As technology has gotten increasingly cheaper and Internet access in homes became a Standard necessity, E-learning and online college courses have become more and more common. They offer many benefits over traditional classroom learning, although there are some drawbacks as well. For example, online courses can be accessed 24/7 and completed at the students’ pace, whether they work during the day or even overnight. This can be especially helpful to students that have difficulty waking up in the morning, as they are not constrained by a definite start time. This “at one’s own pace” model has its downfalls, however. As a personal example, I tend to procrastinate until the weekly deadline. It seems that I am not the only one, though. Psychology Today (2011) reports that students are more like that students are more likely to procrastinate work the more separated they are from class discussions and participation. E-learning courses are often times the easiest types of courses for this to happen, as classes do not physically meet. The problem of procrastination in the e-learning environment, however, can be overcome with little effort.
Another advantaged of online learning is the money saved compared to classroom learning, Personally, I have saved gas money by taking a few online courses. Money saved may be a small benefit for a less unique learning experience, though. Some may argue that some online courses, while being cost-effective. May offer a diminished learning experience by taking away the uniqueness of classroom lectures and leaming. For example, my Sociology textbook references a phenomenon known as the “McDonaldization of Society”. McDonaldization refers to a process of standardizing parts of everyday life in order to increase the efficiency and control of certain variables, much like Mcdonald’s standardizes how it makes food across thousands of restaurants worldwide. E-learning could possibly be seen as a “McDonaldization in the realm of schooling, as there is greater control over what gets taught and how it is delivered to students. This can have negative effects, however. By standardizing learning and taking away valuable lectures. That one would normally hear in a classroom setting. Schools have the potential to turn into mindless exercises of submitting answers and receiving grades. This gets rids of all of the spontaneity and culture attached to classroom experience, making it boring and predictable.
In conclusion, e-learning has both pros and cons, as does classroom learning. Some of the drawbacks of e-learning. However, may outweigh the benefits if both students and instructors do not take proper care of both of their responsibilities.
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