Shifting Classroom Learning to Online Learning Case Study

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Shifting Classroom Learning to Online Learning: A Case Study to Transition From the Traditional Classroom-Based Program to Online CBT Format

The objective of this study is to examine the transition from the Traditional classroom-based program to Computer-Based Training. There are reported to be a great number of colleges and universities that are presently transitioning to Computer-Based Training and fully transitioning to "online, blended or web-facilitated courses." (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010) The number of online programs and classes available have grown exponentially during the course of the last ten years. Other terms used to refer to Computer-Based Instruction include those stated as follows: "…web-based training, e-learning, distributed learning, Internet-based learning, web-based instruction, cyber learning, virtual learning, or net-based learning. Online learning is a subset of distance education and embraces a wide set of technology applications and learning processes including, computer-based learning, web-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaborations." (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010)

In addition it is reported to take the form of course with access to content for "just-in-time" learning, access (Hall, 2000). This definition encompasses delivery of course content via all electronic media, including the Internet, intranets, extranets, satellite broadcasts, audio/video tapes, interactive TVs, and CD-ROMs. Online learning is focused not only on the online contexts, but also includes a full range of computer-based learning platforms and delivery methods, genres, formats and media such as multimedia, educational programming, simulations, games and the use of new media on fixed and mobile platforms across all discipline areas." (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010)

It is argued by Campbell (2004) that the "emphasis of online learning in higher education settings is on the development of metacognitive as well as reflective and collaborative learning. Further, online learning goes beyond planned subject learning to recognize the value of the unplanned and the self-directedness of the learner to maximize incidental learning and improve performance." (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010)

It is reported that a comparative study conducted by Dabbagh and Nanna Ritland explored the differences between "traditional and online learning environments" is that the traditional learning environment is limited by location and instructor and student presence and is presented in real time, under the control of an instructor and is a linear method for teaching. The following table shows the historical context of online distance education development from 1975 to the present.

Figure 1: Historical Context of Online Distance Education Development

Era

Focus

Educational Characteristics

1975-1985

Programming;

Drill and practice;

Computer-assisted learning CAL

Behaviorist approaches to learning and instruction; programming to build tools and solve problems; Local user-computer interaction.

1983-1990

Computer-Based Training

Multimedia

Use of older CAL models with interactive multimedia courseware; Passive learner models dominant; Constructivist influences begin to appear in educational software design and use.

1990-1995

Web-Based Education & Training

Internet-based content delivery; Active learner models developed; Constructivist perspectives common; Limited end-user interactions.

1995-2005

eLearning

Internet-based flexible courseware deliver; increased interactivity; online multimedia courseware; Distributed constructivist and cognitivist models common; Remote user-user interactions.

2005 -- present

Mobile learning and social networking

Interactive distance courseware distributed online through learning management systems with social networking components; learning that is facilitated via a wireless device such as a PDA, a smart phone or a laptop; learning with portable technologies where the focus is on the mobility of the learner.

Source: (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010)

As shown in the figure above the focus and characteristics of online education have changed with each era and evolved into what is known today as online learning. Barriers to online teaching and learning are stated to include such as "faculty time, rewards, workload, lack of administrative support, cost, course quality, student contact, and equipment concerns as barriers to online teaching practices." (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010)

Research findings indicate that program leaders should "…keep abreast of the technology issues; courses integrate more collaboration between instructors and learners; training be provided to faculty to overcome negative dispositions; leaders attempt to incorporate the need for distance education courses in institutions' missions, and that a reconsideration of tenure and promotion decisions should be examined in an attempt to support faculty workloads." (Keengwe & Kidd, 2010) Inadequate software and hardware as well as internet connections that are slow, procrastination of learners, "…lack of technical expertise among the instructors, insufficient orientation for…

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