The Virtual And Physical Classroom

975 Words4 Pages
As a society increasingly dependent on technology in countless aspects of daily life, students and educators have been naturally led to the question of technology’s role in education. Virtual education has divided those who ponder its legitimacy, with most being educators who are directly affected by virtual learning. Advocates argue that the approach is convenient, opportunistic, and effective. Critics of e-learning emphasize the importance of face-to-face contact and accountability. At the root of these arguments is this basic question: how authentic is the virtual world? Can we gain anything of value that can be applied to real life when we sit behind a screen? As American citizens spend hours with devices daily, this is a question that desperately needs to be answered. As Dr. J.B. Arbaugh acknowledges in his comparison of the virtual and physical classroom, there are two dimensions to a classroom that need to be evaluated when considering its effectiveness. Exam performance is important because it shows the the students are comprehending the information, and participation is important because it shows that the students can apply the information to their own interactions (Arbaugh). In his study he put two classes side by side that had the same course material and instructor but was either virtual or traditional in approach. He found that class participation increased within the virtual classroom as more introverted people could more easily post comments online rather
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