Monday, April 02, 2007

Article Note: On Online Instruction for all students

Citation for the article:

Schwartzman, Roy. "Refining the Question: How Can Online Instruction Maximize Opportunities for All Students." Communication Education 56.1 (January 2007): 113-117.

Read it via InformaWorld.

This short essay discusses online instruction. It pays attention to the issue of online instruction reaching students who, for various reasons, could not take advantage of a traditional classroom setting.

The article begins by summarizing some anecdotal evidence regarding online learners. The examples illustrate how online courses are able to reach students with various special needs. The article also points out that "online courses do not offer a panacea for non-traditional students" (115). It also suggests that "to frame the issue as online versus on-campus presents a misleading dichotomy" (115).

For me, the article briefly raises some questions on impact and retention, questions I have been thinking about from other readings. The author states that "interestingly, much of the research on retention does not differentiate non-traditional students or other special needs students from traditional populations" (115). The author also suggests there is a need for further research on learning outcomes and online courses, including social effects.

Note: this article is a response to another article. Citation for the other article:

Allen, T.H. "Raising the Question #1: Is the Rush to Provide Online Instruction Setting Our Students Up for Failure?" Communication Education 55 (2006): 122-126.

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