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Traditional vs. Online Education

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DeRhonda Foster

COM/155 University Composition and Communication I

01/15/2012
Dr. Lisa Dunick

Traditional vs. Online Education

Are you thinking about returning to school for a degree? Today, there

are more options available for those choosing to further their education

past high school than there was when I was a teenager. For many years,

traditional education has been the choice of most students going to

school, but now that online education is available, students are

beginning to take that route. There are still a few doubts about the

acceptance of online degrees, but whether traditional or online

education, they can both be beneficial and rewarding, depending on the

time you have, the amount of money you want to spend, and your own

learning abilities.

Traditional vs. Online Education

Traditional Education
Traditional education is going to classes in a classroom setting with other students and an

instructor on hand for face-to-face interaction. Students have to attend those classes in a

designated place, at specific dates and times. They may have to attend lectures and go to

laboratories. While traditional education provides you with a more hands on experience, it could

take up a lot of time. If you are trying to juggle work, school, and a family, you may not have the

time to attend classes where you have to be there at a certain time. Plus, traditional education is

typically more expensive. Not only do you have to pay for tuition, there is also travel cost.

Whether it be the cost of gas, wear and tear on your car, or airfare if you go to an out of state

college, it can get quite costly. There is also the cost of books and materials. Traditional students

often use textbooks and other materials which are hidden costs and not included in the tuition.

Most of the book and materials will never be used again once the class is over. Room and Board

is also a factor in the cost if you are attending an out of state college. Setting up housing, rent,

and food can easily double the cost when added in.

Online Education
Online education can be done in the comforts and privacy of your own home. You still have

interaction with the instructor and other students, it is just done through e-mail, forums, and

discussion board postings. You do not have to go anywhere, which saves a lot of time and

money, and makes it easier to manage work, home, and school. Even though there may not be the

hands on experience that traditional education provides, you still get quality education. Online

learning provides a stimulating environment and allows students to learn with the methods that

work best for them. Most students do not need hands on, they learn best from using the visual

method. They like reading, using charts, seeing pictures, etc. and that is all used in online

learning. You still have assignments, exams, and have to participate in discussions. Online

education may be less expensive than traditional education, but you do need to have all of the

technology requirements to attend online classes, which could get a bit costly, but will never

amount to the cost of all the other factors mentioned above that choosing traditional education

comes with. You need things like windows 2000 or higher, an Internet Service Provider with a

connection speed of at least 56k, and a web browser internet explorer 7 or newer, among other

things. With all of the technology needed, online students are also learning skills that will benefit

them in the workforce and everyday life because of the way that technology is evolving today.

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