Online Learning

The days of going to a class in person are nearly gone. These days, anyone can learn and master just about any subject online. We live in a technological age where almost all information is at our fingertips. So why waste your time on campus?

Online learning has become a major part of the educational system. It’s fast, convenient, and can be accessed on multiple devices. The internet has allowed us to take these courses for free or at a very low cost.

This article will explore what online learning is, why it’s so popular now and some other details that will be beneficial to you. Let’s get started.

What is online learning?

Online learning refers to educational activities that take place outside the classroom, leveraging learning technologies instead of traditional face-to-face interactions. It is often referred to as digital learning, e-learning, among other terms.

The learning technologies could be via a website, smartphone app or tablet program. The purpose is to make education more accessible to learners all over the world.

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Why is online learning so popular these days?

1. It is accessible

Online learning offers students the chance to pursue their studies from just about anywhere—including their own home, a library, or an Internet cafe in a foreign country. It allows them to work at their own pace and set study time aside for when they really need it.

As a matter of fact, all you need to have is a computer and an internet connection for you to have access to online courses. Hence, it has become progressively popular.

2. It offers a wide selection of programmes

Compared to a traditional classroom setting, online learning provides a wider selection of programmes to choose from. There are hundreds, if not thousands of online programmes that students can enrol in. They can choose different learning format, degree levels, and course subject range.

In addition, there is an opportunity for students to explore new interest areas or enhance their existing ones. The traditional classroom setting only offers a few courses available per semester and the selections are very limited.

3. It allows for a customised learning experience

When it comes to your education, you need the right tools to help you succeed. Online learning offers teachers and students a great deal of flexibility. Students can study on their computer, tablet, IPad or Smartphone.

They can pick what they learn and when they learn it. They can watch training videos at 2 am (or even before going to bed) if that’s what suits them best. An online learning environment can offer a customized experience, so you’re able to work at your own pace and really focus on the subjects that interest you most.

4. It is flexible

In comparison to traditional learning, online learning allows students to learn at their own pace, which is more suitable for both the children and parents. It is also flexible in that allows students to study what they are interested in, what they like and what they need.

5. It encourages better time management

With online learning, you can set your own schedule. Whether you have two minutes or two hours, you can learn when it’s convenient for you. If you have a sudden occasion to take a vacation out of town, you won’t have to worry about completing a course in time.

You get all the control over your schedule, and online courses respond to that by being readily available no matter what time of day it is. Students who take these classes tend to be less stressed with their coursework because they know they can fit it into their busy lives on their own terms.

6. It promotes refined critical-thinking skills

Online learning provides a more personalised educational environment for each student involved. Students taking online courses learn about high-level critical thinking skills since they must sift through information on their own.

They must examine the strengths and weaknesses of their own arguments and those of other writers in order to create well-supported statements, or engage with other people’s content to develop new ideas. Critical thinking is imperative for students as they develop into college graduates.’

7. It is less intimidating

Online learning is less intimidating than attending a traditional classroom, especially for those learners who are shy or self-conscious about many things. Students perceive online courses as more flexible and forgiving. It’s difficult to feel embarrassed in front of a computer!

8. The outbreak of the coronavirus

The outbreak of the coronavirus has made people more aware of online learning. This is because all around the world, schools were closed because of COVID-19.

The educational system has undergone a dramatic change as a consequence, thanks to the rise of e-learning, which involves virtual and online learning through various online platforms.

It is not surprising that when this happened, the number of people registering to online learning sites in the immediate aftermath went up substantially.

What are the online learning resources?

eBooks

eBooks are one of the most common digital learning resources. An eBook is a book or text that you can buy and download online. It can be read on a computer, tablet or smartphone. Some textbooks are available as eBooks. They give you the flexibility to learn at your own pace, so you can fit in a lesson whenever it’s convenient for you.

Multimedia files

Media is a great way to present large amounts of information in a short time and multimedia files are just the right tools to accomplish the task. To enhance the classroom experience, a variety of features are provided for learners, including multimedia files such as video presentations, audio lectures and animations.

Recorded lectures

Online lectures can be viewed live or downloaded. The teacher creates lectures and uploads them to the course management system.

Students log into the system, access the lectures, watch them at their own pace and discuss with one another in classes forums.

Recorded lectures are educational resources available online that you can use to gain additional knowledge in different subjects and areas.

Discussion forums

Around the world, online learning communities are thriving. These communities bring people together to discuss a wide range of topics related to digital learning, education in general and teaching.

Discussion forums provide a way for people to connect with others who share similar interests. You can discuss topics ranging from general issues such as business, fashion, and pets, to specific political and social topics.

Live Q&A sessions

The Live Q&A (question and answer) sessions is a feature that gives users the opportunity to interact directly with the instructors. A student can ask any question and expect an instant answer with a clarification.

Web pages on the internet

Trying to find out about a skill or type of career? Visit web pages that feature details of your school subject, number of jobs in the industry and wage information.

There are thousands of web pages offering free online learning opportunities for teachers, children, and parents. You can also find a great range of online learning resources for all ages and interest groups.

How can online learning be delivered?

Video conferencing platforms

Learning can now be delivered through online video conferencing platforms. Technology has advanced to where internet bandwidth and video compression have sufficiently advanced to allow online learning.

This online learning environment is referred to as the ‘anytime, anywhere web’ – you will be able to participate in your classes from these platforms as long as you have an internet connection.

Virtual learning environments

Virtual learning environments (VLE) are online spaces where students, teachers and institutions meet to share resources and interact.

In other words, the term VLE refers to the software and hardware that makes up the delivery system of online teaching and learning, as well as any systems that may support it.

VLEs play an essential role in delivering online courses and ensuring a smooth transition between curriculum and classroom learning.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs)

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are short, tuition-free, web-based courses that allow anyone to enrol and learn at their own pace. Online learners have access to course content and the ability to interact with other students and teachers.

Instructors can post materials such as documents, videos and images, but also grades, which include assessments and tests. MOOCs are designed for users of any age and prior knowledge.

Why are people still sceptical about online learning?

1. Lackadaisical attitudes of students

In the past, online learning was frowned upon by many people because of the lackadaisical attitudes of self-paced learners. Lackadaisical attitudes towards learning is a serious concern that anyone who works in education will agree with.

Why? Because education is about improving the quality of our lives, and it’s difficult to improve anything without putting in an effort.

However, with the growth and advancement in online learning tools that trigger a lot of interactions, online learning has not only gained acceptance but also curiosity among individuals who are looking for flexible and commercial alternatives.

2. Technology issues

The use of technology in an online course can help students access information to successfully do their work and be productive; however, internet connectivity is one of the major challenges of online classes.

The usage of the internet has grown substantially over the past few years, but in smaller cities and towns, a steady connection with reasonable speed is a problem.

In addition, the assignment of too many technological tasks or misusing the features of online tools can result in increased frustration, stress and decreased motivation.

3. Screen time management

The growing trend toward online learning has led many to ponder whether or not children are wasting too much time in front of computer and television screens. Some people argue that screen-based learning is a lazy practice, which takes advantage of children’s growing dependence on technology.

These concerns will likely continue to be debated for some time, but in the meantime, a good screen time management plan may be able to ease your mind about your vision and possibly bad posture avoidance as a result of being in a position for long.

4. Teacher training

Teacher training is an important aspect of online learning. A teacher must have all the necessary tools and knowledge to properly educate students within an online setting.

It is important for teachers to be trained in these assessment methods in order for them to know how to best measure their students’ understanding of the content. Unfortunately, some online learning platform does not follow the rigorous processes involved in teacher selection. This means students will not receive the best of education via those platforms.

5. Sense of isolation

People are adapting to this new type of education because they have more freedom in selecting where and when they learn. Despite the popularity of online degrees, educators and students alike face a variety of challenges, limitations, and obstacles with online learning.

Educators are facing issues that arise from distance communication and technology, such as limited interaction with students and the challenge of delivering courses in an interactive manner. In other words, there is greater isolation in the online learning experience than in a traditional classroom.

Online learning is a big trend today. Previously, people would need to take out student loans then spend the next 5 years in college. Nowadays, there are lot of things you can learn for free that apply to your career and interests. You can then obtain the certificate for a token fee.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, online learning is a growing trend. Technology allows individuals to learn at their own pace, in their own time, and repeat the lessons as often as necessary. This can be a huge advantage for busy professionals or individuals with families that want to take online lessons on the go.

Online learning is a great way to learn something new while going about your usual routine. You can listen to audio lessons, watch video lectures or read detailed text from the convenience of your computer, phone or tablet and learn at any time of the day.

Online learning can save you thousands on your college education while delivering a high-quality experience. It’s safe, easy to use, and improves every year as new features and perks are added on.

Additional Information and FAQs

How is online learning assessed?
On completion of each unit or module, students will complete assignments, tests and exams in the form of e-learning modules. This work will be assessed by a tutor who will provide feedback on strengths and weaknesses to ensure that the student is progressing and developing.

In addition, the students will receive a certificate to confirm their participation in the online course. Participants’ understandings and implementation of learned skills will be assessed through discussion board postings, reflection, setting goals, action planning, etc., that they do within the required framework of the online course.

Is online learning effective?
Yes, online learning is effective. Online learning gives you the tools to master your favourite topics and introduces you to new subjects. Besides, online learning is a cost-effective and efficient way to stay ahead of the curve.

From the convenience of your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, you can access an online course whenever you like and learn from the comfort of your own home or office.

How do online institutions prevent cheating?
Many educational programmes try to prevent cheating by implementing strict policies, but with an online programme, it is virtually impossible to monitor every student and their devices. Nonetheless, online learning relies on a system of trust.

Online institutions ensure their students are receiving high-quality education and asking the right questions. Most live video courses use multiple cameras to oversee the classroom, allowing them to have several perspectives that they can switch between.

These cameras also help keep a physical log of students who are in attendance at any point in time. This log can be compared to a student’s coursework assignment records at the end of their session or topic to ensure all assignments were completed and all materials were covered before proceeding. The same is true for digital assignments or quizzes as well.

Is online learning better than the traditional learning system?
It depends on how you look at it. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. In a traditional classroom, the traditional learning system has some benefits like students being able to interact with the teachers or other students physically.

But, in an online learning system, the student is not required to be present in the classroom physically as long as he/ she has access to the internet. Therefore, an online class may be easier for someone who is sick or is working on something else.

Why is online learning referred to as the future of education?
Online learning is the future of education because it makes education accessible to all. Students can now enrol in courses that were once not easily available to them if they lived too far from a university or if there was no local university.

Many people who are interested in pursuing a degree or specific area of study that was never offered locally can now have their courses online. With emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and holograms on the horizon, online learning is set to become more creative and more engaging than ever before.