About Online Education

The internet changed everything. It changed the way we communicate with each other, the way we work, how we entertain ourselves and even how we are educated. Most class rooms today have a computer or computers present for student use and to aid teachers in various activities like presentations, lectures, virtual field trips and virtual lectures. Today, some students pursue their education strictly online vs. in-class schools. 

An online education is conducted at home from a computer that is connected to the internet instead of attending classes in person at a university. Just about any profession or degree can be obtained online presently and the Department of Education ensures that online universities are accredited. Credits can be transferred between online universities and traditional universities. Courses offered at online institutions range from business, accounting, psychology, law and nursing. You might believe that online learning is impersonal and unsocial but nothing is further from the truth. Different styles of learning are available at online universities too.

Asynchronous Learning: Students learn and study at their own pace. Schedules are flexible and allow students to coordinate home life or employment with their studies.

Synchronous Learning: Like ground universities, there is a rigid schedule for classes and seminars. This offers more personable interaction with instructors and classmates.

Hybrid Learning: Combines Asynchronous and synchronous learning. It offers the best features of the above styles of learning.

You may have some misgivings or misconceptions as to attending an online university because you do not have all the facts. Online universities break the mold and the traditional universities have taken note and are beginning to follow suit.

Online Education vs. In-Class Education

Convenience, regarding online education vs. in-class, is one of the most appreciated aspects of learning online. Online students do not have to struggle with traffic or arrange hectic schedules for classes, seminars and their jobs. They can decide their own schedules and study or sit exams at times suitable to them. There is no need to arrange housing or live near the online university. Students can conduct their online education from anywhere in the world, all that is needed is an internet connection. 

Online education has become quite popular to those who need to hold jobs or raise a family and want to simultaneously earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. Another popular benefit of online education vs. in-class education is cost. The cost of a degree earned at a traditional university averages $85,000 but an online degree costs only $30,000 on the average. That less expensive degree can be obtained in less time too. 

Degrees earned online take 40 to 75% less time to earn than a degree from a traditional university. Just like tadeonal universities, online universities accept scholarships, student grants and student loans. Online students always have access to educational materials and resources, day or night. It is much more comfortable for older students participating in online education. A level playing field has been created by the online setting and makes it easier for mature students to interact with young students and vice versa.

The Growth of Online Education

It was in 1989 that the first online college courses first appeared. It was not until the 1990's that online learning flourished. This was not the advent of distance learning however; correspondence schools and classes have existed since the United States Postal Service was established. Throughout this and the last decade, the growth of online education has grown exponentially and the number of schools and courses that are available has increased immensely. Today's technology has improved online learning vastly compared to its infancy. Today, degrees that are earned online rather than a "brick and mortar" university, are considered just as valid and reputable. Nearly one-third of all universities are attending or have attended an online college and 6,700,000 students are enrolled in online universities this year alone. Online learning today is more popular than ever and it is here to stay.