Can You Be Educated From A Distance?

716 words - 3 pages

The efficiency of online learning versus face-to-face instruction is a growing controversial topic. In his article, “Can You Be Educated from a distance?”, James Barszcz weighs the benefits and disadvantages of online education. In his essay, he discusses the fundamentals and overall quality of distance education, as well as the rationale behind the growing trend. He argues that observation of teachers and social aspects of traditional learning are important for true education, rather than simply obtaining information. Barszcz uses thorough juxtaposition between distance and traditional classrooms unbiasedly so the differences between the two types of education are easily seen, while constant use of studies and surveys add justification to his argument.
In “Can You Be Educated from a Distance?” by James Barszcz, the author attempts to pinpoint the negative aspects of distance education compared to traditional classrooms. At the beginning of the article, he first describes the basic format of online courses, which results in a vast minimization of face-to-face communication of students with instructors. He then touches on some of the beneficial qualities of online education, and the reasoning for its quickly growing popularity among students and schools alike. He mainly attributes this trend to the overall convenience that is promised to students by online courses. These courses allow students to learn material in the comfort of their own home. Barszcz also considers the financial appeal for universities. Having an increasing number of students enrolled solely in online classes allows schools to save money on electricity, as well as decrease the amount of staff they employ. Also mentioned is that many strong advocates of distance education claim that the most important benefits are an increase in the effectiveness of education and development of skills using Internet resources. Barszcz then transitions into discussing the disadvantages of distance education, the position he strongly favors. He places a great amount of emphasis on the observational method of learning found in traditional classrooms. He says that the mark of true education is more than simply acquiring information, but requires observation and the engaging of social norms. Through face-to-face interaction with professors...

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