Guest Post by Michael Gorman!
In 1999, Bill Gates made some bold predictions about what will happen in the near future. Some of these predictions dealt with the great progress of information technology including the development of internet-based online sites that would provide varied information to people.
Nowadays, most of these predictions have been realized, and now almost everything that we need can be had via the internet. Moreover, the development of the internet and the ever-expanding reach of the World Wide Web have spawned great online educational institutions that readily provide learning and skills to online learners. Hence, learning is no longer confined to the traditional educational institutions, for at present anyone can study and earn a degree via online education.
What is Online Education?
Education is defined classically as the process by which learning is facilitated via the transfer of knowledge and skills to the learners. In the same manner, online education is the process of transferring knowledge, values, beliefs, skills, and habits to the learners via the internet. As opposed to the traditional classroom setting learning, online learning makes use of the World Wide Web to facilitate the learning process.
Online education happens in real time, and the learning process can be more intense and focused as compared to the classical or traditional ways of learning. Yet, there are aspects of online learning that make it appealing to “would-be” learners, and here are seven reasons that make online learning very productive and effective.
- Effective online education relies heavily on self-discipline and the student’s capacity to organize their learning process. There are many reasons why students would prefer online education over the traditional way of learning. First, there is more flexibility and accessibility via online education. There is also more intense engagement via online education. Likewise, online learning entails reduced costs on education. Yet, with all these advantages of online learning, the effectiveness of online education still hinges on the ability of the students to make the most of the online learning process. Self-discipline entails proper scheduling and the ability to prioritize studies over other things. Since, the students are study on their own without the overarching rules of traditional educational institutions, the students are left to themselves to proactively review and imbibe the gist of their learning materials.
- Online students should know which resources they should use when studying online. Although some online courses provide modules for the students to follow and learn, there are other resources which the online students can readily access to widen their knowledge on any subject matter. The internet is teeming with great resources to increase the students’ knowledge and skills on a particular subject matter.
First, there is Educents which was launched in 2013. This is a website that provides educational materials. Likewise, there is the Qiqqa which is a platform where you can do research work and conveniently read papers. Other resources such as Earth Rangers, PowerMyLearning, Udemy, Mendeley, and Colwiz are also helpful platforms wherein online students can find resources to facilitate and enhance their learning.
- The effectiveness of online education lies in the student’s capacity and the instructor’s ability to create an ideal and inspiring learning relationship. First, students should understand what their instructors really want them to achieve. Likewise, students should connect with their instructors at the onset. Since the students’ communications with instructors are done virtually, students need to clearly understand what their instructors require of them.
- Effective online education relies heavily on how good the online curriculum is. Effective online education should be streamlined and simple. This means that the system must be able to help you gain knowledge and skills that you really need. Hence, the system should be clear-cut and result-oriented. Likewise, the system should be user-friendly. This means that the online learning website should be intuitively efficient in bringing about a real learning. Likewise, the website interface should be very attractive and engaging to ensure that students will be motivated to study thoroughly. Moreover, the modules should be very compelling and helpful in enabling the students to learn the course.
- Effective online education is partly dependent on how capable and effective the instructors are in inspiring and bringing about the desired learning results from online learners. Say for instance, if you are learning a new language online, your instructors should be well-versed and adept in that language to ensure that the students will really learn and understand the new language. Likewise, the instructors should be engaging and encouraging enough to ensure that the students will be motivated to learn the new language.
- Effective online education enables learners to gain mastery of knowledge and skills which would readily land them jobs after finishing the online course. This means that online education should be leaning on and geared towards the types of learning and courses which are highly in demand in the business world; otherwise, the learning process would be impractical and not pragmatically designed to enhance the prospective careers of the students.
- Lastly, online students should have a specific place where they could study. To be effective in learning something, one should have a place or a specific nook wherein one could spend time learning the online course so that one could thoroughly understand and assimilate the learning materials. Distractions are everywhere, and for this reason, one should have a study place which is conducive to the assimilation of learning materials.
Online education is a viable way of learning a new skill and knowledge. It may be different from the traditional ways of learning. But in this modern fast-paced world, it is one of the most efficient and effective ways of learning new skills and knowledge.
About the Author – Michael Gorman