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Online Learning

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In the age of technology, many approaches have been changed. Learning process has been shifted from the traditional way to a new perspective of learning that uses the internet technology. This type of learning helps students to choose their courses without pressure of time and location. E-learning gives students the freedom of choosing the time that they want to spend on studying. So it might be more flexible for students because they can perform and study from anywhere even they can wear anything they want. According to CCA consulting, nearly fifty percent of higher education institutions currently involved with online learning. This percentage indicates that online learning should be considered as a serious alternative for traditional learning.

Online learning can be defined as the process of studying by taking courses that are credited or non credited from any part of the world with no limitations of time and location. This type of learning is performed through the internet technology (John.Reid, Online learning). According to DR.Bob Roper, and educational researcher, about six hundreds courses are delivered to the students all around the world by thirty five academic institutions which demonstrate the success and effectiveness of this program. This number is still increasing according to the efficient results that were achieved by those students who are taking these courses. The first type of E-Learning has started in the middle of 1990’s. By that time the internet was booming and spreading so fast. The improving of the internet played a role in establishing online education (Natalie Aranda , history of online learning).

Communication is an essential factor in learning process. Online learning offers effectual communication .this communication can be between student to student and student to instructor by using some helpful tools such as discussion boards, chats and emails. These elements can help students to stay motivated and they also can participate effectively in projects and group tasks. In addition to that, these elements also provide public areas to post information .therefore, students can discuss the topics together without physical attendance and it also gives them opportunity to share ideas and communicate easily. Learning from other students perspectives is gained through the flexible communication which is provided by online courses (Kubala, 1998). Online courses can eliminate some limitations of time. In traditional classes, the student has to take an appointment with the instructor to discuss about some topics. Through the flexible communication that is offered by e-learning this process of taking an appointment is eliminated.

Besides the flexible communication, some students prefer to study in the morning. Others work better in the evening. Personal responsibilities and life styles can cause some difficulties in scheduling time for home works and group tasks. Online education grants continual access to material all the day long. So students will not be worried to access to the material. The availability of material can eradicate the pressure of the time. Students will be free to choose a convenient time to accomplish their tasks and home works. The continual access to material also helps students to feel comfortable by insuring them that they can get to the material anytime they want. For example, they will never go to the library and find it close because they already have their own library in the internet so they will not be frustrated because they couldn’t access to the material. Also, they will not be worried of missing handouts or other problems that might happen (black board inc 2000). Accessing to the material anytime from anyplace gives students space to perform better and get better results. This benefit of online learning can be useful for those students who work and study at the same time because the information that they need is already posted on website so they can balance their time according to their responsibilities.

Another advantage of online learning is improving the self-disciplined. Postponement is one of the struggles that many students face. Some students postpone their duties until the last moment .That will cause accumulated tasks which might be hard to be done. When it comes to learning process, the last moment is the worst moment to learn. As a result for that, student’s performance will be poor and their grades will go down. Therefore, students should be aware of doing their duties at the right time in order to improve their performances. Online learning teaches student the importance of accomplishing their tasks without procrastination. Success is caused by self realization because no one will alert students to do their tasks and study. They will be responsible for themselves and the only motivator is the student himself (Montgomery College, advantages of online learning). Moreover, some students attend classes because attendance is mandatory. In other words, Some students go to class because they do not want to lose the attendance marks and they do not pay attention for the lecture itself. But in online courses, students listen to the lecture because they want to get the benefit of that lecture .In short; your success depends on you and your discipline.

In conclusion, online learning has changed learning perspective by taking it to a new vision of learning. This type of learning provides a flexible and effective communication between students themselves and faculty members by affording some useful tools and open discussion. It also gives students the opportunity to choose their convenient time to study by making the access to the material easy and available twenty four hours. So they will not be required to listen to the lecture in specific time or go to library to get the material. In addition to that, online learning teaches student how to be self disciplined. They will depend on themselves in order to get better results. They will rely on themselves with no dependence on other factors to make them study or read the material. Online education should be considered as alternative for traditional learning.


John E. Reid, Jr. Ph.D.
Coordinator of Distance Education Technology
Kennesaw State University,
Kennesaw Georgia. What every student should know about online learning. Retrieved November 15,2010, from http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/overview/reid.html Black board INC. (2000). Educational benefits of online learning. Retrieved November 15,2010, from http://www.uth.tmc.edu/med/administration/edu_programs/ep/blackboard/text/Online_Learning_Benefits.pdf Montgomery College. Ten advantages of online learning. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/Departments/studevgt/onlinsts/advant.htm

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