Online learning is a concept that has been well-researched and applied but has yet to be appreciated for its full potential. A study in 2018 revealed that up to 85% of students who had previously been enrolled in both in-person and online classes found their online learning experience to be equal or better than studying inside a classroom (Busteed, 2019). Online learning and traditional in-person learning differ greatly and the former has shown to often be more convenient, flexible, and less costly.
Online programs usually offer modes of teaching that are more specific to a student’s needs and utilize tools such as computer software, online discussion forums, and action learning methods. Though in-person classes offer clear discussion, online conversations allow space for all students equally and allow them to perform tasks at a pace that is appropriate to them. It also allows teachers to digitize a substantial amount of classroom equipment such as textbooks, workbooks, academic writing, and many other valuable resources.
Due to the flexibility of online learning, students are able to fit their education into a schedule that might be influenced by other tasks or responsibilities. For instance, full-time employees or individuals with family members or children who require attention may find learning at their own designated time and rate beneficial. While in-person learning can build a sense of community, it does not impact the lifestyles or availability of all students in a positive way.
Recent studies have illustrated that the cost of in-person learning has a severe toll on a student’s financial status. Currently, the collective price of education includes not only the cost of the program but the spending on transportation, lab fees, housing expenditure, and physical copies of academic resources. Additionally, the educational facilities pay for teaching and other staff, electricity costs, classroom upkeep, among other expenses. On the other hand, online learning relies on technological innovations and tools that can be used for a myriad of tasks.
Due to a multitude of factors including convenient and flexible study schedules and assessments, with improved learning outcomes, online learning surpasses traditional in-person education. Accessibility is offered through lower pricing, databases of educational material, and no extra expenditure. Though the purpose of online learning is not to replace regular classrooms, it can be taken into consideration more frequently when planning courses or classes. Due to technological advances that continue to occur to this day, online education can become a steadily used alternative.
Busteed, Brandon. “Online Education: From Good To Better To Best?” Forbes, 2019, Web.