With an estimated 274.86 million internet users in America, which is roughly about 85% of the American population, the internet is not a choice but a requirement of the contemporary society. This entity has revolutionized every aspect of our lives and living in denial isn’t really an option in an intensely competitive and developing generation. With the introduction and rising popularity of online courses, many are skeptical about the quality and efficacy of these alternatives. Let’s have a detailed look at the benefits and perks of online courses and analyse if e-learning is really a beneficial option or simply a hokum of the corporates.
Omnipresence: The internet is nearly everywhere. Undeniably, the internet has invaded all aspects of contemporary human existence and has proven itself to be beneficial to mankind, be it for research, general productivity or leisure. 45.36 million American citizens spend anything between 10-19 hours per week online, whereas 50.63 million Americans spend more than 20 hours online. Given the situation, it is safe to state that a significant percentage of American netizens are addicted to the internet. Instead of undertaking the magnanimous task of coaxing the students away from the internet and channelizing their focus towards traditional modes, it is beneficial to go ‘with the flow’ and tap the available resources for the best results.
The divide: Technological developments have nearly replaced or completely re-engineered most of the things we see today existed two decades ago. It didn’t replace us, the humans, sure, but it definitely has had an impact on general human behavior. Students these day are tech-savvy and take interest in well-illustrated and colorful user-interfaces, especially with the on-screen movable items on certain websites which give them a virtual hands-on experience. As this is beyond the scope of traditional textbooks, e-learning provides the perfect solution. Given the secret to holding their attention is known, it is best if harnessed and put to good use.
Saves money, a lot of it: Online learning helps to save money by avoiding commuting charges, stationery, and considerably higher institution fees as compared to online courses. Added to this, online courses have no fixed time, so is convenient for the employed students who toil hard and study during free hours. If asked about acceptability, online courses are regarded to be at par with regular courses by most employers.
Some experts are of the opinion that online courses are not particularly user-friendly as compared to textbooks and add to the paraphernalia of course requirements. This however, ceases to be an issue if the entire course has a digital existence. Additionally, most of the online courseware platforms are designed to be intuitive, which can be understood by almost anyone with limited knowledge of computers and thereby the user can derive some experience with computers while working with her/his course.
Portability and dynamism: Although many traditionalists disagree, online courses are more user-friendly as compared to textbooks. Weightless and accessible from any internet-capable device, textbook, notes, homework, and assignment can be handled by one online courseware solution. The content, if erroneous or outdated, can be updated quickly and the course material is of uniform quality for all the users. Traditional textbooks have multiple editions and each edition has its own unique set of problems. Moreover, the instructor’s scope of disseminating additional knowledge is not restricted to the classroom in the case of online courses as students from across the globe can attend their courses.
Additionally, there is no possibility of misplacing the notes or losing the textbook at the last moment! As long as the internet survives, the students’ courses, extra notes, and records are safely stored.
In the recent past, great developments have been made in the fields of virtual reality (VR) and three-dimensional graphics which, if utilized with educational resources, can provide immense clarity of concepts for students. With extremely easy user-interfaces, gamified exercises, videos, and colorful layouts, studying becomes a fun activity irrespective of age group. Reliability is ensured as renowned experts in the field author the content and periodic reviews for errata are carried out. With so many countermeasures, most speculations can be disproved and e-learning can definitely be considered to be a viable option.
To know more about online education, join us for OLC Innovate 2018 and explore the possibilities of next-gen learning!
Dates: April 18-20, 2018
Venue: Gaylord Opryland | Nashville, TN
Note: Population statistics have been sourced from the following website: https://www.statista.com/statistics/479154/amount-of-time-spent-on-the-internet-in-an-average-week-usa/
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