Online learning can advance your career prospects without intruding on work and family commitments, and allows educational institutions to provide a more dynamic learning experience.
While it’s true that some students may function better in a traditional learning environment, that should not lead you to believe that the online learning experience is of less value. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but advancing technology has allowed online courses to provide a much deeper learning experience than when they first became available. As a result, students now have a wider variety of options available to them when it comes to advancing their education.
It’s natural that people prefer to stick to what they know. Classroom learning is the “traditional” form of learning, and many are inclined to assume that the traditional way of doing things is the superior way. However, this has proven many times to be an incorrect assumption.
After all, the traditional methods of education are a product of their time. They were designed to fulfill the needs of society as it was when our current education system was conceived. As technology advances, it presents new possibilities, and brings about profound changes to the environments in which we operate.
Besides, a 2009 study conducted by the US Department of Education found that students participating in online studies were, in fact, outperforming their peers. The study took into account results achieved at a variety of educational institutions in a range of departments. It found that students who had conducted their studies in an online environment scored an average of 9% higher than those who had done so through a traditional classroom environment.
The internet promotes interaction
Student engagement is required for education, and that is more difficult to achieve in an online environment, is it not?
Well, one could argue that classroom-based learning doesn’t have the best track record either when it comes to engaging students. In fact, its ability to do so is highly dependent on the methods of the teacher or lecturer concerned; some are just better at it than others. For every Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society, there’re five who more closely resemble the economics teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
E-learning can now incorporate social media, discussion boards, webcasts, video conferences, and interactive study material to create an online educational experience far more engaging than what was possible when online courses first became available.
The flexibility that online courses provide, and the freedom that individual students have in determining the study hours and environments best suited to them, can improve their concentration and energy levels. This makes their attempts to engage with other students and lecturers and tutors more successful than they would be under the restrictions of the traditional learning environment.
Other advantages of online study include:
Furthermore, students can have the best of both worlds, as credits obtained from accredited online study programs can be transferred to traditional courses.
Erasing time and distance
The insight and advice of experts and legendary names in a field of study are highly sought after by any student, but in traditional learning environments their opportunity to interact with such people is dependent on their location.
The internet erases boundaries of time and distance, and educational institutions are no longer so limited in their options. Online courses enable students to engage with experts from a wide range of industries throughout the world. For example, a finance lecture in Australia could be given by a finance expert in New York.
As far as online learning goes, there’s still so much potential to be unleashed.