8 Things You Need to Know About Online Education
A lot of people always have a lot to say about online education. But few really speak knowingly.
Depending on what you hear or read, distance learning can seem like a great solution or a huge problem. To make things clearer, we wrote this post.
Online Education: Everything You Need to Know
In an effort to clarify relevant online education questions and concerns, we’ve put together 8 key facts you need to know.
1. Online education is here to stay
Since 1986, when an accredited institution’s first online degree program was offered (by John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California), the growth of the eLearning market has become exponential.
Recently Forbes magazine presented data showing that the online education market in the United States is expected to hit the incredible $ 325 billion mark by 2025.
A Global Market Insights survey brings recent data and forecasts about the online course market worldwide, which make clear this continuous and solid growth.
There is no denying that online education is an improvement caused by technology, which breaks down geographical barriers and is capable of bringing quality education to the four corners of the world.
Not only are people interested in learning, but teachers and professionals from all segments have discovered the potential of this market, and are investing in the creation of online courses as their own venture and a way to reach a wider audience.
In addition to free courses, thousands of students enrolled in America are already receiving some or all of their education online. Not to mention that people from all over the world can attend online classes taught at the most recognized universities in the world, such as Harvard and Oxford.
Online education is a breakthrough and as such is here to stay and must evolve to be better and better.
2. There is no significant difference in learning outcomes
About 30 years of research, including the one of the US Department of Education, found no evidence that online learning is qualitatively inferior to that achieved in a traditional classroom.
What is simple to conclude is that just as in the classroom, the quality of learning and potential knowledge gained depends on the student’s interest and effort.
The thought that eLearning is less rigorous, often comes from the fact that many people associate the practicality of studying online with facilitated teaching.
Studying online is actually easier (and cheaper) than getting to a classroom at set times, but that’s an advantage, not the other way around.
Online courses may be more or less rigorous depending on the instructor who develops the course and the academic department that reviews it (if applicable).
In the case of free courses, unconnected with any academic organization, the student is free to review the course curriculum and determine whether it meets their needs and expectations.
At the same time, advances in information technology now make it possible to offer significantly more rigorous courses that do not seem “difficult” due to course design and support resources that can be directly integrated.
For example, a programming course, such as the Coursify.me Code School, can look at what subjects your students tend to have the most trouble with and incorporate access to tutorial videos in these classes to reinforce learning.
Employing new adaptive technologies, it is possible to observe a student’s learning style and tailor the organization and delivery of course instruction.
With these resources, there are growing reasons to believe that online education can outperform traditional classroom teaching for certain students.
3. Online education democratizes quality education
As we mentioned earlier, several higher education institutions are offering online access to their classes. This includes elite US institutions, like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
This means that anyone with an interest in quality education can have access to it, regardless of where they live and their financial status.
The benefit that more accessible education brings to everyone as a society is clear.
Beyond universities, the growing number of online courses that address a wide range of subjects allows people to seek new knowledge, expertise and new career opportunities.
With this, companies also gain more qualified employees, and can use the same resource to train employees in a practical and much more economical way.
4. There is no single form of teaching online
The formats that can be adopted in online education are numerous and vary by course and instructor.
Some courses feature text and video content only, others explore a variety of high-interactivity multimedia features, access to external links, animations, and high-quality simulations.
It is safe to say that most of the courses available today use the general public preference feature: videos.
Several surveys point to the exponential increase in online video consumption.
By 2020, is predicted that 75% of all mobile traffic in the world is to access video content.
Rich way to share information in an easily digestible format, it is now quite easy to produce videos using a simple smartphone or any camera.
Ideally, though, you should use different media to expose content such as handouts, tutorials, audio and videos to make learning more interesting and enjoyable. Offer more options for students, who may have different learning preferences.
5. Online learning requires maturity
Much is said about the discipline required to complete an online course, and it is true.
While online education is appropriate and works for adult learners, this does not necessarily reflect in younger learners.
Studies have found that for motivated older adults, online programs produce superior results than those in the classroom.
For 18 to 24-year-olds with less focus and attention, there are often problems with persistence and completion.
In addition, while younger students may in fact benefit from blended learning (online learning combined with traditional classroom study), they still need the socialization and interaction experience that a classroom provides.
After all, it is in this environment that they “practice” these skills to become adults – living with others, reconciling differences, being held responsible for what they do and don’t do, and so on.
6. Online education favors the corporate world
Adults do well with online learning and that’s great, especially for businesses.
The level of skills and knowledge that many organizations require today does not match what is taught at universities and there are few professionals able to deliver what is required.
This leaves no alternative for many companies than investing in employee training through business training.
But there is a drawback: Organizing and conducting such training requires infrastructure and overtime from your employees, which can be quite costly.
Therefore, online education appears as a real lifeboat.
Online courses can take work to create, but once done, they are easily updated and accessible to all, new and experienced employees, at a time that suits them best.
With the emergence of hosting platforms that specialize in online education, such as Coursify.me, this solution has become even better, as companies simply “rent” a space to host their courses, without having to cover all the costs of developing a system of their own.
7. The economics are real
If you have read this post so far, the economics that online education generates should have become quite clear.
For universities there is less need for classroom facilities, printed materials, infrastructure maintenance costs, etc.
For students, there are no costs for commuting, school supplies, printing and high tuition.
Not to mention the time savings, particularly important for students who need to reconcile learning with work.
People who study online can be anywhere in the world and study as long as their work routine allows.
This is of great help to low-income people with dependent family members as there are no travel, day care, loss of income due to the need to attend class at a certain time, etc. Here the economy is considerable.
8. Online education does not mean the end of traditional education
While online education may become the first choice for “post-traditional” and undergraduate students who cannot afford the cost of traditional programs, it will not be the only option.
It is undeniable that online learning is here to stay, but neither schools nor universities will disappear.
Society will always need the campus-based option to help young people become adults and citizens.
Society will also always need research-intensive institutions to continue the search for new discoveries and to provide the content that online learning distributes so well.
Therefore, there is no reason for disputes between both teaching methods and complaints to each other since they all benefit from the integration between the two.
Any progress in education must be applauded and encouraged so that it will educate and train better professionals and citizens, which benefits the whole community.
Online education with Coursify.me
Complete eLearning platform, Coursify.me is the ideal solution for anyone who wants to create, sell and advertise courses on the internet without having to invest to start their own business.
Serving businesses and professionals in more than 60 countries, the platform is a dynamic and customizable Learning Management System (LMS).
Coursify.me offers three plan options for you to decide which best suits your needs and the good news is that the Beginner Plan is free!
Visit our website, test the platform, enter the online course market now and secure your place in this story.