Online education generally refers to computer-enhanced learning, but is often extended to comprise usage of modern mobile technologies such as PDAs and MP3 players. The concept also includes teaching through web-based methodologies, hypermedia, multimedia CD-ROMs/websites, collaborative software, discussion boards, e-mail blogs, computer-aided assessment, educational animation, learning management software, wikis, electronic voting systems and much more. At times, a combination of various methods is used to enhance the learning experience. Online education also involves learning through websites that offer worksheets and provide interactive exercises for adults and children.
There has been a significant rise in online schools and colleges in the United States (US), which is indicative of the increasing popularity on e learning. Online education is very popular in the business segment, where it entails cost-effective learning for the employees.
A number of physical universities and only-online colleges have started offering particular set of academic degrees as well as certificate programs through the internet at various levels and disciplines. To cater to the students’ necessities, these institutes also offer online registration, e-counseling, and enable online textbook purchase. They also provide students governments and student newspapers online.
Types Of Online Education
Online education is in the vogue in the learning circuit as it offers flexible distance learning. Perhaps, another concept making rounds these days is blended learning, meaning e learning with face-to-face learning. Such kind of a concept is useful, particularly for students pursuing higher education. The beauty of blended learning is that it is instrumental in creating a Virtual Learning System (VLS), wherein all aspects of modules are handled using a consistent user interface that remains standard throughout an institution.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Undoubtedly, the perception about online education has changed from an alternative to serious study to an efficient and cost-effective instructor. A majority of the online educational institutions are well established and are experienced in providing students with in-depth learning in their respective modules. So much so that, some of the most reputed educational institutes in Europe and North America are offering courses to their students online.
However, before taking a plunge into the online pool, weigh its advantages and disadvantages well.
Flexibility of scheduling and convenience of learning are among the major advantages that online education offers. It however needs dedication and patience from the students to bless them with superb results. It is advisable that the students first patiently and persistently familiarize themselves with the online technology. You will have to be always on your toes to keep yourself updated with the online requirements, since there is no instructor to guide you in this respect. Be prepared to dedicate yourself completely to online education to be able to complete it on time.