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Is online education beneficial?

  • Comments (3)
  • Article: Learning the lessons of moving education online
  • Author: Andrea Corbett is senior lecturer, School of Nursing, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, New Zealand; Simon Browes is honorary nurse researcher, Western Institute of Technology, and PhD research student, University of Nottingham.

Key points

  1. Many assumptions about online delivery are not borne out in practice
  2. Students need to be prepared for online study; this includes clarity about what is expected and required of them
  3. Course designers should explore if online learning allows things to be done differently
  4. Existing tutors should be involved in online course design
  5. Online courses shoud be underpinned with sound learning and teaching principles

Let’s discuss

  • What are the benefits of online learning?
  • How would you prepare to for an online course?
  • What support would you expect from lecturers providing an online course?
  • Do students perform better in assessments following online or face-to-face courses?
  • Comments (3)

Readers' comments (3)

  • I am a Nurse Educator in New Zealand based in Hawkes Bay. I moved here in 2001 from the UK. This year I commenced papers towards my Masters starting with an Advanced Pathophysiological paper which will take a year, the course is being done online. I like the fact that I can learn in my own time and that I do not have to go to a stuffy classroom, I can eat & drink as I go etc but it still does not compare to a real classroom. Unless you are all in a virtual classroom - (we did for orientation) you are essentially on your own. You can leave questions for the tutor but the answers are not there when you need them and you can lose your thread of thought. It is quite isolating unless of course you know someone locally doing the same paper. I am not sure I would have started this if I had realised how difficult it was going to be. To top it all - EIT our local RN training provider is also now only doing nurse training online, this to me is weird, how can you make such a hands on profession - so hands off???

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  • Im a 22 year old preparing for competitive exams as well as I like learning new technologies. By now i was really unsure if online learning would ever work for me, but its all about breaking the nutshell once i took up an online course on on of the predestine online learning website WizIQ: Online Courses for All subjects I'm so accustomed to taking up online learning courses now that i have just given away the conventional methods of coaching institutes as Online learning comes with its own benefits no travel hassle, time flexibility, class recordings and so on.

    So I would definitely recommend you all to try out some online courses and go on pace with the tech generation. Its time for Smart Living now.

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  • Juggling Dog

    This will come down in part to how online learning is defined, but I think the opportunities to exploit the way threads can be examined in discussion forums, such as the NT discussions, should be made the most of.

    If online is being used like an electronic book, that is essentially traditional learning updated.

    But if you use online to identify the harder, less well understood, and more disputed aspects of a topic, and then allow and encourage an online discussion of those aspects to develop, you have gone beyond 'reading a book' into the 'coffee table discussions' which interested students at a university sometimes engage in: the real potential for online, in my view, is being hindered unless the coffee table discussions are facilitated.

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