Sunday, July 15, 2012

Going the Online Way!

No longer is education limited to just traditional 'brick and mortar' classrooms. Right from kids to adults, everyone is going the online way as far as education is concerned via a series of online classes and courses. These classes are offered either by experienced independent teachers or by schools and colleges that also conduct regular classroom-based teaching.

According to a survey conducted by the Sloan Consortium, over 5.6 million students took an online class in 2011, accounting to about 30 percent of the total U.S. college students. The number of students taking online courses has definitely increased compared to the 2009 Sloan Consortium survey report that showed just negligible 10 percent of students taking such internet-based courses.

Now, what can be the reason behind the increasing popularity of online classes? Let us find out.

Flexibility of Learning

Today, students prefer to learn at their convenience. With online classes, they can easily choose their time to study and likewise schedule time for other tasks like tuitions or sports. Many students find traditional classrooms to be hectic, as they need to sit all day long attending individual classes on a continuous basis. Breaks are short and the ongoing learning process can sometimes be quiet overbearing.

Anytime, Anywhere Studying

A student can attend a class anytime and from anywhere across the world. They do not need to worry about travelling across miles to attend school or stay in hostels away from their parents for education sake. Students only need a PC with an internet connection to instantly access a wide variety of courses of their choice and interest. Even their parents can sit with them through the duration of the online class or help them with their homework, anytime of the day or night.

Course Material Accessible 24 Hours a Day

One can access the course materials 24 hours a day and 365 days a year from any remote location. Students can easily view or download relevant course materials such as course catalogs, calendar, examination forms, etc. from the online school or college website. Online classes provide students the freedom to read and refer back to notes, discussions or comments, as and when desired.

Increases Class Participation Rate

Supporters of online education have argued that student interest in attending a class increases when classes are conducted virtually. This is because online education lets the teachers and students utilize modern technology, including audio-visual components and multimedia. For example, students connect and interact with teachers online via forums or communities. They can chat, email or post their queries or questions on the online discussion board to let the teachers view and get back to them in due course.

Facilitates Team Learning

Online classrooms foster team learning. They let students connect and discuss learning topics in a virtual environment. Such virtual classes eliminate the chance of mismatched schedules, finding suitable locations, and encourage team work and group development.

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