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RUNNING HEAD: ONLINE LEARNING

Online Learning
Madeline Person
Regent University

RUNNING HEAD: ONLINE LEARNING

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Online Learning

Online education has been on the rise for over two decades and has become common place in
higher education. Online education has continued to expand into K-12 education as teachers look for new
ways to engage their students. However, it would seem that there are some barriers that are preventing
this kind of education from expanding as rapidly as it has in higher education (Carver, 2016, pg. 115).

When attempting to discover the profitability of K-12 online learning there seems to be a
research gap that prevents a large amount of conclusive evidence from being discovered
(Ronsisvalle, Watkins, 2005, n.p.).
In the article, Teacher Perception of Barriers and Benefits in K-12 Technology Usage, Dr. Lin B.
Carver, outlined a research project that attempted to discover what the main barriers were preventing
teachers from incorporating technology into their classroom. Carver showed those students who had , a

1:1 digital environment outperformed students who were taught in a more traditional classroom
when given a complex, computer-based learning task (Carver, 2016, pg. 110). If this is the case,
then why isnt technological involvement increasing exponentially? This was the question that
the research answered. Research showed that, Equipment availability, more than any other
factor, seemed to have the greatest impact on whether technology was incorporated into
classroom instruction (Carver, 2016, pg. 115).
Despite Carvers seemingly conclusive evidence that availability is the main issue
restricting the growth of online learning. Other authors argue that there simply isnt enough
research to make conclusive arguments about the profitability of online learning compared to a
traditional classroom. Ryan Watkins and Tammy Ronsisvalle, also acknowledge that online
learning has experienced rapid growth in higher education such as college level; however, K-12
online learning is still relatively new. Watkins and Ronsisvalle argue that there is not enough

RUNNING HEAD: ONLINE LEARNING

research available to accurately determine how successful online learning is apart from theory.
There have been some schools that have implemented this approach and have seen success
however, more research is still needed. Before laying out their research the authors stated, We
will primarily refer to research conducted with university students, and note that any
generalizations to younger students would have to be validated through research before any
policy implications can be accurately recommended (Ronsisvalle, Watkins, 2005, n.p.). One
thing can be shown, online education provides opportunity for more curricular offerings and help
regain students into public education, however, further research is required in many areas to
overcome challenges (Ronsisvalle, Watkins, 2005, n.p.).
Michael Barbour also analyzed the research that has been conducted on K-12 online learning and
concluded that not only is more research needed, but a different kind of research. Barbour discusses how
that even though online education has been utilized for over 20 years, the amount of accurate research has
been very limited. Barbour argues that instead of focusing on research that compares performances of
students, it should focus on, effective design and delivery of K-12 online learning, how best to support
K-12 online learners and understanding the experience of the lower performing or at-risk learner in an
effort to improve their chances of success in the online environment (Barbour, 2010, pg. 7).
As a future educator, these findings show me that online learning does indeed have some benefits.
However, I cannot be sure that online learning in the K-12 environment is the superior form of education,
which would require more research. One thing that I learned from reading these articles is that instead of
spending my time figuring out if online learning is a better method, I should invest my time in
discovering the best way of incorporating it into my classroom. Online learning is a new and exciting way
to engage students and it does not have to be the sole way in which I engage them. Online learning is still
developing therefore; the best gift I can give to my students is to not be fearful of change but to adapt to
the best change.

RUNNING HEAD: ONLINE LEARNING

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References

Barbour, M. K. (2010). Researching K-12 online learning: What do we know and what should we
examine? Distance Learning, 7(2), 6-12. Retrieved from http://0
search.proquest.com.library.regent.edu/docview/853890137?accountid=13479
Carver, L.B. (2016). Teacher perception of barriers and benefits in K-12 technology usage. TOJET :
The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 15(1) Retrieved from http://0
search.proquest.com.library.regent.edu/docview/1785478409?accountid=13479
Ronsisvalle, T., & Watkins, R. (2005). Student Success in Online K-12 Learning. Quarterly Review of
Distance Education, 6(2), 117-124,184. Retrieved from http://0
search.proquest.com.library.regent.edu/docview/231079782?accountid=13479