Ink Master Ryan

The Effectiveness of Online Courses for Students, Educators, and Administrators In the Middle Ages, it was a common thing for a young man who wanted to get a good education to go on foot for hundreds of miles to the university he wished to attend. That journey was tiring and even dangerous. However, the twenty-first century made the process of receiving a first-class education simpler than ever. A person may sit on his/her sofa at home, drink a cup of coffee, and take a degree at one of the world’s most prestigious universities at the same time. Access to education and its basic characteristics drastically changed in the era of online digital technologies. Modern online education in its various forms offers many benefits and advantages for all the parties involved in the learning process – students, educators, and administrators who regulate and organize the whole system. Benefits of Online Courses for Students The benefits of online education have been widely discussed in academic circles and among the public. Many specialists argue that e-learning technologies can effectively respond to accelerating global competition, increase the quality of learning experiences, remove situational barriers, and be more cost-effective. However, students get more benefits from online courses than other categories. First of all, online learning can grant access to a first-class education to people who experience some difficulties in getting a degree in a traditional way (due to geographic location, physical disabilities etc). It is probably the most important advantage of online learning because the modern world changing at a very fast pace makes education one of top priorities for all countries and social groups. Moreover, the prices for online degrees are often somewhat lower than traditional ones, which also makes education more accessible to low-income groups. Another important benefit for students is the higher levels of inclusion in online courses as the methods of e-learning encourage more, and more varied, student participation, since students who do not normally speak in class often do contribute to networked discussions. Online learning eliminates many different psychological barriers that are common to young people. Those who are not completely confident about their knowledge or foreign students who do not have an excellent command of English are likely to participate more willingly in online forums, discussions etc. In addition, online education corresponds to the new lifestyles that are characteristic of the behavioral patterns of young people. E-learning offers greater mobility to students, and this element seems to be of huge importance to a fast-changing modern society. Students are not tied to some specific place and can acquire knowledge on the move. Consequently, they are likely to receive better grades and learn quicker. Landry argues, “The amount learned is somewhat greater than in the traditional lecture-based course.” It can be explained by a number of reasons, the most important of them are better cooperation as well as communication between educators and students and course materials that are easy to access from everywhere in the world. Effectiveness of Online Courses for Educators Educators of different levels also receive substantial benefits from online courses. This new type of educational technologies offers educators plenty of ways to make their courses really interesting, exciting, and rewarding for students. E-learning allows educators to incorporate such important elements as videos, interactive reference materials or quizzes that have already become a crucial part of contemporary educational methods and techniques. Moreover, as it has already been mentioned, online education ruins many psychological barriers; therefore, educators may expect better cooperation and closer contact with every individual who takes a course. It is obvious that nothing is able to completely substitute face-to-face communication, but for such specific purposes as those analyzed in this essay, the online interaction may appear to have more advantages than the traditional way of learning and teaching. In addition, online courses can be introduced with the help of various educational platforms that function on the Web and offer very good services acknowledged by many specialists. Among them are Coursera, Edx, Pearson Online Learning, and many others. These online platforms allow professors and other educators to focus exclusively on their professional duties and, as a result, not to pay much attention to the organizational and other non-educational aspects that usually significantly complicate the traditional system. This element seems to have a great impact on the quality of education as the more time educators spend on enriching their professional knowledge, pedagogic skills, and other aspects, the better education their students receive. Advantages of Online Courses for Education Administrators The role of administrators and managers, who are in charge of educational activities and whose duty is to harmonize all aspects of education, is often underestimated; however, they are professionals without whom the modern educational system would be completely ruined. It is very important that online courses also have a profound positive impact on their work. Renn and Zeligman believe that new cutting-edge educational technologies, including online learning in its different forms, have made administrators and managers working in the sphere of education find more effective ways to react to different changes. Online courses offer administrators a variety of methods used to monitor the feedback of students, their progress, and other important elements that should be taken into account during all stages of the educational progress. For example, students often experience different problems with the courses and do not have an opportunity to immediately address the administrative staff to solve them. During online courses, students can contact the administrative staff at once; therefore, managers can control all educational processes in a much better way. Managers should also monitor the quality of educational services offered by university or college. Relying on the market analysis, they need to define areas becoming popular among the public and focus the effort of the educational establishment on offering more courses in these spheres. This information can also make administrators and educators introduce various changes into curricula. Online courses allow administrators and managers to fulfill these duties with more efficiency as they get a better understanding of all processes taking place in the course. Thus, managers in the sphere of educational services are able to provide better guidance, control, and analysis of online courses. However, it would be a mistake to argue that traditional face-to-face education has become an outdated and ineffective practice in the modern world. Both classical educational methods and e-learning have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, it is obviously inappropriate to offer online courses for very young learners. Therefore, the main message of this essay was to highlight the advantages of online courses and not belittle the significant role of traditional educational patterns. All things considered, online courses offer a wide range of benefits to all three categories of people involved in the educational processes – students, educators, and administrators. This way of learning and teaching corresponds to the new lifestyles peculiar to the twenty-first century, helps to eliminate psychological barriers, allows educators to pay more attention to the improvement of their professional skills, and makes it much easier for administrators to control the whole process from the beginning to the end.