How Effective Is Online Learning

Experts Discuss How Effective Is Online Learning and What Tech Brands Can Learn From It.

How Effective Is Online Learning?

As the cost of higher education continues to rise, another way to cut costs has been the rise of online higher education. According to surveys from Apollo, students have typically priced the program between $20,000-$30,000 per year. Additionally, between 15-20% of enrolled students still need to take a course in person to complete their program.

Educators have estimated that one-third of enrollments are open course offers. Let’s look at how these online programs are different from existing classes and how they could impact our future.

Impact on Student Struggles

Even though online classes are changing, students should not expect the same courses offered in traditional classes. Online courses tend to focus on the requirements of the course, which is why they are less interactive. There are also no real commonalities between online and on-campus courses.

Compare with a classroom model, the online model offers non-interactive teaching. A professor asks the question, lets you answer it (assuming you already know the answer), and then suggests action steps.

As a result, students should expect to suffer academically from online classes. Although there are online programs that use teacher-guided lessons, these instructions are atypical and actually tend to be less effective.

Some online courses offer interactive lessons that are used to fine-tune instructional techniques, thereby helping instructors to understand students better. Online courses usually require a great deal of group study and have limited interaction with peers, faculty, and supervisors. Online students’ free time is spent online, not in the classroom. Online students may feel their social and intellectual world is divided, and therefore may struggle to study.

While this sounds terrible for college students, online learning is more effective for the student seeking a less conventional education.

Low Participation Rate

In order to get a more accurate profile of students’ choices, there has to be a clear breakdown of course enrollment rates. Online programs do not have to include enrollment in courses by gender. Therefore, it is difficult to verify the students’ choices.

When comparing online and on-campus course enrollments, I found that only 17.4% of students who attended an online program enrolled in the course, when the prior year total attendance at online programs was 55.2%. Off-campus enrollment stands at 14.7% and 1.6% for on-campus programs.

While the student enrollment rates are low, the types of students tend to be different. On-campus programs tend to attract students with a larger amount of classroom engagement and social engagement. The expected college students from this category, ranging from the average Joe to the upper-income students, will not find the on-campus experience all that engaging.

The majority of college students, with the exception of students in for-profit schools, are drawn to online programs because they are less engaging and require less time. Students with ample time spent in school tend to do better academically. Typically, other universities will offer more online courses in an effort to attract students with a greater on-campus experience.

Strategic Opportunity

Online programs have a long and strategic opportunity to serve students and other students’ parents. This is due to the fact that 70% of families spent more than $10,000 on higher education in 2017. Online courses, if used in the right way, could potentially help reduce these costs.

Other students’ parents, who spent between $3,000 and $6,000, may find online education more attractive than on-campus classes. There are many ways this could work. The cost of tuition would continue to decline as the number of online programs increases, assuming the quality and effectiveness of online classes improve.

Online programs could also be a tool to help offer a career upgrade for students. These students could also use online courses to transition to higher-paying, more complex careers. After completing the education needed to complete a degree, programs will also offer ancillary or consulting services.

The Benefits

One of the biggest benefits for students is it is less expensive and only takes a few semesters instead of four years. Another great advantage is students are paying for school without taking on added debt.

One potential disadvantage is students generally find the learning experience more difficult than in-person classes. The average online student has more patience, typically spending significantly less time on homework.

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