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Online Leaning Essay

1221 words - 5 pages

Topic: Online Learning

Title: Comparing the Traditional and Online Learning Systems

Introduction

Education is integral for the development and survival of humanity. Therefore, the systems that help to share and pass knowledge to future generations play an important role in shaping the future. Learning systems have been under development since the dawn of humankind. Early learning systems have developed into what is now known as the traditional system. Several factors including the development of typography and the foundation of the first universities in Europe triggered such changes. However, Hurley (2001) argues that none of these advancements had much impact. The current ...view middle of the document...

Interactive learning imposed by the online learning system increases the level of control a learner has over the learning process. This increase in control is provided by the ease of communication and collaboration the learners have with their teachers and by the ease of instant access to large amounts of information. In contrast, the traditional learning system emphasizes teaching input, knowledge acquisition and testing (Hurley, 2001). With the development of the online system of education a shift from learning input to learning output has been made. Therefore, the learner is not a passive part of the teaching environment but becomes an active agent that helps the teacher guide the learning process. Radovic-Markovic (2010) argues that with adequate training provided, teachers adapted to new methods of learning. Furthermore, Hurely (2001) mentions that the learners under the online system are more motivated since they have greater control over what when and how to learn. Hence, the teacher-centered system is restricted with the syllabus while the learner-centered system is more concerned with managing the range of activities in order to make the learning process more efficient. Consequently, the role of the teacher is minimized to providing support and guidance for the learner.

Another important aspect in this discussion is the resources and materials availability under the two systems. According to Stephenson (2001, p30) ease of access to learning materials is one of the competitive advantages of the online learning system Stephenson, 2001). However, the ease of access may come at a cost sometimes, since several online learning platforms provide only abstracts of the necessary materials and the additional information has to be purchased in printed form. Furthermore, Hurely (2001) argues that the range of materials is wider for the online learning system since teaching can be conducted through textbooks, distance learning or instructional materials. Nevertheless under the traditional system, many learners would rather choose to narrow their writing and reading to the information provided by the teacher, even though they can search much wider. However, the major competitive advantage of the traditional learning system is that it allows access to practicing skills that can be applied during seminars and workshops (Hurely, 2001). Whereas, the online systems lacks such capabilities and therefore can be characterized as inefficient in terms of practical application of gained knowledge.

The ways in which the learned material is assessed is subject to large discrepancies within the two systems. The key difference in assessment between the leaner centered and teacher centered systems is that under the latter the activities have to be done consequently in a form of providing commentaries and organizing learning on a weekly basis. As Hase and Ellis claim, the learner based systems provide some control over the assessment procedures to the...

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