How Online Learning Is Changing the College Sphere - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How Online Learning Is Changing the College Sphere

Online learning has dramatically disrupted the world of education. Today, students of all backgrounds can seek out college-level knowledge without bending to budget or time constraints.

Some students choose to blend online classes with the traditional college experience. Non-degree students also seek courses that can expand their current skills and expertise. As technology continues to develop, there’s no doubt online learning will revolutionize the college sphere. Here’s how:

Improved Education Technology

With the rise of online learning, many experts are touting the possibility of enhanced learning. Technology can potentially improve the education experience by increasing student engagement.

Digital tools that have a substantial impact on learning include:

  • ID Verification
  • Online testing
  • Support forums
  • Course-Making Software

Educators can also better track student progress, no matter where that student resides. Critical technologies will have an impact on the future of learning, both digital and blended.

Reduced Schooling Costs

Higher education sometimes lacks resources, and tuition rates are expensive. For the 2018-2019 school year, the cost to attend an average four-year U.S. public college was more than $10,500 per year. Private colleges are exponentially more expensive, and more than 60 schools in the country cost $60,000 or more annually.

Many students are unable — or unwilling — to go into hefty debt for their educations if they don’t believe the return on investment (ROI) will be worth it. Online classes, which are only a fraction of the cost, are a path towards progress.

Online learning comes in a variety of forms, many of which mimic the real classroom experience. Students can read syllabi, watch recorded video lectures, complete tests and more. The forum-like community also allows users to interact, ask questions and collaborate.

More Accessible Opportunities

A traditional educational experience involves sitting in a classroom — but many people don’t have that opportunity. Due to so many circumstances, would-be students might not have access to money, transportation or enough time to earn a traditional degree. Online learning promises access regardless of these factors — all you need is an internet connection.

This technology can redefine the education system, allowing students to access content from any location at any time. An online platform enables students to work at their own pace and approach education in a way that fits their needs. Today, roughly a third of college students prefer to add at least one online course to their college schedule, a number that’s increased dramatically over the past 10 years.

A Personalized Approach

As a priority across the globe, personalized learning is an ideal approach where people can learn in precisely the way they need to stay engaged and motivated. Educational technology and online courses are making that goal a reality. In one poll, more than 90% of school districts said they were directing devices and software toward personalized learning.

Tutoring systems backed by artificial intelligence can not only diagnose students’ mistakes, but deduce why they made them. The course materials can then be adjusted based on the student’s needs.

Massive Open Online Courses

Massive open online courses, also called MOOCs, are online education courses that have the potential to reach millions of learners across the globe. In 2012, edX, a start-up headed by Harvard and MIT, had 370,000 students enrolled in their first official semester.

With other big-name universities jumping on the bandwagon — like Columbia, Duke and Princeton — educators are beginning to understand the potential. People can gain access to college-level materials for free, all without having to step foot in a classroom.

A Path to Enhanced Education

While relatively new, online learning has already made a big splash. How do you think it will disrupt the college sphere in the future? Perhaps more students will opt for online classes compared to the traditional classroom. Educators might use technology to further personalization. Ideally, the option for online education will encourage an atmosphere where learning is encouraged.

About the Author

With a particular passion for student life, learning and educational experiences, Alyssa Abel writes to help students and educators alike. Follow her insights and updates on Syllabusy.

About the author

With a particular passion for student life, learning and educational experiences, Alyssa Abel writes to help students and educators alike. Follow her insights and updates on Contact the author.

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