E-learning – Is it the Future of Education?
The main idea of distance learning or E-learning is to get an in-depth, credited and complete education through the internet. Since its introduction, many people have graduated and earned a college degree via online learning. E-learning mainly benefits students who cannot attend real classes, people who want to pursue their education but are too busy, and students who want to study a program in a different country without having to leave their own. Studies have shown that this type of learning provides the same results as real classes through mentor-led discussions and online- and offline-based activities.
One of the reasons why online education has reached the same standards as real educational institutions is because internet research and social media have made it as close to real classes as possible. So many online help sites and forums support what online students learn by providing videos, blogs and articles about specific learning topics. Mobile technology has also given a big help by allowing students to take their online classes anywhere using their laptops, computer tablets and other portable devices that can connect to the internet and access online discussions and materials.
A benefit of E-learning is that students are not bound by time and location to attend their classes. Many online students work during the day and stay at home for their online classes at night. Depending on the program that they signed up for, some classes might need students to log in during a specific time for group discussions using a computer program that has call conference features such as Skype or Yahoo Messenger. For programs that only come in modules, students are not pressured by time to finish them. All they have to do is take a test after each module to assess what they have learned thus far. They are free to choose when to take the test and finish the module to move on to the next one.
Online learning is also more affordable compared to real classes. Students don’t have to move to a location closer to school, buy books, or worry about transportation since they can just finish their classes at the comfort of their own homes.
What can students learn through E-learning? There are countless online programs to choose from, which means that they can learn virtually anything they want. There are programs that cater to programming and computer technologies, business management, food preparation and cooking, liberal arts, agriculture and e-security—almost all the programs and courses available in colleges and universities are found online. Students can choose from bachelor’s degree programs that can take months to short courses that they can finish in a matter of days.
E-learning programs cater to very wide age groups (6 years old and onwards). Programs are also offered in many different languages to cater to international students. In fact, a big population of students taking up online classes is actually from different parts of the world. Online learning is a great way for people to pursue a higher education and improve their knowledge foundation. It is the biggest development in education and learning in the past 100 years and might be considered as the future.
By: Nancy Claire – Degree Jungle writer, teacher, and researcher.