Taking the plunge from traditional to online learning

With the ever increasing number of students opting for online education which increased 150% from 1998 to 2008, popular universities all over the world are offering online courses for students, to take up virtual classes with them. Top universities like Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley and Oxford also offer a few free online courses through massive open online education courses (MOOCs).

For working professionals an online degree in higher education can act as a career boost. They could have certain professional and personal commitments because of which they might not be able to enroll in a full time course. But an online education provides flexibility to working people. Hence online course could be a great option to balance between work and learning. It is also a good way to take up certification courses to remain updated with knowledge in your field of work. People have also turned to online courses for hobbies like arts and crafts. Paid online courses for hobbies like music or learning new languages are more comprehensive than the free ones available on sites like YouTube.

It is a misconception that students taking online courses don’t get a chance to talk to their professors or their classmates. There are plenty of resources available to them like forums for discussions, e-books and e-learning. It is a convenient way of continuing learning or attending school when you are tied up with a full time job or other responsibilities. From the comfort of your location with just an access to internet you can take classes at your own scheduled time.

You can also learn at your own pace in online courses. More priority and time can be given to topics which you feel are hard to understand than the ones which you are a better expert at. You might also get individual attention from the instructor and effective feedback of your assignments and tests. Many children are opting for online tuitions by well qualified tutors. Websites like BharatTutors.com, 2tion.com have started offering online tuitions which connect students and tutors all over the country.

The online courses offered are comparatively offered at lower fees than the traditional brick and mortar ones. They do not include other fee like paying for facilities such as library, hostel accommodation etc. Hence they are less expensive compared to traditional classrooms. The courses can simultaneously be offered globally to students at their own locations. The institute can reach out to more people at the same time. It is also a good learning experience for students to interact through discussions to gain a global perspective from students all over the world. With many students pursuing online courses, employers are also recognizing them for employment opportunities.

Since online classes are very flexible people tend to procrastinate attending classes and their assignments and nobody would monitor like the traditional classes. So you need to be self-disciplined for the learning to happen. One should be able to work independently and be organized by preparing a plan to complete the courses in time. As a word of caution, choose wisely the institute from where you are going to take your course by checking if they have an accreditation. If the institute offering you the course is not reputed and accredited then your degree might not be valid.

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