Online Learning: Is it to stay?

The conventional learning style was rarely brought into question until the influx of the internet. Traditionally, you have a teacher and a class full of students. Despite its flaws, this method has widely been considered the most effective. Due to recent advancements in technology, it has become a possibility to learn from the comfort of your own home using the internet. Virtual Universities have started to pop up all over the net, and existing universities have even branched out to provide online learning opportunities. One of the biggest reasons why this has become realistic in recent times is due to significant improvements to the internet and the resources available. Where it was once a vast network of information, the online world is now an interactive platform with endless possibilities.

There are, of course, disadvantages of studying online, that are important to consider, particularly if they apply to your current situation. When you study strictly online it significantly reduces, if not eliminates, the face to face interaction you experience. In order to reach a successful status in life, communication is critical, and one of the best ways of learning how to do so effectively is through experiencing real life situations and talking to people. Unfortunately, studying online doesn’t give you the opportunity to personally develop in this area.

Another disadvantage is the lack of structure to your learning environment. Online education is perfect for self-motivated individuals who can schedule their workload accordingly, but many students need a level of structure and authoritative guidance in order to succeed. Though gaining your own independence is very important in order to achieve well in life, some students won’t be equipped well enough to do so when they’re younger, and these individuals will be unsuited to online learning.

Some of the benefits of studying online arguably outweigh the cons listed above, one of which is increased flexibility. In the working world it can be very difficult to achieve without experience in your field. Gaining the ability to access your course materials whenever you want (as long as you have access to the internet) allows you to work during your time between studying. This can be hugely advantageous, given that once you finish your degree you’ll have an edge over other graduates who have a degree, but no practical experience.

Studying online also increases the comfort of your studying, where you can move at your own pace in your own environment, and are not restricted by the confines of conventional study, which is a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Advancements in resources, including video recorded lectures and discussion boards, have made studying for a VU’s online MBA program attainable, providing you can commit and achieve well in a business related subject. Business is mentioned here strictly as an example, where there are numerous courses and levels of education available through online routes.

Online learning is here to stay, and as technology improves, the chances are that the quality of online education will continue to rise.