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Five myths about online learning

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Online learning is growing in popularity year-on-year with the number of students enrolled in online education continuing to rise. However, many students are unfamiliar with online education which has led to the proliferation of several myths about this mode of learning.

Below are five myths about online learning, let’s separate the fact from the fiction.

Myth 1: Online courses are easier than face-to-face courses

This is a common misconception about online learning. Although online courses are designed for flexibility and convenience, they still have the same expectations as face-to-face courses; online students are still working towards a degree which does not mean the content will be any less challenging. Online students are free to choose when and where they study, but they still have the same amount of work to do, essays to write and exams to pass.

Myth 2: Online courses are low quality

This couldn’t be further from the truth; online courses are held to the same standard as traditional face-to-face courses. Online learning institutions must go through a rigorous certification process to ensure they understand the academic standard that all online courses must meet. Their programmes must maintain high academic stands to keep their accreditation.

Myth 3: Online students never communicate with a lecturer

Learning online does not mean you’re left alone in your self-study environment. While online students may not meet their tutors in person, they do have the opportunity to interact with them. Students are encouraged to contact tutors by phone, e-mail, Skype or during online webinars.

Myth 4: Online learners do not interact with other students

This is false; online learning is not an isolated activity. Online courses encourage students to engage in ‘social learning,’ whereby students are expected to interact with their peers in discussion forums and take part in group projects using web conferencing tools. Most course providers have apps which enable students from all corners of the world to work together and exchange ideas.

Myth 5: Online courses aren’t valued by employers
False again. Employers’ attitudes towards online education tend to be positive as online programmes have overcome the stigma they had ten years ago. We’re in an era of educational transition, online learning has become a legitimate mode of learning and employers are moving with the times. Employers don’t dismiss the value of a degree based on its delivery mode, they recognise the commitment and discipline it takes to juggle multiple commitments to study for an online degree.

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