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Compare & Contrast Online Learning vs. Traditional Learning

Please compare & contrast online learning vs. traditional learning attending college and then explain how to integrate online learning activities into teaching practices.

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Multimedia Learning
Please compare & contrast online learning vs. traditional learning while attending college and then explain how to integrate online learning activities into teaching practices.
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I took an on-line class during the summer between the first and second year of my Masters program. I can definitely relate to this question. The rest of my Masters work was all traditional classroom instruction even though it was a cohort experience. The summer of the on-line class was completely different. In a cohort traditional college experience, we worked in teams for almost everything we did. In the summer on-line class we were totally working as individuals. There was still an instructor, but the instruction wasn't so direct. Each lesson was based around an activity, rather than the usual direct instruction and then work together on a project. In the on-line class, the project was the instruction. It was more like a puzzle you had to figure out rather than applying what you learned from direct instruction to a project. In the on-line class, there was also a lot more reflection and communication with the other students in the form of telling each other what you learned from working the project puzzle by yourself. It was nice to stay at home and work from my computer, but I also missed the camaraderie of working with a team. In working with a team, you also could offer what you were best at doing, which made the entire process easier. You could put all of your energy into what you were good at doing, instead of trying to stretch yourself into fifty different directions learning a lot of new skills while trying to work on some of the biggest school projects you had ever attempted to complete. In the on-line class, you had to figure many of the things that were new to you out on your own, while learning from the process at the same time, and while reflecting on it as well. The on-line learning was very isolating and made the students feel like they didn't have a lot of support. The traditional classroom experience was not as challenging, but when we got stuck on something, we could work it out within our team and we felt that we had support from one another to get through it.
This is how I would integrate on-line learning in to my classroom. I would have my students complete on-line learning activities in pairs after direct instruction. This way the students would still have the structure of the direct instruction, the support of a team, and the independent research approach of the on-line learning experience.
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http://oedb.org/library/distance-vs-local/how-distance-learning-colleges-stack-up-against-traditional-colleges
How Distance Learning Colleges Stack up Against Traditional Colleges
Published on Wednesday 9th 2006
August, 2006
In recent years, there has been much debate about the effectiveness of distance learning colleges in comparison to traditional colleges. Since many people who want to go back to college are trying online programs, more and more employers are accepting these programs as legitimate learning programs. But there are still those who believe that the education received does not match the quality of the traditional college environment.
There are many pros and cons to online learning. In the end, it is up to each individual to figure out how much time he/she will have to devote to earning a degree, what type of degree program he/she is interested in, and how much he/she can spend on education. For some, online programs are a perfect fit. Those that need a more structured learning environment should try a traditional college degree program. Below is a comparison of distance learning and traditional colleges degree programs.
Distance Learning
? Students can arrange their study time around their work schedule. This will ease some of the stress associated with the return to college.
? The cost of attending an online program may be less than traditional college tuition.
? Students will not have to travel to class, which will save them even more time.
? Most programs will not require textbooks, which will save students money.
? Students complete tasks at their own pace. They can wait to complete assignments until they feel confident that they understand the information.
Traditional College Learning
? Many students need structure in order to complete tasks on time. Some students may not be able to regulate themselves to a regular study schedule in a distance learning program. A more traditional structure is required.
? The tuition cost may be higher.
? Living in a dorm or close to campus can cause students to mature faster because they will be responsible for food costs, housing costs, and other costs associated with living away from home. Students will also be able to socialize with classmates.
? Textbooks are required for most classes. They can be very expensive.
? Some students may feel overwhelmed by assignments that are due at a certain time. This may cause them not to score well in classes.
In many ways, distance learning is not that much different from traditional colleges. Each has pros and cons. For those who are returning to college, distance learning programs seem to work out much better than traditional college programs.
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http://online-degree-direct.com/online-college-vs-traditional-college/
Online College vs. Traditional College: How Do They Compare?
For most people, online universities are a mystery. What quality of education do they provide? Is an online degree just as valuable as one from a traditional, brick-and-mortar school? How do you know if online learning is right for you?
Here is a quick guide to how online universities compare to traditional colleges.
Traditional Colleges
Most people are familiar with the traditional classroom setting of a college or university. Students meet at set times and interact directly with teachers and classmates to complete projects and assignments. The traditional college classroom also creates a structured learning experience for students who are uncomfortable working alone.
Here are some other aspects unique to traditional colleges:
? Commute to and from campus
? Direct contact with instructors and classmates for immediate feedback
? Textbooks and supplemental materials must be purchased
? Larger class sizes means limited one-on-one interaction with instructors
? Class performance partially based on student participation, usually verbal
? Need to network with other classmates to get notes if you miss a class
Online Colleges
While some online colleges try to simulate traditional learning through "virtual classrooms", most allow students to customize their own work and study schedules. But because there are no instructors in front of the students to keep them on task, online education also requires self-motivation and self-discipline.
Here are some other aspects unique to online colleges:
? Written response to assignments and classes helps less outgoing students participate
? No commute to campus
? Interact with classmates around the country
? No set class schedule
? Lower tuition fees
? No textbooks needed
Quality of Education
Online schools have changed a lot since they first came on the scene in the 1990s. Back then, programs were new, online technology was limited, and instructors had trouble adapting to the teaching methods required for online learning.
Today, more than 60% of colleges and universities including Harvard, Duke University and Pennsylvania State University offer online degrees. And with the demand for distance learning growing, top online colleges will continue to expand and improve their programs.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing an online university:
? How much experience do the instructors have teaching online?
? What training and credentials do the online instructors have?
? How does the online curriculum compare with what is taught on campus?
? Are there prerequisites or entrance requirements for the online degree program?
? Does the online college offer a degree recognized by your profession?
Validity of Online Degrees
With more and more universities offering high-quality online degree programs, online degrees are becoming more recognized and accepted by a wide range of professions. The rise of "degree mills", however, makes many employers cautious. Your best bet is to choose an online degree program from a well-respected traditional college or university.
Here are some common industries that recognize and accept degrees from online schools:
? Internet/New Media
? Technology
? High Tech
? Marketing/Media
Accreditation
With many less-than-reputable online degree programs out there, it's important to find an online college that is accredited. There's nothing worse than giving away your money to a degree mill and finding out that your degree is worthless. Choosing an online university that is accredited will also allow you to transfer your credits to other schools if you want to continue your education elsewhere.
To learn more about getting your degree online, read: How Credible is an Online Degree in Today's Job Market? and Tools & Tips for Education Online.
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http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/waoe/cjack.htm
CarronJ
December 15, 2006
Online Learning vs. The Traditional College
Adult students are more likely to succeed in online education than a traditional college student because adult students have more maturity and responsibility. Traditional college students are between the ages of 18-21 and benefit from the social atmosphere that a normal college campus provides. A lot of older adults have full time jobs or families and look at college as an education only not a social life. For young students, college means newfound freedom because they can live on campus or with friends away from parents.
A college campus has social activities and an exciting environment. For an individual seeking a degree for a promotion or similar benefit, this type of environment is not necessary. In a study from the National Survey of Student Engagement only 11 percent of traditional college students spend 25 or more hours a week studying, reading, writing, and doing other activities for their classes; 40 percent spend 10 hours or less out of the 168 that make up a week. As you can see there is a difference in the study patterns of adult students and 18-21 year old students.
Common reasons adults return to school:
? Career advancement- some employers require a certain education level for company positions
? Higher pay/ Salary Increase- According to the Department of Education, the average earnings for those holding bachelors degrees are 50 percent higher than the averages of those with only a high school diploma.
? Personal growth and development- Gaining additional knowledge ...

Solution Summary

I took an on-line class during the summer between the first and second year of my Masters program. I can definitely relate to this question. The rest of my Masters work was all traditional classroom instruction even though it was a cohort experience. The summer of the on-line class was completely different. In a cohort traditional college experience, we worked in teams for almost everything we did. In the summer on-line class we were totally working as individuals. There was still an instructor, but the instruction wasn't so direct. Each lesson was based around an activity, rather than the usual direct instruction and then work together on a project. In the on-line class, the project was the instruction. It was more like a puzzle you had to figure out rather than applying what you learned from direct instruction to a project. In the on-line class, there was also a lot more reflection and communication with the other students in the form of telling each other what you learned from working the project puzzle by yourself. It was nice to stay at home and work from my computer, but I also missed the camaraderie of working with a team. In working with a team, you also could offer what you were best at doing, which made the entire process easier. You could put all of your energy into what you were good at doing, instead of trying to stretch yourself into fifty different directions learning a lot of new skills while trying to work on some of the biggest school projects you had ever attempted to complete. In the on-line class, you had to figure many of the things that were new to you out on your own, while learning from the process at the same time, and while reflecting on it as well. The on-line learning was very isolating and made the students feel like they didn't have a lot of support. The traditional classroom experience was not as challenging, but when we got stuck on something, we could work it out within our team and we felt that we had support from one another to get through it.
This is how I would integrate on-line learning in to my classroom. I would have my students complete on-line learning activities in pairs after direct instruction. This way the students would still have the structure of the direct instruction, the support of a team, and the independent research approach of the on-line learning experience.

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