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Legitimacy of Online Education Research Assignment (Essay Sample)


Legitimacy of Online Education


Legitimacy of Online Education
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Legitimacy of Online Education
Online education has become very popular because of advancement in technology and the convenience that it offers those who chose it. The new development has challenged traditional education especially as relates to the mode of learning and interaction of students and learners. Consequently, questions have emerged over whether online education is as legitimate as its traditional counterpart given the unorthodox methods of learning. Those who question the credibility of online education argue that for effective learning to take place, the context, content, and style of education and learning must happen within a physical situation. Moreover, the same school of thought argues that historically, and globally, credible and effective learning only occurs within certain regulative parameters that are often absent in online education.
Much of the questions regarding the legitimacy of online education as compared to traditional education have emanated from three main premises. First, the unmitigated proliferation of institutions offering online education has cast doubt on the regulation mechanisms available to curb quack schools and programs eager to cash on the growing need for convenience. Second, issues have emerged over the quality of graduates as relates to credibility of courses and certificates as well as employability and productivity. Third, concerns about the deviance from known, tested, and traditional methods of learning and teaching have elicited credibility questions over online education. Amid these legitimate concerns, it is important to appreciate that fears over the legitimacy of online education often arise from ignorance and the fear of the unknown. This paper will explore the question of legitimacy of online education and demonstrate that subject to accreditation of institutions and programs in question, employability and productivity of graduates, and achievement of learning and teaching objectives, online education is as legitimate as traditional education.
To begin with the question of emergence of rogue institutions and programs, online education is harder to regulate than traditional education in this respect. With good internet connection and an access device, one can circumvent regulations by setting up programs for people far away yearning for education (Luor, Johanson, Lu, and Wu, 2008). Conversely, traditional schools find it difficult to set up without adherence to laid down procedures because their physical presence and operations would attract scrutiny. Hence, the fact that one is more likely to fall victim to quack programs in online education than its traditional counterpart is undisputable. However, the fact should not suffice as blanket condemnation of online education as illegitimate. With tighter internet protocols and sustained vigilance by accrediting organizations, it is becoming increasingly harder to offer unrecognized programs online. Besides, there is increased awareness of the need to check accreditation status of institutions with relevant bodies before registering for a program.
Regarding the issue of quality of online education graduates as relates to employability and productivity, there is a growing affinity for online graduates because of the realization that there are as good as graduates from traditional education. Unlike in the past where employers deemed online certifications as lacking credibility, there has been a shift and a growing appreciation that online credentials in certain courses are even better than those from traditional education. In United States for instance, certification from certain reputable institutions in technical and finance subjects is more likely to receive positive consideration that similar qualification from traditional schools (Jo, Regan, and Youn, 2013). Moreover, a growing body of research in e-learning and human resource shows that online graduates are as competitive as their traditional counterparts (Abrami, et al., 2006). The faith in online certificates by employers has lent more credibility on online education and diminished doubts surrounding its legitimacy.
Concerning deviance from traditional and tested methods of teaching and learning, it is crucial to note that the disruptive nature of technology has left many professions, education included, in limbo. The fact that the teacher and students are physically absent has disturbed conservatives who could not have fathomed an alternative teaching method. However, there is conc...
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