What Are Online Learning Resources

Learn more about what online education resources you should be using.

You might be surprised to hear that online courses, initially focused on training students for extra hours of assistance, are rapidly expanding their scope and in turn providing valuable learning resources for all levels of learners. Those with minimal or no formal education are finding themselves better equipped to face the world and prepare for the general working environment.

Read More for More: Study Shows Internet to be Dominant Education Source for the Last Generation

What Are Online Learning Resources?

Online learning resources were born out of some core challenges society and workplaces faced in the late 80s. Concerns over low academic standards led to massive changes in education policies in general, and this led to widespread college closures in North America, leading to large amounts of unemployed students who felt the need to gain some additional training.

Although this group was not the ideal target to focus on for the new online learning resources, traditional academic institutes began implementing online courses to create classes and content on a range of subjects that had never been taught before. This allowed students to learn at their own pace, taking classes at the time that best suited their individual needs.

What Types of Online Learning Resources Are Available?

As online learning resources have become more popular, industry standards have progressed further and the scope for these resources has been expanded. Indeed, with wide-ranging acceptance across society and more and more universities and technical schools taking advantage of the opportunity, we are in for a world of online learning resources, and not just an endless universe of lecture halls.

Today, online resources range in types and features, from open-ended courses to preparation manuals and analytics. They are generally thought of as a form of supplementing educational experiences, offering an alternative to traditional modes of learning. The benefit of this is that online courses provide the opportunity to learn in any way that is appropriate, typically using the power of online tools like the internet.

For example, online courses can provide mature learners who would prefer to take a break from the rigors of regular college courses, and without compromising quality or quality assurance. They are therefore an important addition to the learning universe for those who would like to engage in useful courses that have the added benefit of pace and ease of access.

While some might miss the experience of taking notes and learning in a traditional classroom, online courses can provide a rich learning experience. The over 50 million students worldwide who regularly use online learning resources can attest to this.

How Are Online Learning Resources Different?

There are three main ways that online learning resources are different from traditional ones. The first is that online courses tend to be more condensed. The average online course lasts between 45 and 55 hours, whereas a single course in a traditional classroom can average two-and-a-half hours, with an occasional break for reflection or exam-preparation breaks.

The second is that lectures and tutorials can usually be accessed online, thus giving a degree of control over the experience. Traditional institutions might have split-teaching with on-campus lecturers and online instructors, therefore people who take part in distance learning might benefit from having direct contact with the instructor, while others with traditional lessons might miss the opportunity to conduct their own group activities.

The third is that these resources are offered to an array of different learners, not just those prepared to major in a science, engineering, or mathematics subject. They might be focused on learning someone’s nautical skills or even the language of China, for example. Education specialist Georg Hedermann explains:

“A majority of online courses today are designed with learners in mind and are purposely so flexible that beginners are able to join the program. This is due to the fact that courses are designed to include basic concepts as well as more complex concepts, plus new concepts are added once learners take an active role in helping to complete their assigned assignments. In most cases, the efforts of the student greatly help to inform the process of education and make the online course content more relevant to the learner, making it something to actively participate in.”

Learning At Your Own Pace

This is an important point to consider if you are thinking of starting an online learning program or taking a class in a university, or if you are already registered to take a course online yourself. You will probably have never heard of all the different types of online courses that are available, or of the number of different courses that companies offer.

If you know any information you think may be of help to those entering or re-entering the university, not to mention those further along the learning journey than you are, chances are that such information is available. You might therefore want to check out some of the resources that your favorite online learning resource offers, to find out the best way of incorporating the learning experience into your life as a young adult.

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