The recent trends in online education programs have created a new form of group debates. Students who participate in on-line classes receive the benefits of an engaging environment while opening up individual schedules. With all matters, there are some disadvantages to this forum of group debates. Students lack the engagement of non-verbal communication.
As students of the University of Phoenix, the student body is encouraged, and expected to partake in group debates known as " Discussion Questions " or called DQ's. These bi-weekly exercises stimulate and encourage students to be engaged in the learning process. While reflecting on fellow students opinions and learned life experiences based around a controlled subject context.
Group debates give students the opportunity to engage in conversation with one another and gain insight from other classmates. The controlled questions direct the student discussion while challenge the students to use critical thinking skills. Students are prompted to present information with strong, valid, and credible data.
The unfortunate drawback of online group debates is that students need the ability to use non-verbal communication to convey the full context of their opinion. " While oral presentations given during the regular course of academic life are no doubt valuable and important aspects of a student's education" (J Parcher pg4). Students of online studies are unable to fully explore verbal communication since the only method of communication avilable is written. Many emotions that are expressed is lost in translation. Students discuss and debate the obvious benefits of body language and proper use of, but never have any hands on training in the field of group debates.
Parcher, J. (pg4). Retrieved from http://www.principlestudies.org/docs/The_Value_of_Debate_Secular.pdf