Online learning was present a long time ago. Back then, it was different, but the basis was the same and the point behind it was also identical. However, back then, people were simply repulsed by something like this. The world was simply not ready for this kind of concept and this is why it took so long for it to take a turn for the better.
Additionally, in those days, people were not that open towards the internet and society was not aware of just how great the potential of this relatively new phenomenon was. Today, internet is used by everyone who has it, and a lot of different people find great use for it. Among all of those, online learning is one of the most essential ones.
A lot of people are wondering why online learning has become so popular and what are the actual reasons that made so many people change their opinion and start using various online education channels. The question is whether technology was able to change the way people think, or was it the social changes that have made such things possible?
Neither of these things alone was able to do this, but with combined forces, they were the main steam engines that pulled the whole change-train forward. Not only that these things were able to make people more open towards online learning, but they were also able to improve online education.
The quality of both learning and teaching has improved a lot since the first concept of online education. Along with that, the new tech savvy generations of millennials have also paved the road for online education and set the stage for success. Now, let’s dive deeper into this subject matter.
The concept behind online learning
Before we continue any further, it is important to understand the concepts of online learning because you won’t be able to understand the text that follows without this essential knowledge. Educating yourself online is a process of using the internet for educational purposes through which, the person gains important knowledge, degrees, certificates, or qualifications, without having to go to where the actual class is taking place in the physical world.
Simply put, you attend a class online, but instead of going anywhere, the class simply comes to your screen and you can take it wherever it suits you in case you have a portable device. This is a very convenient method of learning for those people who don’t have much time and who have to work, take care of their kids, or have any other obligations in their life. These people simply cannot make it to class, even though they want to.
It doesn’t mean that it should be used only by this group of people; in fact there are a lot of those who just feel like it’s convenient for them and that they can also learn a lot this way. Yet, this is where a lot of people are wondering if online learning can teach students valuable lessons as traditional methods of teaching can.
Traditional learning and online learning
At first, online courses were quite weaker when compared to traditional teaching methods, however today, all of the most respected universities in the world have online courses that are at the same level as their courses which are on-campus. No matter if online or offline, lectures and courses alike need to meet the highest criteria of all academic standards, and they must be acknowledged officially by professors, teachers and all relevant academic personnel.
The workload is the same with both of the methods as well as their value and entry criteria. This means that now, the difference between these is only in the way the student takes the course.
For those who still have doubts about online learning when it comes to how serious they actually are, rest assured that not everyone can enroll, and more importantly, not all people who study this way pass all of them. Just because students learn sitting in front of their computers doesn’t mean that they are playing games; they are doing serious work which requires utmost attention.
With online courses, a student can earn internationally acknowledged degrees, study lessons from any place that seems convenient, get greater flexibility, get the opportunity to be lectured by highly established academics which are thousands of miles away, get the chance to get involved with the online academic community, get all the help from the support services at the college they are attending, etc.
Additionally, online learning doesn’t strictly have to revolve around educational institutions. For example, there are a lot of businesses that want to train their employees additionally and they do this online. If you look at the rankings of the best IT consulting companies, you will see that the best of them consult their clients online, that they are highly successful at it, and that companies continue to hire them to do this job for them online.
A lot of people prefer online education
Our modern lifestyle is very busy and we do a lot of things during each and every day. If we want to succeed in what we have planned for the day, we have to be highly organized and lose as less time as possible. Apart from all the other things, a lot of people have realized that traveling back and forth to their school or college is a complete waste of time.
For many, this is a great issue, as they live in big cities where traffic jams happen quite often. Even if they don’t get caught up in them, they need an hour or more to get to where they are heading, and to get back from class. This is over 2 hours wasted on traveling. This time could be used for something more productive. Additionally, there are more severe large-scale problems such as students wanting to study at a college which is far away or even abroad, and they simply don’t have the money to make this happen.
These are just some of the common problems students have when they are required to be present physically in classes and online learning overrides these issues. These are the first most important reasons why so many people are turning to studying online. There are more choices for taking courses and you’re not limited by your location, meaning that you will only have to pay for the lessons and avoid traveling or moving costs.
Online education is not only for students, and like I mentioned before, it can be used for various purposes. For example, a lot of teachers make their jobs easier by using various knowledge base software solutions, where they have a lot of important information relevant to them and to their students, allowing them to improve themselves and deliver their students with a wide range of knowledge.
Learning convenience as never seen before
Convenience is one of the biggest improvements online learning offers, as opposed to traditional ways of learning. A lot of people like the idea of getting up in the morning, drinking a cup of coffee and taking their laptop to listen to a lecture or go through some learning course in their pajamas, without even having to walk out of their room.
When you are studying this way, there is more freedom when it comes to organizing the rest of your day and getting a lot more stuff done. You won’t have to skip important business or organize yourself according to somebody else.
Another amazing benefit of online learning is that, if you miss something, or there are things which are unclear to you, usually there is the option of re-watching the lecture to catch up on what you’ve missed or to access the information base where you can get all the answers you need. These are all benefits which are appealing to people and this is why they are becoming fans of online learning.
Online education is more individual and personalized learning is more emphasized. Of course, there is an alternative (hiring a personal teaching that can help you study), but this usually costs a lot of money. Traditional learning usually takes place in large classrooms or amphitheaters, where there can be over 100 people present and sometimes, it can be difficult to hear the teacher, people distract each other, and teachers need to have a flow that doesn’t allow a lot of students to ask question during class. Otherwise, not much of the learning material will get covered during one class.
Online teaching usually forms smaller groups or even goes for individual lessons, and these both have a personalized note. Even group classes are personalized and individuals get tended to. Teaching students is not a technical job where you view people as robots and you just simply have to give out orders and they’ll get them done. This is why teachers focus on individual needs in modern education.
All of the learning sessions online can be customized to students, to their current progress or their needs. Teachers have the flexibility of focusing on improving where certain students are slacking or offering advanced tasks to those who are progressing faster. Students learn important lessons that help them become professionals, experts in their field, while developing their biggest talents.
Technology advancements that improve education
Of course, the first and most important technology without which online learning wouldn’t even be possible is the internet. Of course, at the beginning of online education, the technology behind it was very stiff and blunt, but over time, as the internet technologies progressed, so did online learning. Today, everybody has internet access and stable connections they can use to access the web via computer, laptop, tablet, or phone.
We can get instant access to important and quality knowledge which allows us to find a solution to our problems instantly and learn tricks and skills each day. These things are just simple everyday things that we learn with basic search engines, but imagine how much a person can learn if he uses well-organized and specifically designed programs which are used for transferring knowledge.
The newly improved web advancements have given us a variety of online learning platforms which are designed for delivering people important, insightful and valuable content which is enhanced by many features, methods and techniques that help students learn better. There are a lot of different internet tools that can help transfer valuable knowledge to people, and some of them are blogs, forums, discussion boards, knowledge bases, wikis, video, etc.
There are a lot more specialized learning tools that can be found on the web, and all of them have different organizations, features, options, difficulty levels and teaching methods. It is impossible for a person not to find an adequate learning tool that can help them improve themselves. Almost everyone can make good use of them (employees, teachers, and students), to perfecting their knowledge or to do their jobs in a better way.
In the end, it is important to know that a high percentage of young people think that online learning is quite fun and more interesting than traditional methods. The major reason for this is because online learning is interactive and it keeps students engaged. Additionally, younger people grew up with internet technologies and they are used to them. They prefer using their devices to do various things.