In the last 20 years, the Internet has grown from being nearly non-existent into the largest, most accessible database of information ever created. It has changed the way people communicate, shop, socialise, do business and think about knowledge and learning. Much more than just a new twist on distance learning, online schooling is changing the face of traditional classrooms and making education more accessible than ever before.
Online education is a form of education where students use their home computers through the internet. For many nontraditional students, among them all those who want to continue working full time or raising families, online graduations and courses have become popular in the past decade. Often online graduation and course programmes, some of which are conducted using digital technologies, are provided via the online learning portal of the host university.
What is online education?
Computer-based training, Web-based training, Internet based training, online training, e-learning (electronic learning), m-learning (mobile learning), computer-aided distance education – online education goes by many names and comes in a variety of styles, but at its core:
“Online education is electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher/student interaction and the distribution of class materials.”
From this simple deﬁnition comes an almost inﬁnite number of ways to teach and learn outside of traditional classrooms and away from college campuses. With online education, students can turn anywhere with Internet access and electricity into a classroom. It can include audio, video, text, animations, virtual training environments and live chats with professors. It’s a rich learning environment with much more ﬂexibility than a traditional classroom.
When used to its full potential, online education has been shown to be more effective than pure face-to-face instruction. It can be engaging, fun and tailored to ﬁt almost anyone’s schedule.
Online Education Programs
- 100% Online Education – Fully-online degrees are earned from the comfort of your own home with no required visits to your college or university campus.
- Hybrid Education – Hybrid education allows students to pursue a combination of online and on-campus courses.
- Online Courses – While online courses may be part of a degree program, they can also be taken on their own in order to master a certain subject or learn a specific skill.
- MOOCs – MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are usually delivered in lecture form to online “classrooms” with as many as 10,000 people.
It’s not easier studying online! Online institutions must meet with the same quality requirements as brick-and-mortar institutions. With the advancement of online learning technologies, virtual institutions have enhanced automated processes to deter fraud and/or plagiarism.
Many online institutions will partner with universities on campus to develop and deliver online programs. This enables an online service, while providing validated course studies through the brick-and-mortar institution, to benefit from the advanced expertise and technology that an online provider provides.