I find that it is not an easy task to accomplish. I believe that going through the traditional education program may be easier to accomplish because it has been the model that we have followed for centuries. It is what I am used to. The teacher is present in a classroom and there is simultaneous feedback as I am accustomed to. If we observe the patterns in history, the traditional educational system has had its flaws: absenteeism, illiteracy, behavioral problems, and, low scores in standardized tests performances. I have and taken courses using the virtual paradigm which is not synchronized.
This means that all members (teacher and students) communicate at different times and at our convenience. To be successful with the non-synchronized virtual paradigm I have to have several qualities as an individual. I have to be responsible, know how to work independently, be organized, and be self-disciplined. If I do not have these qualities I will not be able to succeed in obtaining my degree through distance education using the virtual mode. They are many elements that have to be able to work with.
I need to know: how to use the computer; how to communicate with the professor online; how to communicate with my classmates online; how to participate in forums; how to write e-mails; follow a class calendar; know what the tasks are; know what the requirements are for the tasks; and know when to submit my tasks before or on their due dates. Although I believe this is a good venue for learning, it will not be a venue for me if I not have the previously mentioned qualities.
This is not for everyone. The positive elements of using this virtual paradigm are that I am able to work in a self-paced mode. I can work at any time of the day or night. I do not have to be in the rush traffic scenario. I do not have to change clothing. I do not have to listen to lectures if the virtual paradigm is not a synchronized class. I do not have to attend to regularly scheduled classes. I would have do all of the above in a traditional educational setting.
Being able to work from home, gives me the opportunity to do my readings and assignments at my leisure.
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