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The Salvation of Education: Mixing Traditional and Technological Methods

Ninety-three percent of communication is non-verbal; which is picked up through visible body language and tone of voice (qtd. Yaffe, 2011). For this reason, a whole lecture point or classmate conversation may be misinterpreted over the internet. Colleges and universities are leaning more towards online learning to invite more students, but are they unintentionally doing a disservice by offering complete degree programs online? Opportunely traditional educators have adapted their teaching styles to these changing times—allowing students to participate in online activities and discussions while still attending a traditional lecture. These developments in traditional learning environments are a stride in the right direction. Incorporating online strategies within the classroom will expand on the student’s higher-level of critical thinking and enable them to achieve optimum self-development; resulting in a sharpened society.
An educational journey will challenge the mind and open doors for students. The educational system is designed for students to become well-rounded individuals—the best version of themselves. College is a time for growth through lessons, and students expect these challenges. Instructors have uncertainties about online learning—especially now that degree programs can be completely done online. Instantly, it is possible to take any course needed to complete a degree program. Unfortunately, more opportunities are missed rather than gained when solely learning online.
Web-based courses are becoming more attractive for college students because it is more accommodating to earn a full degree on their own time. Students can fit classes into their daily lives and log-off with a degree. Toufaily, a teacher in marketing research, business research, and quantitative data analysis constructs a research project, “What Do Learners Value in Online Education?” She uses strategies from credible researchers to ensure that her work accurately results in evidence of the “gets” and “gives” of both online and traditional education.
“Results show that two main components. . .[of] student’s value when deciding to enroll in online courses are convenience and flexibility” (Toufaily, 2018). Yet, colleges and universities offer night classes as well as hybrid classes in order to help accommodate those that have busy lives. A hybrid class is set up with a shorter traditional lecture and picks up through online learning. Adding online strategies to the firm foundation of traditional lecture have shown to bring about growth in colleges, students, and the instructors. Colleges can welcome more students and instructors are discovering new methods of teaching to get their lessons across to the students in the most effective way; which results in a better understanding for the students.
Furthermore, completing education exclusively online takes away from the traditional learning atmosphere by disengaging students from professor and peer interactions, social development, and real-life experiences and practices. College is the place to learn course objectives, but it is also where social development and real-life experiences take place. Important trade-offs are made when making the decision to earn a degree online. Higher level education already takes away from social activities outside of school because of the increase work load—on top of daily commitments. As described by researcher, Toufaily, students had feelings of isolation and spoke about limited interaction with their peers in online classes, “. . .belonging (i.e., loss of interaction and human contact) and personal (i.e., self-determination and isolation) sacrifices seemed more consequential at this stage. . .” (Toufaily, 2018). It is clearly observed within this research that human interaction cannot be replicated in an online learning environment.
Additionally, web-based learning takes away from the full benefits of learning, which dwindles the full potential of the student. Melissa A. Broeckelman-Post the “Introductory Communication Course Director, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and a Senior Scholar in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University,” and author of, “Online versus Face-to-Face Public Speaking Outcomes: A Comprehensive Assessment,” studies the differences between an online and face to face course in Public Speaking. As observed, public speaking classes should include: “public speaking performance, course performance, public speaking anxiety reduction, enhanced communication competence, and student engagement” (Broeckelaman, 2019).
This research brings forth evidence that students in an online public speaking class demonstrated a reduced level of anxiety in their presentations. “The technology might explain the observed differences in online courses, which permits students to correct mistakes and re-record a presentation before submitting it. . .” (Broecklman, 2019). These students can avoid their anxiety by participating in the comfort of their home. However, it takes facing challenges and reflecting on experiences to flourish.
Although, Broeckelman’s study supports success in online courses as closely equal to traditional courses, depth of learning is not based off success in a course; learning is more about the process of attaining that knowledge. Not only are the students losing the ability to interact with other classmates and their instructor, but they are losing quality in their learning.
According to the cognitive research covered in How People Learn, environments that best promote learning have four interdependent aspects—they focus on learners, well-organized knowledge, ongoing assessment for understanding, and community support and challenge. (Mcdaniel, 2018).
Getting the best foundation of knowledge will transcend critical thinking skills beyond college. It is the most important skill a focused student will gain in their college career and influence their desire to continue learning after college.
In Bloom’s Taxonomy system, it breaks down learning into six different categories; remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Educators already use this to “design classroom activities and out-of-class assignments” (Gardner 236). Utilizing this model more effectively in an educational setting will allow for growth in critical thinking skills. “Having these skills will help [students] become a competent and confident individual who is capable of contributing to the larger society by helping solve community and national problems” (Gardner 226).
Academic fields of studies continue to grow as more information and theories are created. “Programs have achieved this increased exposure to content with relatively little change in time to degree completion. . .” (Murray, 2014). For example, in a physical therapy class that calls for practicing learned material. Murray expresses within her research, that it is difficult to fit all this material students need to learn in such little class time. She presents a study on the effectiveness of a flipped classroom approach. A flipped classroom is where instructors can utilize different techniques in their teaching styles by influencing more independent learning outside of class. The results showed that student’s “[p]erformance was approximately 4-5 points higher in all categories when utilizing online learning prior to the onsite class and did not harm the students academically” (Murray, 2014).
It is difficult to replicate courses and interactions to their utmost potential in a solely online setting. A flipped classroom is a stride in the right direction because students will get the best of both learning practices. It is crucial to have detailed structure when mixing methods to effectively engage the students. This will allow students to gain control over their schedules while receiving all that college has to offer. In the benefit of future career endeavors, students do not disregard their social development in a flipped classroom. Traditional class time can be used to expand on a higher-level of learning—analyzing, evaluating, and creating—resulting in an even more innovative society.

Works Cited
Broeckelman-Post, Melissa A.; Hyatt Hawkins, Katherine E.; Arciero, Anthony R.; and Malterud, Andie S. (2019) “Online versus Face-to-Face Public Speaking Outcomes: A Comprehensive Assessment,” Basic Communication Course Annual: Vol. 31, Article 10.
Broeckelman-Post, Melissa A. “Melissa A. Broeckelman-Post.” Communication: College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George Mason University, 2019.
Gardner, John N., et al. Understanding Your College Experience: Strategies for Success. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017.
Mcdaniel, Rhett, and John D. Bransford. “How People Learn.” Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University, 7 May 2018.
Murray, Leigh, et al. “Flipping the Classroom Experience: A Comparison of Online Learning to Traditional Lecture.” Journal of Physical Therapy Education (American Physical Therapy Association, Education Section), vol. 28, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 35–41. EBSCOhost.
Toufaily, Elissar, et al. “What Do Learners Value in Online Education? An Emerging Market Perspective.” E-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship of Teaching, vol. 12, no. 2, Sept. 2018, pp. 24–39. EBSCOhost.
Yaffe, Philip. “Ubiquity: The 7% Rule.” Acm, 2011.

Impact of China’s One-Child Policy on the Educational Attainment

The topic of this article was to study the impact of China’s One-Child Policy on the educational attainment of teenagers. In January 1979, the Chinese government enacted a controversial One-Child Policy that severely limited a couple to have only one child. Since the implementation of the One-Child Policy, many academic articles had discussed the impact of the policy on family fertility, nutrition and health of children. However, little research had been done on its effect on children’s education. This study is important because it helps people get more attention to the positive impact of education level promotion of the One-Child Policy. Although China’s One-Child Policy has aroused great controversy, it was supported by the influential quantity-quality model proposed by Becker and Lewis (1973), which shows that the reduction of the number of children will lead to more resources being allocated to each child and then improve the average quality of children (Rosenzweig and Zhang, 2006).
The empirical justice for the researchers can be found in the previous studies that are mentioned in this article. A survey of 1,465 children in order to examine only child and children’s academic achievements with siblings in urban and rural areas of Changchun by Poston Falbo (1990), a study of the effect on the presence of siblings in rural education by Brown and Park (2002), a study of education level and school graduation for a group of young people born before and after the birth of the One-Child Policy by Connery and Zheng (2003), and a survey of the comparison of the learning process on twins and one-child families by Rosenzweig and Zhang (2006) were all of great help to those who had studied the impact of the One-Child Policy on children’s academic performance over the years. However, due to the early discovery and the lack of new discoveries in recent years, the author re-studied China’s One-Child Policy in 2011. The hypothesis of this article is that the One-Child Policy had a positive effect on the growth of educational attainment over time. The independent variables are two generations born before and after the One-Child Policy, who are in similar age. The dependent variables include the education level of parents, the financial level of the family, the varying degrees of the One-Child Policy regulation in different communities.
In this study, the number of participants was 13,037, and they were between 11 and 21 years old at the time of the survey. The survey population covered more than 4,000 individuals from different socio-economic families in nine provinces, including Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Guizhou and Jiangsu. In order to test the hypothesis that children born after the One-Child Policy are better educated, the author divided the sample into two groups: the pre- and post- One-Child Policy group. To better understand the impact of China’s One-Child Policy on educational achievement, the author used a Multistage Mixed Effect Model of educational achievement for each cohort, and then compared the impact of changes between the two cohorts, as it can identify and explain similarities or correlations between children from the same community. Moreover, in order to determine the accuracy of the experiment, the authors identified communities governed by varying degrees of the One-Child Policy regulation. The survey showed, on average, 18 percent of the sample lived in communities where all couples were allowed to have two children, and 34 percent lived in communities where couples were allowed to have a second child if the first child was a girl. However, it was worth noting that the One-Child Policy within the community varies significantly over time.
The preliminary analysis of the article was that some provinces, especially urban cities, may have better physical and financial support for children’s education. In this return, one would expect a richer, more urbanized province with higher levels of education. The results of the sample did show that rural communities were statistically less educated. Experimental evidence showed that the national economic situation was better after the One-Child Policy, and had been greatly improved. A higher proportion of the sample owned more property, cars, and lived in communities with improved equipment and conditions. According to the survey, after the One-Child Policy was enacted, the number of urban families with cars increased from 10% to 45%. A large number of people live on asphalt roads, rather than dirt roads, also increase from 17% to 56%. Thus, it can be seen that the standard of living of urban people has improved a lot since the promulgation of the One-Child Policy.
One of the main findings is that although children born after the One-Child Policy had a lower average age, they were generally more educated and received education longer, compared to the pre-policy group according to the study. The study shows that for children born after the One-Child Policy whose were at the average age of 14.47, the average time of education has reached 8.74 years. In other words, children born after the One-Child Policy, on average, attend school from the age of 5.7. For the children born before the One-Child Policy, the average age in the sample was 16.46 years old, and the average time of their education was 7.61 years, which means that they started learning from the age of 8.85 on average. By contrast, it was three years later to learn for children born before the One-Child Policy than those born after the One-Child Policy.
The finding is important because based on the survey, it did show that China’s One-Child Policy had a crucial and significant effect on children’s education achievement, and, more importantly, it had confirmed that China’s One-Child Policy did raise the education level of the children, also as slogan said: let more children get better education, so as to improve the well-being of the children. Moreover, as the author hypothesized, family wealth and parents’ education level are also important factors in determining children’s education level.
There are a lot of strengths in this study. When people more focused on the impact of the One-Child Policy on family fertility, nutrition and health, rather than the impact on children education, there was no doubt that this study attracted the attention of the public, let more people start to agree and approve the One-Child Policy, and let people pay more attention to the positive impact of education level promotion of the One-Child Policy. One main strength of this study is, methodologically, the author’s sample covered most regions and considered different cultures from different regions. The survey was conducted on both generations born before and after the One-Child Policy. Therefore, the results of the study were collected in an adequate way, making the findings more accurate. In addition, the author used a Multistage Mixed Effect Model, which was recognized by the scientific area, as the research method that was fair and rigorous.
However, there still are some weaknesses in the study. Besides the One-Child Policy, the author should also consider the other national policies, because these policies will also have an impact on the education system. Some examples cited in the article, such as a study showed that there was no significant change in the academic performance of people with siblings and only child in rural and urban areas in 1973. However, the author ignored that the College Entrance Examination system in 1973 was not restored until 1977. Before the restoration of the College Entrance Examination system, the education in rural and urban areas were both not good. Therefore, using this example to illustrate the better education of an only child was not very convincing. Another weakness of the study was that, from the perspective of methodology, although the author compared the learning level of children from the poor, well-off, middle class and upper-class families to study the influence of parents’ financial status on children’s learning, the variable of “parents’ education level” was not controlled. Similarly, the authors did not control the variable of “family wealth status” when looking at the educational attainment of children living in higher-education households. The author did not control these variables, which making this part of the experiment somewhat inaccurate. The last weakness was that it would be mistakenly assumed that each child has similar backgrounds, social values, life experience and community resources that influence their educational goals and propensities. Although the author divided the children into different groups according to the community, there was not at all unreasonable to assume that there are all similarities when the children are from the same community. The author still needed to control the probability of variables.
The next step to prove the hypothesis and identify how the One-Child Policy has a continuous effect on children education is to compare the One-Child Policy to the Two-Children Policy. China has implemented a Two-Children Policy since 2013. Now that six years have passed, authors should analyze and compare these two policies on education and living standards based on the current situation. The next study should look at the academic and financial performance of children in one-child families and those with two children. The current study compared the educational and financial levels of the two generations born before and after the One-Child Policy, and concluded that the only child has greatly improved the educational level of Chinese children. In the next step, the only way to further the research is to compare the One-Child Policy with the Two-Children Policy. At present, there is still a majority of the public who are skeptical of the Two-Children Policy, and most people still support the One-Child Policy. But unlike the current study, families with two children tend to have higher family expenses. Thus, the variable in the future study should be changed to “family income and expenditure”. Although the specific hypothesis needs to be explored and more arguments need to be confirmed gradually in the future, there is still plenty of room for the authors to discover.
Becker, Gary 5. and Lewis, H.G. (1973), On the Interaction Between the Quantity and Quality of Children, Journal of Political Economy, 81(2), 5279-5288.
Brown, Philip H. and Park, Albert (2002), Education and poverty in rural China, Economic of Education Review, 21(2002), 523-541.
Connelly, Rachel and Zheng, Zhenzhen (2003), Determinants of school enrollment and completion of 10 to 18 year olds in China, Economics of Education Review, 22: 379-388.
Poston, Dudley L. and Falbo, Toni (1990), Academic Performance and Personality Traits
of Chinese Children: “Onlies” versus Others, American Journal of Sociology, 96(2), 433-451.
Rosenzweig, Mark R. and Zhang, [unsen (2006), Do Population Control Policies Induce More Human Capital Investment? Twins, Birthweight, and China’s ‘One-Child’ Policy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 2082 Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 933.