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The Great Debate
The workings of the training and development industry are fascinating — they are full of fruits of discussion that bring into play everything from elementary learning theories to the use of advanced technologies. The topics are endless, the opinions expressive and expansive. There’s plenty of common ground, but even that’s crisscrossed with opposing viewpoints on other educational aspects.
Education is the great equalizer, even as the elements themselves are debated everywhere from Internet chat rooms to Harvard Yard. But debate is good — it helps us learn about others and learn about ourselves. Forming cogent arguments helps solidify opinion, and it can even alter irrational beliefs.
So here’s a topic worthy of spirited discussion, a subject that’s both the product of a new age and an argument imbued with a sense of history: Which education method is more successful: traditional classroom learning or online education? Naturally, the online aspect is a more recent wrinkle, but the heart of the argument is time-honored: Does education take place best in a classroom or at some other point of contact?
Before you rush to your keyboard to share your opinion (something I’d love you to do), let’s set the stage just a bit more.
I recently read a report on a study conducted by Drexel e-Learning and Philadelphia University. The study surveyed the education experiences of adult learners, with about half being online students and about half in traditional degree programs.
The results were fascinating, but we’re not going to resolve the debate here today — the key conclusions were that both traditional and online adult students have similar expectations, similar academic experiences and similar results. Quoth the study: “It appears that the academic perception and quality of traditional and online degree programs is comparative, competitive and provides students with great program delivery options.”
Some other interesting findings:
The Next Generation of HR: Whatâ€™s Wrong? Whatâ€™s Right?
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