Online vs Traditional Learning Research

Bozorgmanesh, M. (2011). Online classes and traditional classes in adult education. Nature and Science, 9(8), 81-84.

This article investigates the role of online classroom in the future of education. The author claims that the main benefit of online learning is that it provides educational opportunities for a wider range of people, especially for those who cannot devote all their time to studying and have to combine it with family life and work. This research outlines the advantages and disadvantages of online learning highlighting the significance of virtual classroom as a flexible, convenient, comfortable, recognized, and information-rich environment. At the same time, there are certain challenges to online learning that should be overcome. The author gives special prominence to the role of a teacher stating that a good instructor is able to eliminate the possible obstacles set by technology. Finally, online learning environment is approached to as an effective means of training qualified professionals in various fields without the need to allocate a lot of physical resources.

Cadwalladr, C. (2012). Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? The Guardian.

This article is devoted to change that is going to take place in online education. Traditional learning that is much more expensive than the online one still provides more means for socializing. Several experiments with online learning versus traditional learning showed that the latter can compete with the former allowing to train more students than in a traditional classroom. The author compares universities to money-making industries and prioritizes the importance of free online courses. It is hypothesized that even if online courses cost something, students would choose them, because it was much cheaper than traditional education with its enormous tuition and living fees. Finally, the author concludes that online education might replace or take a significant part of the curriculum from the traditional one. The strongest point of this source is that it is written in the colloquial style, which makes it accessible and understandable to the general audience.

Clayton, K., Blumberg, F., & Auld, D. (2010). The relationship between motivation, learning strategies and choice of environment whether traditional or including an online component. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(3), 349-364.

This article is devoted to the analysis of students’ academic achievements, in particular, learning outcomes and self-efficacy in relation to online, traditional, or blended learning formats. Students expressed their preferences for learning types in terms of reasoning, motivation, orientation, learning outcomes, and personal goals. Based on the results of these self-reports, it was established that the majority of students preferred traditional classroom environments, because it fit best their learner’s styles and helped them to fulfill their learning goals. At the same time, students appeared to be more motivated and purpose-oriented in their choice of a traditional classroom, while those who chose blended and online learning revealed a greater degree of autonomy and confidence that they would be able to complete such courses. This source is valuable, because it sheds light on students’ motivation and factors that drive choice of a certain format of course delivery: online, blended, or traditional.

Gibson, J. (2008). A comparison of student outcomes and student satisfaction in three MBA human resource management classes based on traditional vs. online learning. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 5(8), 1-10.

This article is based on personal teaching experience of the author where she combined online teaching and the traditional one enriched by cyber-based technologies. The purpose of the research was to investigate whether online and traditional modes of delivery were equal in terms of students’ outcomes and students’ satisfaction. In this framework, cheating and plagiarism were found in traditional and online learning in nearly the same proportions. The results of the study showed that there was no essential difference between the test results in online and traditional classes. However, students’ satisfaction was higher in a traditional classroom than in an online one. Overall, despite the limitations of the study (uncontrollable factors, difference in formats, small group size, asynchronous environments, and others), it was established that traditional learning appeared to be insignificantly more effective than the online one. This source is valuable, because it is based on the results obtained from practical settings and the research was conducted in real-time learning environment.

Lim, D., Morris, M., & Kupritz, V. (2007). Online vs. blended learning: Differences in instructional outcomes and learner satisfaction. Journal of Asynchornous Learning Networks, 11(2), 27-42.

This article is devoted to investigation of online and blended learning paying attention to both teaching and learning peculiarities. The research compares learning goals in online and blended types of learning. The authors claim that according to the results of this study, there are no significant differences between the two types of learning in terms of learning outcomes, but there are considerable differences in other spheres. Thus, online learners complained about higher workload and less support from instructors, they also had to make more effort than learners in a blended group in order to achieve the same level of knowledge. In blended learning the learners had problems with proper understanding. The authors also provide a list of suggestions on how to improve online and blended learning formats both for students and instructors. This source might be valuable for course developers who strive to improve their blended or online classroom programs.

Parry, M. (2010). Online, bigger classes may be better classes. The Education Digest, 57(December), 19-22.

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The author highlights the importance of open learning reached with the help of online education. However, this openness presupposes a range of challenges, such as privacy protection and other issues that are to be faced by an instructor. In addition, students’ attitude towards online learning should also be accounted for, because for them it is a completely different educational environment. It is equally important to deal with unsafe issues that take place at forums and during group discussions, because this might prevent students from communicating. However, the author claims that online learning is the future of education. As for the problematic issues arising in online classrooms, they might be effectively eliminated by creative instructors. Still, technology remains the key obstacle to effective online learning. It might be overcome only on condition that technological solutions are combined with the change in culture of online learning.

Shachar, M., & Neumann, Y. (2010). Twenty years of research on the academic performance differences between traditional and distance learning: summative meta-analysis and trend examination. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(2), 318-334.

This article investigates the learning outcomes of students in both online and traditional learning environments. The research is based on the results of students’ midterm, final, and other tests. The time period used in this meta-analysis is impressive: nearly twenty years. In the course of the study it was established that students who were taking online courses tended to perform better than their traditional classmates in 70% of cases. As a result, it might be concluded that more and more universities might recognize both online and traditional degrees equally. The authors point out that the driving motives for the effective development of online learning are proliferation of internet, recognition of online courses by employers, involvement of adult learners, and other factors. The source predicts that in future decades the number of students in online learning is likely to prevail over the number of students in a traditional classroom.

Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. (2010). Learning presence: Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and the development of a communities of inquiry in online and blended learning environments. Computers & Education, 55(4), 1721-1731.

This article is devoted to investigation of online learners’ profiles from the point of view of the Community of Inquiry (CoI). The research is quite credible, because it is based on results obtained from 3165 students from 42 educational establishments. Learners’ efficacy and quality of learning in online environment was investigated. The authors conclude that there is a strong correlation between CoI and nascent theoretical construct. The latter includes self-efficacy, behavior, motivation, and other constructs that promote self-regulation in learning. As a part of further research, online learners’ active positions might be analyzed with the use of descriptive and explanatory criteria. This source is valuable, because it describes the CoI, learning presence in relation to effective learning behaviors in an online classroom. A reader will also benefit from learning about the relationship between self-efficacy, online classroom setting, and quality of environment. Finally, the authors claim that hybrid learning might be most effective in reaching all the goals set by learners.

Stewart, C., Bachman, C., & Johnson, R. (2010). Students’ characteristics and motivation orientations for online and traditional degree programs. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(2), 367-379.

This article is devoted to correlation between motivation and demographics of participants that completed a course in online or traditional ways. The authors claim that irrespective of the form of the program (online or traditional one) the students had approximately the same motivations that did not depend on gender, race, and age. The research also found out that students of online courses had higher degree of intrinsic motivation in comparison with the traditional classrooms. The authors also highlight the importance of investigating first online experience of students and their impact on further learning. Meanwhile, online students, being more intrinsically motivated than their peers who chose traditional education, are more persistent and have less dropout rates. The article also points out that if students had to choose between an online and traditional course that were equally prestigious, they chose the former. This source provides a valuable insight that the level of motivation in students is equal irrespective of the form of a course (online or traditional), gender, age, and ethnicity.

Vernadakis, N., Antoniou, P., Giannousi, M., Zetou, E., & Kioumourtzoglou, E. (2011). Comparing hybrid learning with traditional approaches on learning the Microsoft Office Power Point 2003 program in tertiary education. Computers & Education, 56(1), 188-199.

This article investigates hybrid learning as a means of effective delivery of course material with the help of Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, a popular computer-based program. Its effectiveness was analyzed in comparison with traditional delivery method with the help of giving lectures. Results obtained from 172 students were analyzed with the help of ANOVA method. It was established that the measures main effect and groups x measures interaction effect appeared to be very high in both groups. The same is true for differences in performance rating. The authors conclude that HLI is the best approach to teach students with the help of Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003. This source is valuable, because it proves how effective Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 is for hybrid learning method of teaching.

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