Persuasive Essay - Distance Education Versus Face-to-Face Learning

1853 Words Oct 11th, 2010 8 Pages
December 1, 2009
Persuasive Essay – Game Theories

Has Virtual Reality Taken Things Too Far? Distance Education versus Face-to-Face Learning

In Clive Thompson’s “Game Theories”, the author illustrates how virtual worlds, such as Everquest and Second Life, have surprisingly become much like the real world. Everquest is an online virtual reality video game that allows individuals to create fictional characters to “generate goods as they play, often by killing creatures for their treasure and trading it“ (Thompson 332). This has created an economy-like setting in the game but has eventually evolved to leak into the real world economy by exchanging real money for the purchase of virtual characters and their winnings. Thompson’s article shows
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One major downfall of distance education is non-existent interaction that results from learning and working behind a computer. Communication with the teacher is limited to text correspondences and even replies to the emails may be delayed. Comparing this scenario to a classroom course, questions are answered and uncertainties are clarified immediately after the teacher is asked. There is no personal attention given to students and these learners are expected to find their own resources for completing assignments. Not only is interaction limited with teachers, but interaction with other students is limited as well. Randy S. Hanson, Ph. D., made a point that the only interaction with classmates are through email, chat rooms and discussion boards. Parties and offline get-togethers [were] rarely experienced among online students (par. 17). In her article about the controversy of distance education, Roda Joanna Abaya asserts that “students do not learn only on formal and educational conversations. As social beings, it is important that they too interact with others and have informal talks or converse with lighter topics” (par. 8). Another concern that Abaya has about distance education is the lack of hands-on training in online courses (par. 7). Interaction with people and objects are vital in the learning process and because of these missing components in online courses, the effectiveness of education falls short when compared to the
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