Online Education For Working Adults
Online education is a means of providing education through an online structure. With the growth of the internet and many devices for communication and online activity, the growth of online education has continued to expand. This form of education takes the traditional classroom setting and converts it into a virtual setting where students, no matter their age or schedule, can log in from their individual devices and obtain the same education they would in a normal classroom. However, the benefits of this type of education compared to traditional education raise a great deal of debate.
Online education for adults brings with it many benefits. Many adults who were unable to complete their education at the previous point in life can utilize online education as a means of completing their degree or obtaining increased education and training without having to drive to a physical location. Many adults are incredibly busy and the use of online education gives them an opportunity to work into their busy schedule an additional course, one taken at their convenience, the coursework for which can then be completed and submitted their convenience.
Of course with this there are questions as to whether or not adults can obtain the same quality of education that they can obtain through a traditional classroom. When adults only engage in an Internet-based classroom discussion they do not benefit from hearing the ideas and thoughts of other students and then being able to form concrete arguments based on what previous students have said. With many Internet-based classes, online education requires only that students complete the coursework individually and at times that they submit a comment or classroom discussion to the teacher. This takes away from the ability to benefit from the dialogue which a traditional classroom creates. There are other concerns that online education does not have the strict requirements of a traditional classroom would have. Students who take an online class do not necessarily have to read the same amount of work or text, and if they do they might not be held liable for having completed the task. There is no accountability. Another concern is that having to read multiple text items and review multiple PowerPoint presentations through an online forum does not provide students with the same cognitive benefits that listening to a lecture would. Many people are concerned that those students who do not learn best by reading or at a severe disadvantage with online education.
In spite of the debate, online education offers many adults and students great advantages. It gives them the ability to continue their education in a way that previously was not thought possible.