Why Online Learning?

Going back to school? Taking online courses could help you gain your degree or pursue a new degree program faster.

Online Learning is growing rapidly across the country. With the overall economy improving and as new technology makes it possible to access information anywhere, our commitment to education is in decline. In fact, America has some of the lowest educational attainment rates in the industrialized world.

What’s more, many of our schools and colleges are struggling, with even some of the best institutions struggling to maintain adequate funding and funding for technical training. To put it bluntly, schools just aren’t equipped to attract students who don’t want to experience the experience in person.

Traditional classroom learning poses all sorts of challenges for students. While universities have tried innovation in education over the years to help them capture students on their campus, traditional classroom learning has proven ineffective at attracting first-generation college students and students from under-represented backgrounds. They do much better with personalized, online-based learning.

Effective Online Curriculum

Online education attracts specific groups of students, and since the curriculum is designed specifically for these groups, they can concentrate on what is most important to them—the coursework. Perhaps the biggest problem with traditional classrooms is that there is no consistency across the curriculum. They can be started and stopped at any time, creating a disjointed learning experience.

Structure and uniformity is a big plus when it comes to online education. Stakeholders agree that being able to review the content, change concepts at the click of a button, and use Skype for learning significantly increases engagement. In fact, online learning only needs to offer flexibility.

Video is the key

Over the past decade, video in online education has had an incredible impact, allowing educators to better incorporate technology into coursework. Students can benefit from having an active learner throughout.

Here are some basic tips for learning from the classroom online:

First, collaborate closely with other students throughout the entire course. Stay within a positive feedback loop. If you learn something by doing it, you won’t forget it as easily—unless you don’t learn it at all. You don’t need to be able to do it all yourself. Stay focused on the assignments throughout your course. Don’t get distracted by project ideas or brainstorming over lunch. Stay focused on teaching the topic at hand. It’s easy to lose track of what you’re doing, especially when lectures fade into the background with technology. Get enough frequent feedback from your instructor to understand the course and enjoy it more. Instead of feeling like you have to memorize something every time, write down the points that most struck you in lectures and continue to copy them from your notes. Improve your study habits by having a buddy or trusted friend to keep you on track. Avoid online products that give you access to obscure instructions. These have typically been designed only for professionals or small groups of people, so they aren’t intended for the average student.

Continuous Mindfulness

Most of us learn in a different way than we usually act in the world around us. We get distracted and forget what we’re doing—sometimes for hours at a time. At the very least, use your technology to check in with yourself or others on the go to ensure you’re still following your instructions. Keep your phone in your backpack or on your nightstand while studying, and keep it somewhere you can’t reach it easily, like your bed.

Use the right technology

Fortunately, research has found that educational software that combines digital learning platforms with built-in recording tools is much more effective than simply staying on your computer, tablet, or phone.

Remember that technology for education is not unlike technology for any other purpose. It’s an essential means of delivering information to consumers, but it shouldn’t be viewed as the sole, or even primary, reason to stay involved. A good education is a holistic approach to education, and students should focus on the benefits of the course while also having fun.

As new, more effective ways to educate our students become available, so do new ways of learning them. Interested in learning more about online education and its place in education? Join our research team and connect to our educational partner through our email and commenting platforms.

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