Monday, December 20, 2004


Student Perspectives on Online Education

Leonard, J. & Guha, S. (2001). “Education at the Crossroads: Online Teaching and Students’ Perspectives on Distance Learning.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34, 51-57.

The article touches on how the internet offers post-secondary institutions and their students with new opportunities to learn through the flexibility online learning provides. With today’s computer and other technological advances, online courses are increasing in number and scope. From this study, students in the sample were generally comfortable with the online instruction for their math and education courses. They developed their navigational skills of the virtual environment, while acquiring the required content of their courses. In spite of these responses, the researchers found that there was definitely a need for more improvement in the organization and delivery of online services to the students as their needs and the technology change over time. However, with all the conveniences that online education can provide, this article raises an important question over the need for online education versus the desire for it.

It seems that many schools from kindergarten through college seem to feel online education is the solution to many of their organizational and educational problems or as a standard for competing with rival schools to acquire new prospects. It is true that online education provides many tools to help provide support to instructors in their profession, as well as students in their development. Understanding the technology and learning how to wield it cannot ensure the success of online education alone - for solidifying its structure and development are also key.

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