Advantages Of Online Learning

Online LearningThe world wide web is growing at a crazy pace, and the number of youngsters hooked to it is also increasing. Taking this into account, many educational institutes are now providing distance learning options. Many colleges and universities are dedicated in making an availability in this avenue. All you need to do, is get a computer, an Internet connection, the willingness to learn, and money to pay the fees. There are some websites giving free tutorials too, however, for an authentic certification, the paid option is the viable choice. As in any other system of education, there are some flaws and some benefits of online learning too. For the moment, we will focus on the advantages that online education offers.

Advantages of e-Learning

Online learning does have peculiar benefits. It could be fruitful in ways that can only be appreciated after choosing to do so. Research indicates that some of the best courses are offered online, which would play to one’s advantage owing to paucity of time for those engaged in a full-time profession. The online perspective absolves them from this particular blockade to their aspirations, although, the factor of physical supervision for tutelage would be absent.

The only requirements for taking an online course are a computer and Internet access. You also do not have to commute to the college campus, and so the necessity of living near the campus is out of question. The online course is delivered mainly in the form of lecture videos and web seminars. So you can take the course more thoroughly by viewing the videos as many times as you want.

The online education options are far more economical than regular courses that requires attendance in college or university. This is because, the transportation cost to you and the infrastructure cost to the college is eliminated completely. Also, the best teachers that the college cannot afford to employ full-time, can be hired for a limited amount of time. As the cost is only one time, colleges can afford it.

e-Learning courses give you complete freedom to learn anytime from anywhere. This freedom will give you some lessons in self discipline and time management. The need to be self disciplined arises, because when you are online, along with the useful and informative things, there are also many distractions.

Learning Through Games at Your Pace
Online learning also gives you the option to learn through games and puzzles. There are a wide number of online educational computer games available on the net. Moreover, most of these games are completely free of cost. They are entertaining, along with being highly informative.

Earn and Learn
While attending a full-time college, students hardly get time for anything else. But, if you are taking an online course, then you can have the entire day at your disposal, and you can do your studies at night or any other time. This is one of the best advantages of online education. It is a great way to learn, for students who have no option but to earn and learn.

Prolonged Access to Course Material
Many times, you will feel the need to brush up your knowledge of a certain subject, and online learning gives you the opportunity to do that. All the course material that you get as a part of your course remains permanently with you, so you can revise any of the subjects any time you want.

Getting Proficient in Computer and Internet Use
Computers equipped with an Internet connection are frequently used for common purposes. Taking an online degree program will help you attain more proficiency in the use of computers and the Internet. This also serves as an opportunity to use many varieties of software and to be acquainted with them.

Along with the above advantages of online learning, there are a few disadvantages also. The personal influence factor of having the physical presence of a tutor can be considered a point of contention owed to a disadvantage. Crucial doubts on the subject may not be fully cleared on the online portal, although, research may be viable. Under these circumstances, the outcome of the research would be relatively unreliable or the concept may not been understood. For the same reason, recruiters consider an online degree less effective, and it may not carry weight compared to conventional degrees. However, this is not true in all cases. On the whole though, online learning represents a great opportunity for people, especially for those who cannot make it to regular colleges, to get educated, and this can be called the biggest advantage of online

Overview of Distance Education

Today, technology has touched and prospered every aspect of life. Its contribution to the world of education is especially very great. It has introduced more subjects, changed the way certain subjects are taught, and the time in which they were taught. The most notable contribution it has made is that of ‘distance education’. Students can now take up courses from well-known universities that are located thousands of miles away.

A student can, with the help of technology, take up a course and complete it according to his convenience. Of course, there are deadlines that need to be respected. But these don’t stop you from taking up a job or another class during the day. The points mentioned below will give you a rough idea of what distance education is about.

The biggest advantage of distance education is that it reduces the time you invest in completing a course. You can take up multiple courses and also decide how much time you want to give each. You don’t have to invest time even in commuting to your university everyday. Distance learning has thus also proved to be a boon for the physically disabled and people who have been hospitalized for a longer duration.

Course Selection
Students can apply for multiple courses at the same time from various distance learning institutes. It involves theory-based courses comprising subjects as diverse as business, philosophy, and arts.

There is hardly any focus on an age bracket. Right from a teenager to a housewife, anyone can apply to a single course. This means that even after retirement, you can learn a subject you always wanted to, but never could.

Before distance education existed, jobholders could never imagine working and studying at the same time. Today, with distance learning, employees can complete their work hours and then study. This gives a tremendous boost to your career in this competitive world.

Earlier, a course in a foreign university meant visa fees, travel expenditure, staying costs, and maybe even an educational loan. Today, the student can say goodbye to all these costs and complete his education.

Academic Environment
A live academic environment is absent in distance learning. This means you have to motivate yourself all the time and seeking help is as good as nonexistent. Most of the time, you feel like you’re the only student in the class. Though discussion forums fight this hurdle, it cannot be completely eradicated.

Instant feedback
All our lives, we’ve been asked to raise our hands in the classroom when in doubt. In distance education, you have to wait for the teacher or course instructor to get back to you. This may sometimes pose as a problem, specially when you’re stuck in the middle of something important.

Online courses are usually theory based. This means courses that need mandatory experimentation such as chemistry, are excluded from the courses. There is a certain limitation that you can’t do much about.

As you can see, distance education does save your time and money. It enables you to study as per your convenience and live without the burden of loans. Distance learning as a field is still evolving. In some more time, with better technology, it might even eradicate the few barriers and hurdles that exist today.

Choosing an Online College

Life nowadays has become quite hectic. Many among us are working full-time and/or taking care of families at home. All this doesn’t leave much time for studies, especially for a full-time degree course. Getting that degree may just help you become eligible for the promotion you’ve always wanted. Or it can help you learn something new while taking care of your responsibilities. For many of us, the answer lies in getting an online degree via a distance learning course.

The trend has caught on thanks to Internet penetration in several places around the globe. This means you don’t have to go all the way to another country or city to do a course that you’ve wanted to do. You can simply attend a lecture online―over the Internet―while sitting in the comfort of your own home. You can even turn in your assignments and papers online. And once you complete the necessary examinations, which may also be held online, you get your degree in the mail.

All these courses are usually designed by special online educators, and have a teacher or a course coordinator who monitors all student activity. They read through and grade your assignments, and communicate their feedback to you. As a student, you can also interact with these teachers via the Internet, and discuss your questions or problems with them.

Thus, these online classes can be like regular classes at a university, with a lot of interactive content. With the innovative technologies available on the Internet, students of these classes can interact with each other, discuss problems, and make groups for an assignment―all possible with a lot of online collaboration.

How to Find a Reputable Online College

Many regular universities are now offering several courses online. They offer distance learning courses and award degrees to their online students. While searching on the Internet, you can look if any college offers ‘distance learning’ or an ‘online degree’ course. Alternatively, you can even choose an online college―this is a college which exists only online―and provides only online degrees. There are several such colleges which specialize in providing degrees online; these have specially trained teachers who administer the course to the students. Here are some tips which will help you choose the right online college for you.

First of all, check if the college is accredited by the Department of Education and the Distance Learning Council. This is important, because there are also many bogus schools on the Internet. The next step is to check the history of the college. Check to see if there have been, or are, other students who are studying with them. Then check and see if the online degree that they award you is officially recognized by any professional accreditation body in that field. It won’t do you much good later on if your degree is not recognized.

Another thing to check is if the college accepts credits from courses that you may have done in another college―whether online or offline. Also check if you can transfer credits from the courses you study in this college to any other college, online or offline. Then it is important to see if the course study method offered by this college fits in with your learning style. Is it more of an interactive course? Do you prefer to study at your own pace? Does this course follow this kind of pattern? Choose a course which is in line with your style of study, so that you get the best out of it.

Check the credentials of the teachers who are going to administer the online degree course for you. Are they experienced in their field? Are they qualified to teach you that particular course? What kind of experience do they have in the real world? Check for other services that are offered by these online colleges. Do they offer library facilities or links to other resources? What kind of technological infrastructure do they have? Are there forums where you can meet and interact with other students who are studying similar courses?

And then, most importantly, check to see if the course fees are within your budget. See if you can pay the fees per course or per lesson. Most good colleges have different payment plans. Check for hidden fees as well. Make sure you read the entire fine print before you sign up for an online degree course.

The Authenticity Issue

This trend of acquiring degrees online has come under severe criticism due to the presence of several ‘degree mills’ which provide fake degrees. They simply ask you to pay a flat fee and award you your degree within a month or so and then disappear. After some time they reappear somewhere else on the Internet with a different name. However, these online degrees are fake and are not held in high esteem by employers. In the end, having such a fake degree will only reduce your credibility in the real world.

In order to ensure that your college is not one such degree mill, it is important to first check its accreditation. Then check at the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints lodged against them. The more the complaints, the more likely it is fake. Another sign to spot a fake is if the only pre-requisite for enrolling is being in possession of a valid credit card number.

In conclusion, we can see that along with the good, also exists the bad. By using common sense and checking to see the credentials of these online schools, we can avoid falling into any traps which can spoil our future.

Get a Master’s Degree Online

After a bachelor’s degree, the master’s degree is the most obvious and coveted milestone. In fact, those who are forced to take up a job right after the completion of the bachelor’s degree often feel the need to study further, when they are exposed to ever-evolving competition, change in technology, or due to the change in company policies in the area of educational requirements. Gone are the days when you had to attend classes in a university or college to obtain a degree. Now, you have the option of getting a master’s degree through online education.

Customized Learning to Suit Your Convenience

Online education is an innovative method to impart education. It has emerged rapidly, and is surely a blessing for those with the will to learn, but no time to go to a university or college. Whether you are someone who has just completed high school, or simply would like to continue your education while working on a full-time job, or you are returning to college after a few years at the workplace, online education is the most ideal option. As there are no geographical barriers to online learning, students can find a variety of course materials from different sources on the web that may not be available where they live or work.

Online education refers to education training delivered primarily via the Internet to students at remote locations with the absence of specific premises or location for learning. An online course may require the students and teachers to meet once or periodically in a physical setting for lectures, practical sessions in labs, or exams, as long as the total time duration in a physical environment does not exceed 25% of the total course duration.

Though online learning is convenient, a student has to remain committed towards the learning program, in order to complete the course on time and allocate specific hours during the course of learning. Typically, the master’s program comprises monthly assignment submissions, periodic tests that can be taken at a certain period of time to suit your convenience, and an exam or test to evaluate the students at the end of the year. This may vary from one university to another.

The students are also expected to work on projects, or take up internship in an organization before the degree is awarded to them to gain practical experience and a deeper insight into the area or domain of their choice. This is quite similar to the full-time programs run in colleges, where the students learn in the college premises. As a result, distance program learners are also conversant with the subject as much as any full-time learner except that they are able to study while they work to earn a living. In fact, the students have the advantage of gaining work experience and learn, thereby enhancing their knowledge levels and work-related skills. It also provides better prospects for future growth and development of their career.

Many reputed universities and colleges provide the option of pursuing a master’s or even postgraduate degree online or through distance learning, and these courses are well recognized across the globe. For instance, the London School of Business provides the opportunity of acquiring a PG certificate with several assurances of specialization, adjustable online training schedule, certifications equivalent to a regular degree certificate while being employed, and with scholarships to make programs more feasible.

Online Learning Environment

The online learning environment encourages students to learn at their own pace. Every student has their distinctive approach to learning that works best for them. Online learning enables a student-centric approach that increases student interaction and allows different opinions, discussions and brainstorming sessions through discussion forums, chat rooms, and various student-teacher forums. This mode of learning is conducive to open discussions without any inhibitions, and the learning sessions are far more interactive as compared to one-way learning sessions in a traditional classroom. The online environment makes the instructors/faculty/teachers more approachable. The course material is available at all times on the web that enables the student to read repeatedly, and learn at his own pace till he/she understands the concept and subject. Additionally, in the current context, technology plays a vital role in all business operations, and the exposure to the Internet and knowledge empowers the students to apply their technical skills in their daily work as well.

Learning is a continuous process and we all learn something new every day. Explore every opportunity to learn and improve your knowledge and skills at every point of time. If you cannot go to a college to get a master’s degree, you can certainly obtain the degree online.