Is online learning an effective educational methodology? What can we say are the benefits of online learning, and can they be compared side-by-side with classroom learning? These questions are begging for answers. Therefore, this article explores the different uses of online learning and its effect on education today.
The internet has leveled the playing field across various disciplines. The world today revolves around technology, and education is not left out.
As a result of the advances in technology, the conventional approach to education has changed drastically. Different platforms have been created to aid online learning. Moreover, prestigious universities in the world now offer various online learning programs, which has enabled lots of people to access education.
This is to show that online learning is a welcome development in many parts of the world. Considering its apparent vast adoption, let’s take a closer look into some of the benefits of online learning.
The flexibility of online learning is one of its foremost benefits. Unlike traditional education, online learning creates an avenue for students to choose their best learning time, whether morning or evening. The benefit of this is that students can now select the best time they learn and assimilate faster.
Secondly, online learning is designed so that students can be in complete control of their learning process. For instance, when registering for an online course, you can choose from an array of subjects that are best suited for you.
This, in turn, encourages students to be independent and committed to their education process since you are allowed to do what you love and are passionate about, thereby increasing academic interests and performance.
Also, students can fully grasp the concept of what they are being taught before moving to the next topic. In other words, online learning does not have a rigid structure like traditional learning, where teachers have to rush students to meet up with the educational curriculum.
Online learning allows you to learn at your pace, which alleviates the pressure of meeting up the curriculum and helps students learn better.
2. Proper Time Management
With traditional classroom learning, you have a specific place you need to be at a particular time. But, one of the benefits of online learning is that you set aside time on your own to study and go through the lessons.
This requires discipline and a fundamental understanding of how to use your time throughout the day wisely.
Hence, students learning online are groomed to meet deadlines of the tasks assigned to them, inculcating in them the habit and skill of time management.
Time is a skill relevant for the workplace and in life generally. Therefore, upon the employment of such students, they’d find it easy to manage their time and meet up with deadlines effectively.
3. Networking Opportunities
When learning online, you are opportune to meet different people across the globe offering the same course as you are. This is because online learning is open to people from different countries.
The exposure broadens an individual’s perspective towards culture and society.
In addition, online learning creates a platform for student-to-student interactions and student-to-instructors interactions. This structure, put in place, allows the students exposure to various backgrounds, locations, and experiences that others bring to the course.
Equally, the exposure to new ideas from professionals in other countries boosts your creativity and global relevance.
Online learning has been structured to suit individual convenience as lectures can be attended from the comfort of your home or anywhere you are.
More importantly, online learning has afforded those who may have been unable to attend physical schools an opportunity for education.
For instance, people living with disabilities now have a way to learn without facing the stress of commuting to school regularly, not to mention the shame and the bullying they face in school.
Also, you can adjust your learning schedule during periods when you are too busy to attend lectures. Moreso, you have access to recorded lectures which you’ve missed.
Lastly, online learning is personalized and allows you to juggle work, other commitments, and education.
5. Improved Technical Skills
One noticeable benefit of online learning is improved technical skills. As the name implies, learning takes place online using mobile phones, laptops, desktops.
Moreso, different tools are used during your online learning. Some of these tools are;
During your learning process, you will learn how to maneuver these tools and software and gain technical experience. Since most companies are technology inclined, your technical skill gives you an advantage over graduates of conventional education.
6. Effective learning
Another interesting benefit of online learning is effective learning. Learning online allows for comprehensiveness, and instructors make sure the students grasp the topic before moving to another, making learning more effective.
Furthermore, while learning online, one-on-one interactions with the instructors are allowed, and students can easily access the instructors for questions in unclear areas.
Also, videos and audio materials of all classes are made available. They can be seen as many times as possible, resulting in good grades on examinations, tests, and assignments.
7. Lower Cost
Online learning brings less spending to the table. The first thing to consider is that you don’t have to commute to a location to receive a lecture which saves the cost of transportation.
Furthermore, you have easy access to materials online and most times your tuition fee covers the textbooks that you need during your learning.
In addition, in respect to accommodation, you don’t have to pay for an apartment to live in like in the traditional educational system where the distance from your home to school will require that you get a place closer to the school.
Online learning allows you to take advantage of your current living situation since you can receive lectures from the comfort of your home.
8. Easy Access to Educational Materials
Through easy access to educational materials, online learning has created an opportunity to ease the stress of having to go from one library to another sorting for materials as it is the custom in traditional educational settings.
Online learning platforms have lots of study materials from videos, to audios and even PDFs. These materials can be easily accessed.
Moreso, you have access to assignments, faculty presentations, compiled resources from instructors, and many more on the University’s online portal or website.
Hence, all you need to access these materials is a mobile phone or a laptop and an internet connection.
9. Improved Communication Skills
Online learning improves interaction during learning. This, in turn, improves your boldness, communication, and presentation skills.
Also, students are forced to make compelling arguments with instructors and coursemates through written language in group discussions.
Moreso, assignments, and tasks given are submitted via email and other electronic channels. As a results master the art of utilizing electronic mailing tools which is essential in the corporate world.
Lastly, online learning grooms you on how to make presentations with the use of PowerPoint and the likes which prepares you for the business world.
10. Rapid Graduation
Online learning reduces graduation time by 25%-60% compared to traditional learning. As a fast learner, online learning speeds up the process of your education which saves your time and resources.
Moreso, when you cover your curriculum within the stipulated period you are allowed to graduate. You don’t have to wait for others to meet up with you as online learning is a customized method of learning.
While learning online, breaks caused by pandemics, war, political and economic issues do not affect your education and by this, you can finish up within a short time avoiding all these unnecessary breaks.
Most universities offer intensive online programs that allow students to graduate earlier, so they can get a job faster or resume focusing on their career.
You should take note of the fact that shorter learning periods mean you will have to dedicate more time per week to your studies.
How to Improve Your Online Learning Experience
Regardless of the benefits of online learning, you must stay committed to making it work. Here are some tips on how to make online learning more beneficial and effective for you;
- Work ahead of time
- Do away with distractions
- Have a dedicated learning space
- Don’t multitask
- Schedule your activities for the day
- Neatly arrange your reading space
- Get your book, pen, and all necessary materials available in one place
- Take breaks at intervals
- Reward yourself for successful completion of your daily lessons
Is online learning as effective as face-to-face learning?
Yes. Online learning is super effective as face-to-face learning. You just have to be consistent and disciplined and you are good to go.
Can you earn online degrees in hands-on fields courses like nursing and engineering?
No. While some schools do offer online and hybrid programs in these disciplines, students must usually meet additional face-to-face training requirements. It is best that you make the necessary research to know the requirements before enrolling in such programs.
Do you need to have the technical skills to enroll in an online course?
All you need is to have basic knowledge on how to use the keyboard and mouse, the internet, sending and receiving emails, and the likes. But in instances where you do not know at all, colleges frequently offer classes that’ll help you establish computer literacy before beginning your study.
Is online learning is right for you?
Yes. Online learning is good for everyone as the benefits are immense. However, it is crucial that you consider going your personality and the course you are applying for. To determine if online learning will work for you, you can take free trial courses online to determine if it is right for you.
Online learning comes with so many benefits. Although there are some disadvantages too which vary from person to person and country to country but the advantages are more.
Applying for an online course in a developing country might be challenging due to the issue of poor internet connection and the high cost. Also, someone with a low concentration span might find it difficult to be efficient while studying online.
That said, they are not enough reasons to stop you from achieving your goals. There are people in developing countries who have successfully enrolled and earned online degrees.
What you need is dedication, determination, and hard work.
Lastly, if you are looking for a platform to start with online courses, check this post on Udemy to find out more.
I hope this post was helpful
Thanks for reading.