“Can You Be Educated from a Distance” an Objective Look Into Distance Learning

729 Words3 Pages
Timothy Short
WR121 Tu/Th 3:00p-4:50p
Essay Two
Dr. Sheila Brown
“Can You Be Educated from a Distance”
An objective look into distance learning

“Can You Be Educated from a Distance,” an insightful essay by James Barszcz, brings to focus some of the benefits and disadvantages of Distance Learning education (DL). In it, Barszcz discusses the mechanics of DL courses available to students, the quality of education DL can offer, and some reasoning behind its rapidly growing popularity. “Can You Be Educated from a Distance” is an engaging article that students of all ages can benefit from. Barszcz cleverly introduces a seemingly positive example why DL is an effective form of education, and then gives a more logical reason why it is
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However, Barszcz points out that freshman enrolled in only DL courses are 15 percent more likely to drop out, and that the “Students themselves seem to understand the weaknesses inherent in the setup.”(7) Another example of this is where the author speaks of a survey conducted for eCornell. The survey showed that “Less than a third of the respondents expected the quality of the on-line courses to be as good as the classroom course.”(7) Barszcz strongly produces yet another illustration: “Regardless of their expectations or desires,” (7) Fairleigh Dickinson University students, “are now required to take one DL course per year.”(7) This is supposed to give students the skills necessary to function properly in today’s technological age. Conversely, he explains that these universities are more interested in making money that preparing their students for the future.
In Barszczs’ essay conclusion, he gives poetically clear examples why students will benefit from taking campus-based courses. He stresses the value of face to face interaction between the students and the faculty. Being late to a class, or missing an assignment has a stronger effect if the student has to personally interact with the instructor. Barszcz defines the word education as a process of “drawing out”, stating that campus life can “draw out, from within a person, qualities of intellect and character that would have otherwise remained hidden or dormant.” (8).
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