These days, there are many different ways to access higher education. You can enrol in a traditional program, attending classes and accessing educational resources on campus. You can also enrol in an all-online program, in which the majority of your schoolwork and communications are completed via the Internet. Or there's the in-between option: Blended learning environments that combine on-campus and online coursework.
How do you know which option is right for you? The following guide covers some of the major differences between online and on-campus courses to help you decide what method will best meet your needs.
Online courses typically allow students to work asynchronously, which means that they can complete their coursework at the time and place of their choosing. This is often ideal for working students or single parents who need a flexible schedule. However, students who struggle to be self-motivated may find that they quickly fall behind.
Gone are the days when distance learning meant that you had to correspond with your instructor via snail mail, or even email. Today's Internet-based courses typically include opportunities for instant communication such as message boards, online chatting and even video conferencing.
But even a video conversation can't replace the experience of face to face interaction. Students who thrive on the quick exchange of ideas between professor and students may find that they prefer the classroom environment to online courses. On the other hand, students who experience anxiety when they're called on to speak during class will enjoy the time to reflect on their responses offered by online courses.
For many students, social interactions are a key aspect of the college experience. If you're planning to meet new people and expand your social and professional networks, it's important to take at least a few classes on campus.
However, online courses aren't entirely devoid of interaction. As noted above, some include message boards and video conferences that link classmates to each other as well as to their instructors. Furthermore, many online classes are taken by people from all over the world at the same time, offering an opportunity to make digital connections with people who you would never meet on campus.
Learning and Skills Development
Of course, the primary reason you're in class is to learn and develop new skills. For some students, this can be very difficult without the direct, face to face input of an instructor. If you don't learn well from books and other written material you may find that you struggle with online coursework, particularly when you don't receive swift feedback.
However, online courses offer some unique opportunities for skills development. It's important to be somewhat comfortable with computers before you embark on an online class, but most students find that the experience helps them develop a whole new set of useful technical skills. Online courses also typically involve a lot more writing practice since there are few opportunities for answering questions verbally.
I am a virtual K-20 educator. I teach 4th and 5th grades virtually, as well as higher education. I am developing a course called Foundations of Virtual Instruction for a virtual teaching certificate program, and have been compiling ideas from teachers on the differences between teaching in a classroom and teaching online.
Here are some of the roughly outlined ideas:
- Online the instructor cannot use classroom presence, and skills to get points across
- Cannot use oral skills to improvise on the spot with behaviour problems, or difficult concepts
- Instructor on an equal footing with students online than in f2f
- Classroom learning can be more passive than online
- Procedures need to be more explicit online
- In an online discussion, everyone has to participate – rather than just a few brave volunteers
- Written communication results in deeper thinking online
- Online: Anonymity, lack of bias, identity disembodied, personality disembodied, no appearance, no ethnicity
- An online educator must learn to teach effectively without visual cues and control with eye contact
- Online there is more reliance on written communication than live, oral communication
- Shift from being content provided to content facilitator
- Be comfortable using technology tools, designing instruction with the tools, and helping students use the tools
- Increased value on metacognition, or being responsible for knowing what you know
- Increased need for learner autonomy, self-learning, discipline independence.
Sai Group of Institutions
The Institutes are overwhelming with qualified faculty, excellent infrastructure, well-equipped and furnished workshops, labs, library and computer labs. SIPAS Institute of Paramedical and Allied Sciences was established in the year 2003 with the motive of meeting effectively the emerging challenges of the modern world and demands of the student.
Reasons for Joining this Institute
- Affiliated to Doon Hospital & Max Hospital for training of the students
- Highly qualified & experienced faculty
- State – of – the – art well-equipped Laboratories
- In-house well equipped OPD, pathology centre & Polyclinic with the latest paraphernalia
- Training facility for CA, CS & Banking exams along with the course, on the job training during the course
- Computer lab with 24x7 internet facility, Wi-Fi zone, Transport facility, Canteen & Cafeteria
- Soft skill, personality development & English classes for all students
- Separate well-furnished Hostel facility for girls & boys
- Various development workshops, seminars, conferences etc.
- Educational Tours, Institutional & Industrial visits for practical exposure.
- We are offering scholarship to girl students under "Beti Padhao Abhiyaan"
- Sai Institute received Uttarakhand Best Training Institute in an Education Excellence Award.