What is online learning?
Online learning is essentially a form of electronic learning which delivers education through the internet instead of a conventional classroom. Although the learning takes place through online activities such as reading texts or watching instructional videos, students still have to complete tests and assignments in order to assess their knowledge. Online learning is more independent and does not require you to be in a certain place at a specific time. This flexibility makes education more accessible to people that may not necessarily be able to commit a large amount of time to attend classes.
Why is it popular?
Learning online has countless advantages which are contributing to people choosing it over a more traditional education. Here are just a few of the benefits of online learning:
Flexibility – Being able to learn online provides you with the freedom to learn wherever you are, without having to attend a class at an allocated time. It is often more convenient for people because you don’t have sacrifice a large chunk of your day to commute or be stuck in traffic to attend your class. Online learning means that you can learn from the comfort of your own home.
Maximise your learning – You can tailor your schedule to maximise your learning, for example if you work better in the morning, you can do all of your studying in the morning and then use the rest of the day for something else. This not only means that you will be able to retain information better because you are working when you are most alert, but also that you are making the most out of the hours in your day.
Makes education accessible – Online learning gives you access to education later on in life, for example if you work full-time but want to pursue an area of study. It allows you to both gain an education without having to quit your job or shuffle between them.
Different way of learning – Some people struggle to thrive in classrooms and it is important to identify that it is perhaps not education, but this method of learning that is the issue. Not having the pressure of being surrounded by peers can often help people to absorb information better, particularly introverts who often thrive in solitude.
Learn at your own pace – In a more conventional education, a lecturer will often overwhelm you with information and it can be difficult to try and process the concepts without having to go away and spend some time trying to decipher notes. Online learning allows you to teach yourself and therefore take all of the time that you need to grasp ideas before moving on. This will not only ensure that you fully understand what you are learning but that you are gaining the most out of your education.
Online learning teaches you to be independent, you are solely accountable for your learning and it therefore forces you to improve your time management skills because you have to co-ordinate your own study time. Being able to demonstrate that you were able to take ownership is a great example that can be used when answering questions during a job interview. Committing to something and seeing it through until the end is a skill that is desirable to many employers. It shows that you are dedicated and self-motivated which are valuable skills within the workplace.
Why is it the future of modern learning?
More universities are now utilising online platforms in their teaching and students that opt for a traditional education are still having to participate in some sort of virtual learning, for example through using Moodle or Blackboard. Therefore, if universities are already incorporating this into a traditional education, online learning will continue to grow and become popular amongst students. With the continual development of technology, it will only go on to improve.
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