What is Online Education?
Online education is a highly-flexible system of education. What online education has to offer a student is available to them via the internet. Online education is very old but was not famous amongst the masses. Now you may wonder how? Well, there was a time when students studied through e-mails. And for the past decade, online education has been picking up pace. A student may take up a program he desires and may not have to go through the struggle of lack of time. They may sit at the comfort of their homes and complete their programs. What these online education programs also offer is a boost to the CV of an individual. These online courses educate students not only to complete their education but also become eligible for a better job profile.
The need for Online Education
• It has been found that traditional courses are not as effective as online education. In fact, is safe to say that online education affects five times more than the traditional courses. This is because the students have full control over the speed of learning. They may speed up their program when they desire and slow down when they feel the need to do so.
• The rate of retention through online education is higher than traditional learning. The content, when presented through infographics, is easy to understand, simple to learn and results in longer retention.
• From an environmental point of view, online education takes up 90% less energy than in-class teaching. It makes online education eco-friendly.
• It is a wide-known fact that online education offers far more courses than traditional learning does. From medicine to management, all the courses are available at just a click. A student may obtain access to the study material as and when he wishes.
• The cost of each program for online education is half or maybe less than half of traditional education. Each online course offers more opportunities for employment when the time comes.
Positive and Negative aspects of Online Education
Accessibility – Access to education is largely restricted due to the compulsion of in-class education. Whereas, online education makes it easier for a student sitting in one corner of the world to gain a certification or even a degree in his/her desired course. The online courses are best suitable for people who learn better through videos or images. Another category that can benefit from online education is specially-abled.
Productivity – Upon proper development, online education can prove to be productive and highly-efficient. Online education enables teachers to reach out to students with different learning patterns in a better manner. They may also set up a space for discussions and clarification of doubts to ensure a better understanding of the topics. In this manner, the students will feel free to address their queries and gain insights that will help them to learn better.
Socialization – In today’s world where social anxiety is a prominent issue, online education can be a great relief for some students. Today, where every student is burdened with peer pressure or judgment or is stressed for social acceptance, online education enables them to learn at the comfort of their home.
Affordability – It is a less-known fact that the same offline programs can be pursued online at half or maybe less than half the cost. The prices of the degrees or certification courses vary for each university or college but are still more pocket-friendly than the offline courses.
Lack of personal touch: The traditional society makes it compulsory for students to get educated through in-class education. It is so because the students may interact with their professors or teachers as and when they desire or require. But, on the other hand, online education lacks the personal touch. In fact. If a student comes up with a query on the online portals, they are not addressed to at the first instance.
Time Constancy: It is a general misconception amongst the students that online education requires less time as compared to traditional education. Well, on the contrary, the consumption of time is just like in-class education. Studies prove that only self-disciplined students can make the best out of online education. Students need to design a well-planned timetable if they are aiming to go ahead with this modern method of learning.
Online Education and Traditional Education: A Comparison
Flexibility – One of the prominent features offered by online education is flexibility. This means the classes can be taken by the students when it is comfortable for them. They may study according to their schedule. While in traditional education, this facility is not available. One must follow the specified timetable designed by the authorities. Every student must follow the rules and regulations of the conducting body, whereas, in online education, a student may adopt a flexible study schedule.
Discipline: The flexible schedule of online education is often taken for granted. Many students struggle to make sure that they attend classes, but they often fail in doing so. But, when it comes to traditional education, one is a bid to be disciplined.
Employability: A student usually takes an online course to increase his knowledge. This knowledge also boosts their resume and helps them in getting employed. A person with knowledge of vocational courses is of a higher value as compared to someone who is not into vocational education. For example – An individual could complete a certification course in digital marketing and be hired by a company for the same just through online education. While in traditional education, an individual does not get enough exposure to learn through practice.
Interaction: While in traditional learning, a student can address his problems as and when they arise and be assured of finding a solution, online education is not developed enough for the same. When a student posts a query, most of the time it goes unnoticed and unanswered. While in traditional learning, this problem does not seem to arise frequently.
Trends in Online Education as in 2019
Virtual Learning Environments – This innovation in the genre of online education has helped both the education system and the administration office. A software like Blackboard manages the grade cards, attendance sheets as well as the administrative sheets. This software also performs automated duties like sending emails to the absent students.
Softwares like Blackboard are user-friendly and have commendable technical support from the publishers. Such software should be logged in at a regular basis during the beginning of one’s semester to ensure that they are receiving regular e-mails. Be it attendance or assignments, such software can update you with all of it.
Flipped Classroom – The concept of flipped classrooms is a unique one. In a flipped class the students complete their homework while at school to avoid the incompletion of the homework due to confusion. The concept of a flipped classroom turns everything around. It helps in devoting the time meant for homework to the class lectures. This implies, that the time a student dedicates to completing homework can be utilized in the classroom.
In this manner when he/she gets stuck at some point in time, he will have the teacher on his side to resolve the doubts immediately. In this manner, a student gains better clarity of the study matter and does not lose interest in the subject. It has been seen that students often begin to dislike a certain subject if their queries are not met timely.
Mastery Learning – Mastery Learning refers to the demonstration of the mastery of a subject by a student. In this method of learning, a student needs to master a specific subject by answering all the related questions correctly. In this learning method, a student is not allowed to move on to any other discipline without showcasing his mastery in the present one. This method was suggested and supported by the Khan Academy.
If a school utilizes the method of mastery learning, then the students are retested again and again unless they achieve the perfect score. This also leads to heavy utilization of online teaching tools.
Collaborative learning – A commonly perceived notion amongst the masses is that one learns and works best when he is in a group. This technique of providing online education has been designed after considering the fact that a student might be horrified at the thought of isolation. When this technique was discovered, various schools, colleges, and teachers took an interest in the policy of collaborative learning.
In collaborative learning, students may make wise usage of Softwares like Slack for video conferencing, email and texting. Collaborative learning is a highly-favored option presently. This form of online education has yielded good results in the end and hence is highly-favorable.
Points to be kept in mind while opting for Online Education
• The myth of the easy route – There is a prominent myth amongst the masses which says that online education is the easy route. Yes, it is a fact that online education is flexible in nature and approach but requires dedication and devotion. The amount of work remains the same but the setting for the learning environment changes.
• The trick of time management – Time as known by far can be the best friend and the best enemy. When it comes to online education, a student needs to take an initiative to complete his studies.
• Group projects and their exemption – Just because a course is online does not imply that one is exempted from group projects. Each student might need to utilize online tools like Google docs to complete an assignment.
Netiquettes that must be kept in mind
While we have been warned by our parents to mind our manners, we also need to make sure that we also abide by the netiquettes. Here we have listed a few netiquettes for online education.
Do not YELL! – While on the internet we are not able to express our views except through emoticons and fonts of the text. Sometimes one uses the BLOCK LETTERS just to highlight a message or grab attention towards it but many times, this capitalization is perceived as shouting on the readers.
The backfire of sarcasm – Sarcasm is a great source of entertainment in the present scenario but most of the time it results in arguments because the sarcasm of an individual is perceived in the wrong manner by the masses. As a safety measure, one must avoid the use of sarcasm in online classrooms.
Timely submission of the files – In online education, a student is not required to print the entire project, get it to bind and submit it on a specific date, in fact, students are required to submit the assignments as and when they complete it from their side. But this does not mean that students can take undue advantage of this facility. Students must submit the assignments in time.
Some Famous Online Education Terms
Asynchronous learning – Asynchronous learning is basically a student-centered teaching method that utilizes technology to facilitate online education.
Blended Course – A blended course comprises online education and traditional learning in a balanced manner.
Blended Learning – Blended learning refers to a properly balanced way of learning in traditional education and online education. This implies that a part of education is done in the traditional manner and the other is covered through online education. This is also known as Hybrid Learning.
Blog – A section of the website or a website could be used for expressing the ideologies and opinions. These blogs are generally maintained by one editor.
Chatroom – This is a facility offered by a website or a service on the internet facilitating the communication between the individuals divided by a wall of the internet.
Content Repository – A content repository is basically making things available for sharing and saving digitally.
Course Management System (CMS) – CMS is an online technology through which the online offering of courses is enabled. This software enables the creation and editing of the content. What enhances the performance of CMS is a tool for communication and assessment.
Cyberbullying – Cyberbullying refers to harassing an individual on the internet. In the present scenario, cyberbullying is one of the worst outcomes of technology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Online Education
1. Is online education taking over traditional education?
Ans. Well, it won’t be correct if we say an outright no because the truth is online education has begun to revamp the face of education. Some may refer this to be as the taking over of online education but not yet, it is still complementary to traditional education.
2. How is online education helping students from K-12?
Ans. Online education has many aspects like video tutorials and educational apps. Students may log in to use the same. These students these days may take help of the various tools of online education and ace their examinations.
3. Is online education more flexible?
Ans. Yes, online education is more flexible than traditional education. Students may study at their own convenience and pace.
4. Is online education easy?
Ans. It is far accepted notion that online education is easier than traditional education, but the truth is just contrary. If a student enrolls for a program online, he must be responsible enough to be login at regular intervals and maintain the flow of study.
5. What does online education have in store for us in the future?
Ans. Online education is gradually taking under its wings everything that is available only in books at the moment. The knowledge that was once only in the libraries is available on the e-libraries now. These e-libraries are expanding at a very fast rate and we may expect online education to be accepted all over the world.