Have you ever had the opportunity to take online classes? Have you even heard of online classes? If you haven’t, you are missing out on a great opportunity. Online education is rapidly becoming a popular alternative to traditional education. It is offering more flexibility for students and providing individuals with better opportunities for postsecondary education. Even though traditional education has been the only form of education for hundreds of years, online education offers a new and improved style of learning.
When people think of education, they think of a classroom filled with desks, paper, books, and other students. After all, this is how humans have been taught for generations. This is an example of traditional education. Traditional education is when students attend a school and are taught in a formal classroom setting. There is an instructor that teaches the class by giving demonstrations or by lecturing. It allows the students to have face-to-face interaction with the instructor or their fellow students. Traditional education has never been very flexible. There are scheduled times for class and working around that schedule can prove to be difficult. Often times, life events can conflict with the class schedule. This can cause students to miss class and fall behind in their work.
While traditional education is not very flexible, online education is. Online education is the use of technology to share educational information and to teach students. It often only requires a computer and an Internet connection. The classroom setting of an online education can be anywhere. You can work from the comfort of your own home or while you are at the library. As long as you have access to a computer with Internet, you can go to school. In many situations, you can also complete the school work on your own time. That way if something comes up at the last minute, you still have the ability to complete your school work without losing points. It also allows students to continue to work at their job while taking classes. This is a very nice convenience to have, especially for individuals who have a family or have a job to work around.
Online education can also be much cheaper than traditional education. It is not uncommon for tuition at online schools to be lower than that of a traditional school, although this is certainly not true of all online programs. In addition, costs associated with things like commuting, classroom supplies, and housing are not relevant in an online learning environment. Some programs may not require students to purchase textbooks or provide the material online. Usually, students can download all of their materials needed for class, such as assignments or textbooks, straight from their online classroom. The lower costs of an online education are a key factor for its rising popularity.
Another large factor to consider when choosing a form of education is the availability of resources. Most traditional schools have a vast amount of resources. They often have at least one library, science labs, computer labs, and other resources that make the learning experience easier. The only problem is that some of these resources have limited access. They are only open during certain hours and may even be closed some days. This reduces a student’s flexibility and may affect their ability to complete work on time.
Online education, on the other hand, offers resources that are available 24/7. The resources are all online, so there is no need to have a closing time or open hours. They are at the students’ fingertips and only require the click of a button. They may even offer more resources than you would find at a traditional school. Resources such as a plagiarism checker or a grammar review are usually not available to students in a traditional classroom setting. These resources can give online students the upper hand in education and will allow them to perform at a higher level.
The biggest difference between traditional and online education is the method of communication. In traditional education, everything is face-to-face. The students interact with the teacher directly and the discussion occurs only in the classroom. This face-to-face interaction allows the students to build social skills and form relationships with other classmates. The only downfall there is with this method is that once the class is over, it can be difficult to contact the instructor if a question or problem would arise.
In online education, communication is much different. Students can be thousands of miles apart and live in different time zones. Therefore there cannot be any face-to-face interaction. Instead, online education relies on instant messaging through a forum. It is very similar to a chat room. This is where the majority of the communication takes place. Students can communicate with the instructor and with each other by posting messages and waiting for a reply. This makes it very easy to get a hold of other people, no matter the time of day. The downfall with this method is that sometimes it can take a while before you receive a reply. However, online courses require a certain amount of participation so the question will be addressed before too long.
Many people question the amount of work that online students do. Some even say that online colleges should not be as credible as traditional universities. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Online education shares many of the same requirements expected by traditional schools. Online students write research papers, have to create projects, and take finals just like any other student. In fact, many online schools have traditional campuses and have the same requirements for both campus and online students. It does not matter which form of education an individual chooses. They will be required to do the same amount of work in order to attain their degree.
For years I thought traditional education was the only way to go. I was a firm believer in the traditional ways and never thought that you could get the same education by sitting on a computer. Now that I have experience in both forms of education, I can see why so many people are switching to online programs. The flexibility of online classes and the vast amount of resources make it more user friendly than ever before. The popularity of online education is on the rise and will continue to increase as more people switch from the traditional ways.