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Assignment 2 Annotated Outline Virtual Learning

By: Jennifer Alisha Ashton EDD-9200-OL2 Trends and Issues

Nova Southeastern University October 30, 2010

Virtual Learning Purpose: To demonstrate the benefits and explain the disadvantages of online learning and how these pros and cons will affect the trend of virtual or distance learning in the future. I. Introduction - Virtual Learning Currently there are two basic groups of individuals who utilize the concept of a virtual classroom. First and foremost, is at the university level. At the university level, students range from straight out of high school, students partaking in continuing education courses for employment, or those individuals working on high-level degrees such as the doctorate. The trend of implementing virtual classrooms at the K-12 level is growing, as both teacher and student needs are changing. a. Rice, K. (n.d.). The journal article gives an overall definition of

distance education. The reader must understand what distance education is in order to comprehend the benefits and disadvantages. b. Lei, S. A & Gupta, R. K. (2010, Summer). Lei and Gupta provide their

definition of distance education, which elaborates further on the meaning given by Rice listed above. c. Maddux, C. D. (2005). Within this journal article, the author

describes the size of the web itself and how the usage grew just in a short period of time. The statistics demonstrate to the reader how the use of online resources is continuing to grow worldwide.


Li, C. S., et. al, (2008, June). Li offers valuable statistics that

demonstrate the growth in the amount of online courses, as well as the level of increased enrollment over a short period of time. Understanding the trend of courses offered will explain the shift in increased enrollment, meaning justify the supply versus demand in education. e. Gonick, L. (2010). In this journal, statistics are provided in reference

to the predicted number of students who will partake in the pure online environment over the next 4 years. The statistics point out the importance for accepting the trend of virtual learning to the reader. f. Hodge, E. M. & Collins, S. (2010, May/June). The authors describe

factors to consider for students and teachers, as well as the challenges they both face. They also go on to explain what types of individuals make up the population of online learners. Readers must understand the challenges for facilitators and students in order to make educated decisions for future choices.

1. Definition and Purpose of Virtual Learning for K-12 a. Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October) From the information reviewed, the authors provide a detailed description of the definition and purpose of distance education for K-12 students. While virtual learning may be the same overall concept no matter the age of the student, the tools and delivery methods needed at the K-12 level need to be simplified.

b. Rice, K. (n.d.) To compliment the definition information listed in part a of this section, this author offers additional information beneficial for comprehending the term distance education. 2. Definition and Purpose of Virtual Learning for Higher Education a. Lei, S. A & Gupta, R. K. (2010, Summer). Lei offers an explanation as to why college distance education has become more popular, as well as the purpose for investing in the concept. The article gives the reader additional support as to why distance education is becoming the preferred method of learning. A. Benefits of Virtual Learning As with any change one must discuss the advantages of a program and how the changes will ultimately benefit society. Pointing out the benefits of virtual learning is important in helping society accept the trend. 1. Hodge, E. M. & Collins, S. (2010, May/June). One aspect making this article relevant to the discussion is describing how social interaction is promoted in the virtual world. The virtual learning environment offers the opportunity for students to participate in simulations utilizing multiple learning strategies. Technology provides a large amount of opportunities.

2. Lei, S. A & Gupta, R. K. (2010, Summer). The important piece of information presented in this study is online courses allow institutions to maximize available resources to students around the world. The authors point out distance education assists with the problem of overcrowded classrooms, allows for flexibility of scheduling, and lowers costs by decreasing the need for paper resources. The overall benefits mentioned in this journal study allow the reader to be more apt to partake in a distance learning course in an effort to help save the environment. 3. Laurillard, D. (2007, July). In this article, important facts are provided to help the reader understand how differentiated instruction can be accomplished by using a variety of technological methods in a distance learning course. Strategies are mentioned to assist with audio and visual learners. At the conclusion of the article ideas are mention to suggest the trend for hands on learners to participate in a 3-D distance learning environment. B. Disadvantages with Virtual Learning When analyzing the disadvantages of concept, the intention is not necessarily to sway an audiences opinion, rather to encourage individuals to come up with a solution that will help to make improvements.

1. Hodge, E. M. & Collins, S. (2010, May/June). The authors present an important disadvantage many individuals encounter: difficulty with the technology working, different levels of sophistication for technology used in the online classroom, or on the other hand inexperience with the technology. Another important disadvantage discussed is the lack of training for some faculty. 2. Hurt, J. (2008, Summer). Hurt provides information relative to the disadvantages for students. These disadvantages include the feeling of isolation, limitations of technology, and lack of experience with technology. II. Conclusion Society is in a state of expecting instant gratification whether for emotional, financial, or educational needs. In order to meet the demand of instant expectations in education, virtual learning is a platform which will enable teachers and facilitators to reach out to students around the world. Virtual learning allows for individuals, no matter the age, background, learning ability, or where they are located, to have the opportunity to learn and pursue dreams. a. Gonick, L. (2010). Gonick provides a description of what is necessary to educate society, the importance of meaningful curriculum, and what leadership needs to do make distance learning successful for all parties involved. This information

explains why there are advantages and disadvantages, yet we will continue to see a growth in online learning. b. Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The authors go onto explain what difficulties going on in the traditional classroom is motivating the need for online learning. Information is mentioned in regards to overcrowded schools, teacher shortages due to budget cuts, and lack of ability to build new facilities.

Annotated References There are numerous resources covering the future of distance learning. The selection criteria for the list of references below includes: recency of publication, readability of the materials, and application of the content to the overall purpose of the paper. Each piece of work contains important

information relevant to discussing aspects of distance education, including the advantages and disadvantages, and where the trend is expected to go in the future. Gonick, L. (2010). Future of Higher Education. EDUCAUSE Review, 33(3). Although this peer reviewed journal article is brief, the author points out an important statistic demonstrating the urgency of continuing to develop virtual learning programs. The author is able to point out a benefit, a disadvantage, as well as what leadership should view as an opportunity. Hodge, E. M. & Collins, S. (2010, May/June). Collaborative Efforts: Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds. EDUCAUSE Review, 45(3), 62-63. The purpose of this journal article is to discuss the shift from the traditional classroom to the virtual classroom. Information within this article supports the need for virtual learning as budget cuts and the current state of the economy take away resources needed which help students reach their academic goals. Success in the virtual environment depends on the technical training, content knowledge, and dedication of the instructor which ultimately affects the success of the student. The author points out the success in virtual learning, is a collaborative effort created by social interaction. Information contained in the article is explained at a level any reader can comprehend. Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for Instructional Design on the Potential of the Web. TechTrends, 52(5), 63-67. This journal article is part of a three part series discussing the evolution of distance education. Within this segment, the authors focus on the evolution of K-12 virtual schools. They provide clear definitions of the purpose of online schools in the K-12 environment, as well as advantages, and where they feel the trend is moving towards. The article is successful in explaining the learning population, how virtual learning is being researched, as well as what training is needed for professionals. These facts are important when analyzing the future trend of distance learning, Hurt, J. (2008, Summer). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Teaching and Learning On-line. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 74(4), 5-11.

Information presented within this journal articles supports the discussion of the advantages and disadvantages to the virtual classroom. The author conducted a qualitative study from an instructors point of view. Opinions presented offer a clear explanation as to obstacles to overcome, as well as changes to be implemented in order to continue to promote distance learning. Laurillard, D. (2007, July). Modeling benefits-oriented costs for technology enhancing learning. Higher Education, 54(1), 21-39. Laurillard explains in detail the cost benefits of distance learning. The importance of this article is due to the information provided in regards to the future trend of supply and demand for distance coursework. In addition, the author describes the advantages for various learning styles, as well as what types of tools will be implemented in the future to enhance the learning process. Lei, S. A & Gupta, R. K. (2010, Summer). College Distance Education Courses: Evaluating Benefits and Costs from Institutional, Faculty, and Students Perspective. Education, 130(4), 616-631. This elaborate study offer crucial information in understanding what distance education is, the advantages of distance education, and breaks down the information further by both student and faculty perspectives. The importance of this study demonstrates to different viewpoints how distance education is important for the future of the learning process. Lei and Gupta provide non-bias information based upon researched evidence. Li, C. S., et. al, (2008, June). An Overview of Online Education: Attractiveness, Benefits, Challenges, Concerns, and Recommendations. College Student Journal, 42(2), 449-458. Although this journal article points out the benefits of distance learning and the challenges to overcome, the importance of this article to this paper comes from statistical information presented demonstrating the number of online courses, the number of enrollments, as we as revenues generated. Additionally, the author points of what caused the shift from traditional classrooms to virtual classrooms and the unique qualities online programs offer. Maddux, C. D. (2005). The Web in K-12 Education, Computers in the Schools, 21(3), 149-165. DOI: 10.1300/J025V21n03_14 Maddox presents key information necessary to determining the future of distance learning for K-12 students. The journal article states

statistics explaining how the web began and approximately how many users the world has right now. Although the article discusses problems which exist, the author makes sure to explain the advantages of virtual learning. Many elements are discussed including access, pedagogical advantages, as well as cultural barriers. The article concludes explaining making predictions in reference to technology is difficult, however distance education offers potential as a catalyst to modernize the educational system. Rice, K. (n.d.) Priorities in K-12 Distance Education : A Delphi Study Examining Multiple Perspectives on Policy, Practice, and Research. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (3), 163-177. Information provided in this peer reviewed journal article is elaborate and scientific. Although the charts are intimidating to the average reader, the verbiage in the reading itself offers important details defining what distance education for K-12 learners. The study analyzes the full process of virtual learning ranging from accountability, to access, to professional development, and the accreditation process. The content within the article allows leadership, faculty, and parents to not only understand the process, but also the overall advantages of virtual learning.