On-campus education vs. online education! Is one better than the other? Can one completely replace the other? Indeed it seems that online education is the way of the future. Educational institutions, corporations and government organizations alike already offer various forms of electronic teaching. However, can a computer truly replace a teacher and a blackboard?How people learnEach individual has a form of learning that suits them best. Some individuals achieve fantastic results in courses taught online, however most people drop out of 100% computer-led courses. Educational institutions, as well as companies in carrying out staff training, must recognize that there is no ideal way to carry out the teaching of a large group of individuals, and so must design programs that best suits the needs of the group as a whole.People learn using multiple senses. This involves learning through both theoretical components of a course, as well as social interaction with both instructors and other students. Students learn from each other’s mistakes and successes, not just from what they are told by instructors.Each individual student has an ideal learning pace. Instructors are therefore faced with the challenge of designing courses that move forward such that those students with a slower learning pace do not get left behind, while not moving so slowly that students with faster learning paces get bored.Online educationIn the age of high-speed information transfer, online education is becoming a popular and cheap means for delivering teaching to individuals outside the classroom, and in some cases all over the world. Teaching can be via CD, websites, or through real-time online facilities such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms. However, different methods of online education each have their own advantages and disadvantages.Online education is still a relatively new concept, and in many respects still in the teething stages. As such, various problems arrive across different online education environments. For example:1. Lack of immediate feedback in asynchronous learning environments: While some online education environments such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms operate live with the addition of an instructor, most do not. Teaching that is delivered through a CD or website, although having the advantage of being self-paced, provides no immediate feedback from a live instructor.2. More preparation required on the part of the instructor: In an online education environment, an instructor can not simply stand in front of a whiteboard and deliver a class. Lessons in online education environments must be prepared ahead of time, along with any notes and instructions that may accompany the teaching.In many cases it would also be necessary that the instructor not only understands the concepts being taught, but the technology used to deliver that teaching. This therefore increases the skill-levels needed of online education instructors, placing greater demand on educational institutions.Staffing levels may also be higher for courses run in an online education environment, requiring for example:The Instructor – able to teach both course content and be skilled in the use of technologies involvedThe Facilitator – to assist the instructor in delivering content, but may do so remotelyHelp Desk – to offer assistance to instructors, facilitators and students in the use of both software and hardware used to deliver the course.3. Not all people are comfortable with online education: Education is no longer only sought by the world’s youth. With an increased trend towards adult and continuing education, there is a need to design courses suitable for students over a larger age-range, as well as students from different and varied backgrounds. It is difficult, however, to design online education environments suitable for everyone.4. Increased potential for frustration, anxiety and confusion: In an online education environment, there are a greater number of parts making up the system that can fail. Server failures may prevent online courses from operating. Software based teaching applications may require other specific components to operate. Computer viruses may infect software necessary to run online education environments. If these systems are complex, students may choose the ease of On-campus education rather than taking the additional time and effort necessary to master the use of online education systems.5. The Digital Divide: Many people who live in remote areas and developing countries do not have access to computers, making any form of online education virtually impossible. For this reason, online education is only able to be targeted at the people lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the technology involved. Similarly, offering live teaching across the world means that different time zones and nationalities increase the demand for multi-skilled instructors.In addition to these, there are also several legal issues associated with maintaining an online education environment. For example, intellectual property laws, particularly those relating to copyright, may or may not fully cover electronically created intellectual property. For example, information on a website is not necessarily considered to be public domain, despite being available to everyone. However, the Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2001 to ensure that copyright owners of electronic materials, including online education environments, could continue to provide their works commercially.On-Campus EducationStill the most common form of instruction is traditional classroom-style learning. These instructor-led environments are more personal than online education environments, and also have the advantage of allowing for immediate feedback both to and from student and teachers alike. However, the classroom allows for less flexibility than courses run in online education environments.Instructors in modern classroom environments are still able to take advantage of several forms of electronic teaching tools while still maintaining the atmosphere associated with the traditional classroom environment. For example, PowerPoint slides can be utilized instead of a whiteboard or blackboard. Handouts can be distributed via course websites prior to the event. However, on the day, students are still able to actively participate in the lesson.Like online education environments, On-campus education comes with certain drawbacks, the most common of which is the classroom itself. This requires a group of people which, in a university for example, could reach a few hundred people in size, to gather in the same place at the same time. This requires enormous time and financial commitment on behalf of both the students and the educational institution.However, it is this sort of environment that is most familiar to students across the world. People of all ages can access a classroom environment feeling comfortable with the way that a classroom-run course is carried out. Older students who may not be comfortable with the use of information technology are not required to navigate their way through possibly complex online education environments, making On-campus education the most accessible form of teaching.On-campus education has one advantage that 100% electronically delivered courses can not offer – social interaction. Learning comes from observing, not only what is written on a page or presented in a slideshow, but what is observed in others. Most students are naturally curious, and so will want to ask questions of their instructors. The classroom environment allows students to clarify what is being taught not only with their instructors, but with other students.So, Which is Better?There is no style of instruction that will best suit every student. Studies have shown (Can online education replace On-campus education) that courses where online education is used to complement On-campus education have proved more effective than courses delivered entirely using only one method. These courses take advantage of both online education materials and a live instructor, and have produced results higher than those of students in either 100% online education or classroom environment courses. Students have the advantage of the immediate feedback and social interaction that comes with the classroom environment, as well as the convenience of self-paced online education modules that can be undertaken when it best suits the student.It would seem that online education environments will never completely replace On-campus education. There is no “one size fits all” method of teaching. Teaching styles will continue to adapt to find the method that best fits the learning group. Using a mix of online education environments and classroom sessions, educational institutions, corporations and government organizations can ensure that training is delivered that is convenient and effective for both instructors and students alike.
Students have numerous opportunities available to them when gaining an education in engineering. The industry is concerned with taking scientific and mathematical components and applying them to the design and development of products. Students should begin their educational training by exploring the options available at accredited universities across the United States.Training is challenging but students walk away with the skills to apply mathematics and science to solving a variety of technical problems. Curriculums are dedicated to teaching students the processes required to create, design, and produce products and structures. Education is offered at all degree levels and students can choose from various specializations that prepare them for their professional goals.Students that enter degree programs learn specific implementation procedures that have been used in realistic situations. Procedures will look different according to the concentration chosen but all programs focus on teaching students design practices and cost management, which work together to solve monetary issues. For example, a biomedical engineer uses a particular system and research-based approach to design new prosthetic limbs. Available concentration areas include:
These options only show a limited selection of the possible career field’s students can enter after completing degree programs. Students typically begin their education at the bachelor’s degree level because most entry-level careers require employees to have obtained a four-year degree in their specialty.Civil engineering is seen everyday in bridges, public infrastructures, roads, and more. Education covers multiple practices in order to accomplish the engineering aspects that go into designing and constructing products. Programs provide students with the skills to calculate the stress on buildings, monitor hazardous wastes, evaluate structural designs, and estimate the composition of soils. Engineering physics, economics, hydraulics, and technical communications are some main courses that are completed within a program.Students interested in working to protect the Earth may want to consider working through degree programs in environmental engineering. All areas of hazardous waste disposal are explored. Training is based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations, which include producing systems that correctly and safely store hazardous materials. Courses teach students disposal practices, Earth science standards, and engineering principles that prepare them to become professionals. Subjects include hazardous materials such as acid rain, polluted water, and gas. Students become vital members of firms that act on a company’s behalf to correct problems associated with these different components.Mechanical engineering is another popular educational training option. Training teaches students to design mechanical systems and machines. The practices used to analyze and create mechanical aspects of numerous machines are heavily studied inside a degree program. Electric circuits, differential equations, planning systems, and computer graphics are all course subjects that train students for several careers. Upon graduation students can enter careers in agriculture, tool design, and machine design.The engineering field is broad making it a viable option for a plethora of students that are interested in careers that combine mathematics, science, and technical areas. Students should research the options to find programs available to them that match their future career aspirations, and carry full accreditation from an agency like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology ( http://www.abet.org/ ). Step inside an engineering degree program and begin learning to become a successful engineer.DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.
Education is a slow process. There can be no shortcuts to a true and valued education. The acquisition of knowledge is not something to be confused with education. Factual learning and the development of knowledge-based learning is relevant in the process of acquiring an education, but this is merely a step in a process that never ends. The pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge can at times be more ornamental than anything else, yet oftentimes is still coined, or regarded, as education.True education extends far beyond the acquisition of knowledge, and is more than vocational training or preparation. Much of modern day forms of advanced education are vocational training that is essentially more or less preparation to qualify a student for entry into a particular career field. This too is oftentimes regarded as education, however, true education, similar to the acquisition of knowledge, is much more than this.The acquisition of professional or vocational training through institutions of higher learning is driven by the desire or intent to “succeed” in modern society through means of professional advancement and accomplishment. Material effects, tangible results, numbers, and power, however, determine such advances, and forms of professional success. An education that concentrates emphasis on such outcomes, or is in such a way goal orientated, is not in line with what might be referred to as a traditional or classical form of education.Modern education is easily compared to a business whereby the objective is to teach efficiency according to the capitalist code of social function. In this sense education is being used as a means to a certain end, rather than according to the more classical and traditional intention of aiding an individual in personal development and human growth intended to discipline the mind and ennoble the spirit.What is typically considered to be education by modern standards is more often than not that which is geared toward success and profit, which translates into social image and status, which is then used to convert social groups into a certain form of belief system. This is not the true definition of education. This is formalized training. Compared to classical subjects such as philosophy, the study of science, medicine, and most recently trade and commerce, or business, as education are relatively new forms of what are commonly accepted as education.True education, however, transcends all categories and subject areas that are taught, practiced, or trained. It is a way of life. It is an approach to living; a way of thinking and operating that comes from a slow maturation over time. As there are no short cuts in education, it is not so much what you have studied, and what you have learned, so much as it is what your studying and learning has taught you about yourself, life, the human condition, and moral values.What in modern society is today considered formal education should, ideally, only be considered an introduction to a person’s true education. The pursuit of understanding and the continued application of what one has learned in his or her own life and mode of living are a form of true education. It is something that if continued throughout one’s life carries the potential to yield the most precious results that are to be offered from the pursuit of education itself.True education is a combination of how a person approaches life, lives their life, values their life, and learns from their life’s experience. Knowledge can be deceiving. True education must involve a form of self-mastery, whereby there exists a result that impacts behavior. The pursuit of knowledge may often be ego-driven, and a side effect of vanity. Knowledge or professional training, regardless of the field, do not necessarily equal education. Education is more a form of behavioral reform that arises from introspection, self-analysis, and understanding, which can only truly take place slowly, over the span of an entire lifetime.