Online education is defined as a pedagogy that uses Internet technologies to correspond and work together in an educational context. This includes technology that combines traditional classroom training with web-based elements and learning environments where the educational procedure is experienced online.
Since the early part of the century, online education has become a fundamental portion of most higher-level institutions, according to one study, with 65.5 percent of all principal scholastic officials recording that online education is crucial to the long-term plan (Lytle, 2011). Millions of students have enrolled, taken, and received degrees through online classes (Huffpost, 2013). Recent findings show a 3.9 percent increase in 2016-2017, and 29.7 percent of students take at least one online course according to the Digital Learning Compass report (Stone, 2017).
One of the primary reasons we are seeing such an increase in online classes is because of the final acceptance of the quality and reputation they are finally gaining. The expanding prestige of the online specialist arrives at a period of solid enrolment in online education at the college level.
The rising acceptance of online education is equalled by the growing acceptance of the online professional as a central member of University direction, guidance, and leadership.
Additionally, the role of online classes has changed as well. In years past, online classes were for continuing or ongoing education, it was an extension. Now, online classes have become more conventional. People are realizing they no longer need to choose between career and education. With online school, you sign-in for attendance during the 24-hour period at your convenience while still pursuing your career. The convenience is too hard to overlook any longer especially with those professionals looking to further advance in their chosen careers.
WorldwideLearn (2017) has come up with a list of advantages of online learning that make the relevance of it clear-cut:
Flexibility & Convenience
- Schedule: Courses can be accessed from anywhere that has a log-in capability and at any time.
- Course Access: Lectures, Discussions, Comments, Explanations are accessible when needed.
- Options: Wide scope of degree programs are available
Enrichment of Students
- Less intimidating: Online classes give way for higher student interaction
- Communication Online: Instructors and students have an easier time communicating than having to wait for office hours.
- Adequate Absorption Time: Students perform better having more time to grasp all of the material.
Money Saving Choices
- Cash Saving options: Elimination of transportation, childcare, other expenses of in-class settings
- Eradication of expensive textbooks – E-textbooks offers savings being less expensive than physical textbooks.
If the rise of percentages over the past decade in the enrollment of online classes are any indication of their future, we can only presume they are the way and trend of the future.
With all of their benefits, it is no wonder so many students are opting to take classes and earn degrees from this non-traditional format. Lists of colleges and universities have gone from offering courses to offering programs and degrees to keep up with their competitors. In the next decade, we will see even more online options taking place. What will be next?