Similarly, knowledge of the technology and essential computer skills are the two necessary prerequisites for online education and as Johnson and Manning point out, online education benefits the learner the most as one can plan one’s own schedule, save time and money, can complete many courses sooner than the regular stream, and can get rid of all sorts of pettiness and bias that prevail in traditional classes (Johnson, & Manning 12).Convenience and flexibility are the two factors that attract many learners towards distance or online education. The learner has the freedom to schedule his learning and this self-paced learning is suitable for both slow and quick learners. As Shelton & Saltsman make it clear, many students move towards non-traditional methods of interaction and learning due to their desire for flexibility. To quote the researchers’ own words: “online students chose the online medium because it allows them the flexibility to study at convenient hours or in locations far removed from the campus” (Shelton & Saltsmanp 84). Husain, in this respect, argues that “online education can be flexible, accessible and convenient for students; there can often be institutional cost savings and time savings over traditional place-based education; and there are often advantages to the instructor such as ease in updating and revision of courses” (Husain p. For him, online education can make use of the existing infrastructure for course delivery and because the internet is widely available to the learners the teaching-learning process becomes easier.For Shelton & Saltsman the greatest advantage of online education for students is the “anytime anywhere” approach to learning; however, the authors purport that campus administrators very often fail to offer 24 hours support for its distance education learners (Shelton & Saltsmanp 84). Usually, the administrators argue that the online learners can make use of the normal business hours for their studies and these acts as a great hindrance for the learners to access student services any time they please. Baglione and Michael Nastanski, in their article entitled examine the theoretical advantages of online discussion groups. The researchers conducted a survey among 122 experienced faculty members to determine the effectiveness of online discussion. The results of the study proved that as online discussions increase in volume and
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Baglione, Stephen L & Nastanski, Michael. “The Superiority of Online Discussion: Faculty Perceptions”. In Quarterly Review of Distance Education: Research That Guides Practice. Ed. Michael Simonson & Charles Schlosser. IAP, 2008.
Curtis, David D & Lawson, Michael J. Exploring Collaborative Online Learning. JALN 5. 1 (February, 2001).
Husain, M. Encyclopaedia of Non Formal Education. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2003.
Helm, Matthew & Helm, A. Leigh. Get your degree online. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000.
Johnson, Kevin & Manning, Susan. Online Education for Dummies. For Dummies, 2009.
Shelton, Kaye & Saltsman, George. An administrators guide to online education. IAP, 2005.
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