Thesis Statement: Online education offers new and improved education for students with a variety of disabilities and special needs, including lower costs, convenience and flexibility, and personal enhancement through technology knowledge and materials designed with specific special needs in mind.
Thesis statement: Online education offers new and improved education for students with a variety of disabilities and special needs, including lower costs, convenience and flexibility, and personal enhancement through technology knowledge and materials designed with specific special needs in mind.
II. Lower Costs
- Competitive marketplace
- New delivery models
- Cheaper materials/textbooks
III. Convenience and Flexibility
- Easy Accessibility
- Pacing of Learning
IV. Student Personal Enhancement
- Less stress and improved personal life
- More experience with technology
- Preparedness for the future
Lower Costs: Phil Hill’s “Online Educational Delivery Models: A Descriptive View”
Hill’s article describes a number of factors concerning the differences and similarities of traditional and online education, from delivery models and pressures to student costs and competition. Hill champions online education as the model for the future, because new delivery methods place it on par with face-to-face traditional education. When it comes to costs, the lowered cost of online education is an important factor. In the past, schools that offered online education had little competition, and therefore little incentive to charge lower prices for the service. However, ultimately costs for students are lowered because of a competitive marketplace, improved delivery models, and cheaper materials such as textbooks.
Paraphrapse (3. Online Education Should Lower, Not Raise, Student Costs):
The newest models for delivery of online education are designed to improve access to education at a lower cost than traditional education, even at the best schools. However, a survey conducted in 2011 discovered that about 93% of online education programs offered by traditional schools cost equal to or above that of their traditional programs. Before there were new models of delivery for online education, these traditional schools had no incentive to charge less for online programs, but once the new models are adopted more universally, the marketplace will become more competitive and the costs will drop for students.
Convenience and Flexibility: Pontes et al.’s “Variables Related to Undergraduate Students Preference for Distance Education Classes.”
Pontes et al. conducted research to discover why students may prefer distance or online education over traditional models. One of the top reasons they discovered that students prefer online education is because it provides flexibility in class schedules. Additionally, it brings convenience to disabled students because it brings down their access barriers that they may encounter in traditional face-to-face educational settings. Finally, Pontes et al. discovered that distance education is likely to increase education complete rates for non-traditional students including students with physical disabilities.
A big advantage for all students in distance education courses is that there is no need to travel to a classroom. Online education allows students to complete classes from their homes. Therefore, students who have physical disabilities that cause restricted mobility will probably prefer online education versus face-to-face course because it helps them overcome one of their limitations.
Titone describes how a fifth grade student diagnosed with hyperactivity and learning disabilities is able, with the help of online learning, to catch up with her classmates by the time she reached seventh grade. Although online learning can benefit any student, the focus of Washington State doctoral candidate Kimberly Coy’s research is to see how online education can enhance the lives and benefit disabled children. Coy emphasizes individualized plans for learning so that a wider variety of students can be reached.
Doctoral candidate Kimberly Coy believes that it is necessary for researchers to give students and teachers tools that allow for constructive and collaborative learning. This allows students to work at their own specific level and pace. Coy says the tools are there, but are often neglected, including web chats, videos, microphones, cameras, and small-group breakout rooms.
Hill, Phil. Online Educational Delivery Models: A Descriptive View. Educause Review Online, 1 Nov. 2012. Web.
Pontes, Manuel, Hasit, Cindi, Pontes, Nancy, Lewis, Phillip, and Siefring, Karen. Variables Related to Undergraduate Students Preference for Distance Education Classes. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration 8.2, Summer 2010. Web.
Titone, Julie. Research helps teachers improve online learning. Washington State University News Archive, 14 Dec. 2012. Web.