classroom makes innovative and creative approaches toinstruction even more important (Strengths and Weakness of OnlineLearning). In the online environment, the facilitator and studentcollaborate to create a dynamic learning experience.
The occasion of ashift in technology creates the hope that those who move into the newtechnology will also leave behind bad habits as they adopt this newparadigm of teaching (John E. Reid). As educators redesign their coursematerials to fit the online format, they must reflect on their courseobjectives and teaching style and find that many of the qualities that makea successful online facilitator are also tremendously effective in thetraditional classroom as well (Illinois Online Network).
With all these strength that really shows in the online learning format,can it be the future of education? Or there are many weaknesses that wealso have to consider to determine the effectiveness of Internet basedcourse (Strengths and Weakness of Online Learning)? The main reason whyonline learning still have limitation is because technology is stilldeveloping, many student doesn’t have the skills to learn online, eachonline teaching resources might have their own strength and weakness, andstudent themselves cannot be motivated by the self learning at home(Strengths and Weakness of Online Learning). Would these problems reallyalter the benefits and strength of the ever-enhancing online education? Thekey elements of setting the leg in online course are: self-motivation, time-management skills, self-discipline, reading comprehension, persistence,availability of time, and the ability to use technology such as a laptop,printer, software, and the Internet (Are you ready to take a courseonline?). Since students in the program come from a wide range of backgrounds, ifthe discussion group can create a team environment which everyonecontribute to what they know about the class, it can encourage students tohelp each others where everyone may have different educational backgroundor experience, so a big community can help efficiently learn better (KeyElements of an Online Program). Classmate has a touch based on the net, andwith that help, student can focus on how they can control their ownenvironment and control their work. Student can learn best and excel whenthey give control of their learning environment. They have to learn how togauge their classes and the time that needs to be allotted for each class.
They can work off a checklist of tasks that need to be completed, and setup a weekly schedule where certain evenings are set aside for eachparticular class, that way their can monitor there progress and motivateeven they are on their own. If someone struggle to find and use databasesand Web sites, all they need is with lots of practice, then seekingresources became easier. They will be amazed at the wealth of informationavailable and how incredibly easy it is to access and receive thisinformation after a short struggle. Here is an example of a reporter who spied in an online class andexperienced what an online class is actually like. Ulrich Boser, the authorwrote, “Despite distance learning’s often-lackluster academic reputation,the course required old-fashioned schoolwork and intellectual creativity.
We read 10 short stories and five books, watched two movies, wrote a 10-page research paper, and took a final exam. Other assignments includedwriting a short essay on the motivations of a character in the 1990 bookBones and Silence by Reginald Hill and translating a portion of JohnMilton’s Paradise Lost into gumshoe prose.” The use of online class isconvenient and good enough plus the fact that the reporter/student learneda lot and still able to vacation in Germany at the same time withoutmissing anything in the class. His negative feedback after the experienceof the online class is the personal attention of the professor was nosubstitute for having classmates with whom to toss around ideas in thetraditional class (Ulrich Boser). His experience reflex part of the problemof online learning – the problem is the lack of concentration from student,and the small involvement that student willing to give help for others.
There should be something student can practice to boost up theirmotivation for their loose online learning experience. In the report”Illinois Online Education Report 2″, Martin Holmes compares theenvironment between normal education and online education. He realizes theenvironment in university is fantastic, where students can “develop theirsocial and character skills in a rounded environment” But about onlineeducation, he remarks, “The thought of millions of students all over thenation (or the world) sitting in their lonely bedrooms posting madly ateach other on bulletin boards is a pretty sad one.
” So, is online educationa good way to learn? Or, do traditional teaching still better than thecomputer learning (Stephen Downes)? If student would like to have a great experience with computers, here aresome tips that they can learn to maximize their experience. In an article,”10 Tips to Optimize Your Online education” Beth Archibald Tang recommended10 tips for learner and teacher to improve the effectiveness of onlineeducation. One of the tips for learners is “Netiquette”, “Remember youronline manners.
Lively, on-task discussions belong in the online classroom;personal attacks do not because they take away from the learning processand demean other participants.” Another one is “Preparation”, “Creating aspace away from distractions will help you focus on the material. If timeallows, you should read ahead for the next lesson and prepare questionswhile reading the assignments or participating in class discussions.” As Imention the quote from Martin Holmes earlier, which talks about onlineeducation student “sitting in their lonely bedrooms” In the same report,professional writer, Stephen Downes thinks that is not true, because peoplecan still live their lives and have their own communities. He also pointsout the problem of university education, “we need to come up with a morebroad-based and egalitarian approach to this, which means we need to re-assess the traditional approach to education, which serves only a minorityof the population (a tiny minority, when viewed from a globalperspective).
” He points out, “What we want is a symbiosis between ouronline and our offline lives.” And He suggests that people need to “designa cultural and social environment in which access and interaction withonline information and community becomes part of and merges withtraditional activities of working and playing.” In conclusion, Internet based course or the border terms online learningcan be very effective if education institutes dedicate their effort increating a structural online medium that can provide steady platform forteacher and student to utilize their online experiences. Teacher can teacha bigger group with more focus on each student, student can learn in theirconvenient to maximize the gain. These can succeed by the continueadvancing of technology and better skilled teacher.
Education can finallybe interactive as it supposes to be with more people able to share thebenefits with faster learning on whatever topic they need with just a fewsimple clicks. .