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Debate Info

34
25
Pros Cons
Debate Score:59
Arguments:41
Total Votes:60
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 Pros (20)
 
 Cons (21)

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Pros and Cons of Web-Based Instruction

Online learning has it advocates and its opponents.  In order to understand the issues, it is important to examine the pros and cons of this type of learning.  Please add to both sides of the debate. 

Pros

Side Score: 34
VS.

Cons

Side Score: 25
6 points

Social and online media is part of the today's world. Online learning, when designed right, seamlessly integrates the students' everyday experiences with their learning experiences.

Social Media Revolution

4 years ago | Side: Pros
3 points

Much easier than to sit through an hour class trying not to fall asleep while listening to a professor who basically reviews what you just read out of class anyways. I like not having time constraints as well. Depends on the teacher, but for the most part, I find it easier to get better grades online than in the classroom.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
2 points

Many argue both sides of the same point when it comes to web-based instruction. Take a look at this article: http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/benefits-of-online-learning.htm. WBI allows students to have constant access to their course and materials. They are not hindered by schedules and time constraints, and can work at their own pace in most situations. This flexibility allows more students to obtain an education, and allows students to have a bigger role in their own learning.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
2 points

Pro: Flexibility Online learning allows students the flexibility to stay at home and work on their classwork. You can work online anytime, anywhere. You can work in your pajamas or even at another job on your break. You can stay home and take care of your kids if you need to.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
2 points

The biggest pro that my group decided on was Flexibility. With students being so busy these days with full time jobs, families, and life, it is sometimes hard to fit in graduate school. Being able to work online and go at your own pace is essential. I like the fact that I can work on my homework on my own time, even if it means doing it in my PJ's at midnight!

4 years ago | Side: Pros
2 points

The Uriartes and myself met tonight to discuss the pros and cons of online learning. We all agreed that the most important pro about online learning is ACCESSIBILITY. The accessibility of online learning makes what wasn't possible before, possible. It brings learning to your bedside, to the coffee house, across the nation, around the world. It makes resources accessible that could never have been reached before. It makes learning available any time, any day, any where. How can any "con" top that?

4 years ago | Side: Pros
2 points

I support this view. We talked, typed, about it for a bit and we decided that ACCESSIBILITY was the best pro about on line learning. We also talked about technical issues being a con but it wasn't as strong as the pro we decided to go with.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

During our chat, Tony and I discussed many of the pros and cons to online education. We both agreed that one of the major pros to web-based instruction is the increased access to education. As students, we are able to see firsthand how online education gives us access to our instructor(s), classmates, materials, and technologies. We were able to chat from across the world, as he was in Kazakstan and I was in New Jersey. The online environment allows learners to access course materials 24/7 from anywhere with Internet access. In addition to course access, the Internet provides students with access to endless materials, contacts, visuals, and other information.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

Pros

1. Accessible to more people.

2. Can go at your own pace

3. Less distractions (coughing, class clowns, pulled fire alarms, the pretty girl sitting next to you, etc.)

Cons

1. Easy to turn on the TV or get distracted by some other comfort of the home.

2. Too easy to cheat (if we're talking about a degree program, and not just someone who wants to learn something)

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

Now as a Pro to the debate I have to say that many students need this option as it is the only way they can complete a degree. If they work full time and the class is only offered when they are at work, that makes it impossible to finish. I have had a student in this situation. So online programs can be a blessing to many as long as they are self starter and non-procrastinator. Many classes could be adapted to online versions if done well. It is just that many classes put online are not "online" classes just classroom based with materials posted online.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

As a mom of a new baby who needs to take a few courses to update my teaching certificate, I cannot be more pleased with online education. The flexibility allows me to complete the courses when my baby sleeps (which is not on a reliable schedule). I don't have to incur babysitting fees or daycare costs because I can work whenever I want. I also like that everything is in one place in the sense that to work all I need to do is sit down at my laptop. No books, notebooks, papers, pens, etc.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

The nature of the hybrid or online course leads to self pacing and individualized instruction (i.e. differentiated instruction). This then leads to greater flexibility for both the teacher of the course and the student in the course.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

Online courses have opened up education to many people who would have had to made major lifestyle changes to access a college degree. Mary and I discussed the following pros. Online courses allow students from anywhere to study anywhere and anytime that fits into their schedule. This allows parents with young children, people who work, and individuals who live too far away from a college campus to earn a college degree.

A second pro with online courses is they allow students time to construct their responses giving everyone an equal chance to participate in discussion, and constructing meaning from the content from the shyest to the most outgoing students.

Debbie and Mary

Supporting Evidence: University of Illinois (www.ion.uillinois.edu)
4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

After the debate me and my partner decided that the biggest pro is access. Neither of us would be able to continue our education in this degree if the classes were not held online. Students that are in school districts that do not fit their needs have more options with the accessibility of online learning.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

Mike Heinz, Anthony Serafini and myself met in chat yesterday (Sunday Sept. 13th) and discussed this topic. We discussed several things that we felt were pros to Web Based Instruction. The ones we settled on was the flexibility of offering WBI as well as the increased access to education (access to instructor, classmates, instructional materials etc...). As far as flexibility was concerned we all agreed that the ability to work at your own pace was important aspect of flexibility, but the fact that students could review the instructional materials as many times as necessary was the most attractive aspect of WBI

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

Online instruction provides access to novel experiences which students may not have overwise had, ie. technology experiences, interacting with new people, learning material not available at their schools.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

In science I can do so much more to tap into the learning styles of individual students. I can post articles for students to read and report back about. I can post links to virtual lab activities and have them write a formal lab report just as if they had done the lab in the classroom. By posting videos, I can also link to more relevant information than I have ever been able to tap into in my 18 years of teaching. Another pro is the fact that I can modify each assesment to truly measure and record student success. By giving authentic feedback on each topic I am assured of setting measureable, reachable goals for each student. Have I been able to accomplish all of this? Not yet - but we are working toward that goal.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

The biggest advantage to learning online is the cost-effectiveness of the instruction. Rural schools could not offer AP classes for students because it would require hiring one teacher for only a handful of students. Also, online courses cut down on overhead costs for institutions, travel costs for students, daycare expensive, physical campus costs, and the overall time savings for travel. In addition, less time would be wasted waiting around for the next class, and natural resources could be saved by cutting down commuting. Online classes can help reduced our congested highways and keep us personal safer from car accidents and campus shootings (VA Tech would agree).

Bartley, S. J., & Golek, J. H. (2004). Evaluating the Cost Effectiveness of Online and Face-to-Face Instruction. Educational

Technology & Society, 7 (4), 167-175.

4 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

Online learning has lots of pros. First of all it is useful for students who live far away from the university or college. Sometimes it is really difficult to reach the university every single day. Secondly it is useful because you will definitely save your time learning at home by your computer. You can feel comfortably and learn at the same moment. I can see only pros in this way of learning so let's hope that soon it will be the normal practice in many universities.

Supporting Evidence: web development (www.azoft.com)
3 years ago | Side: Pros
1 point

The teacher has always been a motivational factor as well. His example, how he can manage the knowledge, besides the support, including moral one is very important.

Supporting Evidence: Mobile app development (www.intellectsoft.net)
2 years ago | Side: Pros
2 points

They say there is usually "two sides to every story". There are many pros to web-based instruction, but there are some cons or hurdles to overcome as well. Tony and I agreed that a learner with little or no motivation would have a major disadvantage in the online education environment. In order for students to be successful in an online course, they need to be motivated, self-starters, responsible, and able to stay on task. Learners who need hand holding do not get all that they can out of a course. They fall behind, become frustrated, and do not engage in deep learning. This is not to say that this type of learner could not succeed in an online class, it would just be more difficult.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
2 points

As a Con one can talk about the courses that really don't work for online instruction. Unless you can have face to face real time interaction with the instructor. For example many students sign up to take their Math classes online (mostly pre-College Algebra level) and end up dropping and try desperately to get into classroom courses. Math when difficult for students as it is, is even harder when online with no interaction. Students need to see whats being done and ask questions during the lesson to say "wait I got lost there can you back up one step and re-explain."

4 years ago | Side: Cons
2 points

In our discussion tonight, the Uriartes and myself talked about the pros and cons of online learning. The con side of online learning that we agreed was most critical was undependable or unreliable technology. This actually is another version of "accessibility" which we also agreed was the greatest "pro" of online learning. We've all at one time or another had technology fail us - it's a fact of life. For successful online learning, these technological failures must be few and far between.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Though I do use and appreciate online tools, we would be neglectful if we did not offer some of the downsides to web-based instruction. Take this "create debate" format itself. It offers what could be considered very simplified and stereotypical interaction. Are you for or against? Where is the nuanced discussion about ways in which one could be both for AND against? That is just one example: Sometimes online instruction oversimplifies things. It also limits interaction to individual assessment of the group conversation by the user in real time, whereas when people get together, there are many voices being simultaneously expressed.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

I included the Benefits of Online Learning link in my "Pro" post, and I'll include it again here: http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/benefits-of-online-learning.htm. Many of the benefits of online learning can also be seen as hinderances or negatives. The flexibility of online education can cause a roadblock for those who have trouble staying on task. An online student has to take responsibility and initiative of their own learning, or they can fall behind, become frustrated, and eventually miss out on learning.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Con: Socialization A lot of online students complain because they do not have the chance for interaction with their peers like they do in a traditional setting.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

I agree that lack of socialization is a Con of Web-based Instruction. I think about how important it is for my elementary students to socialize in class. They learn a lot from each other by just being together. In web-based you can socialize but it is harder. Students don't get that real face to face interaction.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Con: Maintaining motivation is more difficult in an online learning environment as compared to learning in a classroom. The article Online Teaching and Learning, suggested that is a big reason why many students drop out of online courses. Because people work at their own pace, it is easier to put things off and procrastinate. This can leave students to fall behind and eventually become so overwhelmed that they drop out.

Resource: Herie, M. (2004). Online Teaching and Learning. International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 2(1), Retrieved from http://www.ijma-journal.com/pdf/v2i1a04.pdf

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

The cost- in researching available online courses, they seem to cost much more than regular courses.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Technology in a variety of forms. Student access to technology (dial-up vs modem, availability at home vs only at school, etc.), technological difficulties (i.e. the time delay on our chat, websites like lifeblog.com going down while you are trying to meet deadlines, etc.) and different technology skill levels of the teachers and students in a particular course (i.e. do I know enough about the technology as the teacher to help students with technology problems or is there a "help desk" I can send them to?).

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

As online courses gain in popularity it is important to look at the cons and address their shortcomings to help students be successful. Students who don't have good time management, are not self disciplined, and are prone to procrastination will not be successful in an online course. It is important for people to know honestly if they have the skills necessary to be successful. A second con is the amount of time it takes as an instructor to facilitate and for a student to participate in an online course. Administrators need to know it will take an instructor more time to facilitate an online course and the number of students participating in the course should be less than a traditional course. Students will need to consider the extra time necessary to participate in an online course when deciding how many credits to sign up for during a semester.

Debbie and Mary

Supporting Evidence: Educators Online Newsletter (www.educationonline.com)
4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

A con of online learning is the lack of face-to-face contact. Nothing can replace the skills and knowledge you receive from in person conversations. Face-to-face conversions also help students develop social skills needed to other aspects of their life.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

My group, Mike Heinz and Anthony Serafini agreed that the biggest con of WBI was the lack of F2F contact and socialization. Anthony and myself have taught freshmen for years and we both fell that it is extremely important for the students to not only learn the content but to learn how to handle themselves in a group setting, with many different personalities making up that group. The only way that is learned is through actual F2F contact.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Working in a lower socioeconomic setting, I see students for whom school is the refuge from the community, as well as a chance to learn. The home situation is super chaotic, and the access to the web is hit or miss, depending on the parent(s)/guardian(s). Until high speed web access is provided to all as a basic utility such as electricity, I think the playing field is completely tilted to those with more resources. While WBI can level the playing field in terms of courses offered, it must first overcome the access hurdle, and the acceptance of unions and school districts to utilize it.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Online instruction is not accessible to all--many students do not have computer access at home and rely on the technology at school and in public areas such as libraries. Even when students do have access, the technology may fail to work properly.

4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

One of the biggest downfalls for an online learning class is the lack of visually being able to see if a student has a learning disability in order to intervene early on to improve the learning for the student. In addition, the immediate feedback a face-to-face course provides students is invaluable, especially when working on subjects such as math which could require corrections at each step of a problem. ~ML and CF

According to Smith, Clark and Blomeyer's (2005) synthesis of eight research studies, "detecting learning disabilities may be more difficult in online settings; unlike conventional classrooms, where visual cues might provide some understanding of a student's capability of dealing with a task."

Supporting Evidence: A synthesis of new research on K-12 online learning (www.ncrel.org)
4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

A challenge in online learning was pointed out by Zucker (2005) when he "tested a hypothesis that students would have greater satisfaction in courses where more points were awarded for higher levels of student - student interaction, yet he discovered that his hypothesis was NOT supported by his findings."

Supporting Evidence: A synthesis of new research on K-12 online learning (www.ncrel.org)
4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

One of the comments I have heard from many online teaching professionals is that the amount of time and energy is tremendous for conducting an online class. Those who are emotionally or technologically unprepared feel quite the pressure. Dr. Susan Lowes's study showed it was perceived as, "burdensome."

Supporting Evidence: ONLINE TEACHING AND CLASSROOM CHANGE: THE IMPACT OF VIRTUAL HIGH SCHOOL ON ITS TEACHERS AND THEIR SCHOOLS (www.ilt.columbia.edu)
4 years ago | Side: Cons
1 point

It is true, but you will not be able to understand its process once you misses some knowledge.

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Erich of www.superbuzz.ca - affordable web design services provider

1 year ago | Side: Cons
1 point

I totally support all web-based instructions and I think that it is very useful and comfortable for all people. It is really great that our society is very modern and can create such things. I just wanted to ask you, is this web is created with wordpress? Because I want to create something like this web but I don't know how. Thanks.

Supporting Evidence: WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin (readyshoppingcart.com)
1 year ago | Side: Cons
1 point

Is long as it is provided with quality guidelines and it does not violates any certain humanitarian rules,, then it is allowable. after all it is included in internet rights of every human.

Supporting Evidence: SifaGroup Web Design (sifagroup.com.au)
1 year ago | Side: Cons


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