Is online education overrated? Probably not. The number of students enrolled in MOOCs has increased dramatically. Approximately 30,000 to 50,000 people take one per year. However, only a handful of those participants finish the entire course. The majority never take another MOOC. In other words, online courses must be designed to grab the attention of a constantly connected audience. And if it doesn’t, the question becomes, “why bother?”
While most people are skeptical about online courses and degrees, the number of students enrolling in online master’s and doctoral programs has grown dramatically. These degrees are more difficult to earn than undergraduate degrees and require more work. While doctoral programs require more personal interaction with mentors and on-campus teaching, many of these students do so online as part of their careers. Nevertheless, most people who complete these degree programs are employed, older, and/or have families.
While online programs are often praised for their flexibility, they have their drawbacks as well. Some institutions fail to realize the benefits of offering online courses. For example, the administration may not see the full impact of class size on the overall cost of the course. And the students may not get the education they want or need if their learning environment is not convenient. This is particularly problematic in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, where many students do not have access to high-speed internet. In addition, online programs are also not accessible to those in the majority of rural communities.
But a higher degree isn’t the only solution to the issue of student success. Some alternative education programs can be just as valuable as traditional college education. However, some students will never be successful in these programs. They may even be better than their college classmates. There is always a catch: not all online students will learn enough to land a good job. But if it’s something that you’re passionate about, consider online education.
Another benefit of eLearning is flexibility. Not everyone learns at the same rate. Because of this, e-learning allows you to study at your own pace. This is beneficial to information retention and allows you more freedom in class. Furthermore, students who are physically challenged can attend classes without having to leave home. An online course allows students to participate from wherever they are. You’ll need a computer with Internet access, but you can learn from it anywhere.
Many people are convinced that traditional schooling does not provide the necessary skills for a successful career. They say the formal education system doesn’t offer all that education should include. In other words, traditional schooling doesn’t give you a full picture of a subject or field, and it’s not always the most productive way to spend your time. And if you’re in school all day, you’re only getting a snapshot of the subject, not a comprehensive view.