In today’s information driven age, the popularity of online education is skyrocketing. According to a 2013 report by the Babson Survey Research Group, more than 7 million postsecondary students took one online class or more in 2011. Those numbers are up from only 1.6 million in 2002.
In 2002, approximately 72% of schools who took the survey offered online education in one form or another. Now, those figures have risen to nearly 87% as of 2012.
Here are some other popular benefits of E-Learning:
- Immediate Results and Feedback: Most online learning technologies integrate online quizzes and other tools to more rapidly facilitate the learning process. Email feedback, discussion groups and streaming technologies make it easy for students to hear how they’re doing sooner than later.
- Improved Retention: With clever design, user experience and multimedia, online instruction can create a more effective learning experience than traditional methods and channels. Students may be more likely to stay in class and see programs all the way through if interfaces are designed in a user-friendly way.
- Greater Access to Expertise: Thanks to online classrooms, geography is no longer a limitation on the spread of knowledge. Online education is not limited to a certain location.
Tips for Success
- Decide if online learning is right for you: Online classrooms generally require more discipline than traditional learning. Students looking to pursue the virtual education endeavor should be highly organized, strategic and hold themselves accountable to stay on top of course material. In an online classroom, no one checks on you to make sure you’re getting the work done. The responsibility to reach out to professors and maintain relationships falls squarely on the students’ shoulders in virtual learning, so they must stay proactive.
- Enroll in an accredited school: Accreditation is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing an online school. Keep in mind, not all online schools and programs are created equally. The wrong choice can potentially mean the difference between earning a legitimate, respected degree and one that ends up getting you nowhere. Do your homework before signing up for any programs and really research the institution your credentials will be coming from.
- Ensure reliable Internet access: A reliable Internet connection isn’t always the easiest thing to come by. You’ll need to have access to a cable modem or a fast DSL connection in order to get online and stream recorded content. Your connection must be consistent and reliable. If it isn’t, you may have to find somewhere to go with computer access, or purchase new technology to be able to work in online classrooms.
- Find the right study environment: Even though students can study anywhere due to the mobility of online courses, finding the right study zone is still paramount to success in virtual classrooms. Your study space can have a direct impact on the effectiveness of your efforts. Make sure to evaluate your current study locations to find the best spot to access the Internet, work on your assignments in peace and communicate with classmates or the instructor.
- Participate often: Distance learning doesn’t mean you’re isolated in your studies (unless you choose to be). Active participation is one good way to keep the content fresh and engaging. Sharing feedback with other students can help promote the share of ideas and also provide a unique opportunity for different perspectives, since students could be logging in from anywhere in the world.
- Complete assignments before they’re due: The whole point of online learning is working at your own pace, while still having time to live your professional life. Finishing work early can leave students with more free time to spend however they want. Turning work in earlier also can ease the workload on instructors and provide them an opportunity to give you feedback. This can give you time to make additional adjustments and get the highest grade possible.
- Limit your time online: The Internet is a gateway to distractions. Taking extended breaks from your assignments can lead to hours of wasted time. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to turn a five minute breather into a two-hour long production killer, depending on what’s going on in the world at the moment. This is where discipline and accountability come into play. You have to be able to log on, get the work done and log off in many instances.
Online Learning Advantages
In education, student demand is one of the leading factors contributing to the exponential growth of online learning. Students are looking for flexible schedules as they balance work and family life. If they can save money by removing the commute and time commitment in classrooms traditional school requires, all the better.
E-Learning offers educational and business benefits and even business applications. When it comes to business, online education offers many advantages for people and companies aiming to develop new content programs. Professionals have the flexibility and convenience to access training resources on their schedule, while having the time to absorb the knowledge from the class.