Chinese Education Models in a Global Age

Volume 31 of the series Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects pp 177-192


Impacts of Online Education on Existing Education Models: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan

  • Jonathan SpanglerAffiliated withInternational Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, National Chengchi University Email author 

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Recent years have seen an explosion in the popularity of online education, yet the impacts of online education on existing education models, teachers, and students are not fully understood. While the rise of online education is evident in countries around the world, students in East Asian societies have been particularly active in their online educational pursuits. This chapter seeks to further understand the significance of these trends by using empirical evidence from a nationwide survey conducted in collaboration with the Election Study Center in Taiwan. In particular, it aims to identify the impacts of online education on the existing education model, teachers, and students. The results indicated that online education has had major impacts on the existing education model. It was seen as more Western, active, top-down, and focused on knowledge acquisition than offline education, which suggests that offline education represents a significant departure from the approaches to teaching and learning that locals have come to expect. The perceived impacts on teachers included an encouragement of teaching quality improvement and lessened the overall burden. As for students, the perceived impacts have been mostly positive, with respondents viewing online education as encouraging independent learning, providing more opportunities to be critical of teachers, and not necessarily discouraging creativity or asking questions. Respondents also suggested that online education supplemented the breadth, depth, and richness of educational opportunities, suggesting that some respondents viewed local educational opportunities as inadequate. Detrimental impacts on students included decreased opportunities for face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers as well as mentions of assessment problems and student apathy.