An Introduction to Online Education
Since the 1990’s, online education has evolved from basic corporate computer-based training programs and was enthusiastically embraced globally by various universities even prestigious ones. With the progress of technology the nature and scope of online education has changed likewise.
The Advantages of Online Education:
According to a report by No Child Left Behind Leadership Summit, online learning is “a 21st Century education.” Its advantages are
Reduced Tuition Fees Thus Saving Cost
The most obvious benefit of online learning is that tuition rates can be significantly less expensive. Another incentive is that if an online school is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, then the students are eligible for federal financial aid.
Individual Based Education
Online courses open up new vistas for students offering new opportunities to engage in learning in new and unique ways and personalize their education. Online courses also have the potential to be a boon to students who do not perform well in traditional classroom teaching and can improve their performance.
A widely publicized benefit of online education is its flexibility. Students now have the choice and option to access their educators and course material any time and from any place of your choice. More and more people who cannot avail of traditional classroom opportunities are taking the help of online schools.
The use of the Internet for educational purposes has greatly increased the potential for reaching new learners. Online courses enable students who are unable to pursue their academics vis traditional means. Online courses are able to easily accommodate a large number of students, unlike traditional courses.
Online courses offer their material and other resources in multiple media formats, and supporting the use both asynchronous and real time communication. Asynchronous discourse like email, threaded discussion boards and newsgroups and is intended to inspire self reflection among learners.
Finally, a U.S. Department of Education study finds that, students who enrolled in online classes actually performed better than those who took the same courses in a classroom setting. Combining these findings with all of the above stated benefits, online education has a persuasive argument for being an effective educational method for a variety of students.
Disadvantages of Online Learning
Online courses are very costly to create leading to funding problems. Often online programs do not meet the traditional criteria for outside funding making the situation all the more difficult. Lack of quality can hamper the accreditation of an online school. The very advantage of an anywhere anytime school can actually backfire. Because the students come from places all over the world regional and national barriers can hamper a an online schools accreditation.
Students who enroll in online education will inevitably face some, if not all, of these limitations and challenges. If you are considering an online course, it would be wise to contact current students to find out about the pros and cons of the specific program to which you plan on applying.