With the advancements of modern technology, online learning seems a no-brainer, providing a quality alternative to classroom courses. Offering greater flexibility to students who are restrained by time or place, online learning allows students worldwide the access to education.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 5 million students (25 percent of all college and university students) are now enrolled in online education courses.By 2019, online education is predicted to rise to a share of 50 percent of students undertaking at least one online course.
A further 2014 study conducted by Ohio University aimed to outline why online courses were becoming ever-increasingly popular. At the time of study, some 6.7 million students were enrolled in online classes, which is a staggering 32 percent of students across America. As part of Ohio Universities online study, they found that a whopping 77 percent of academia experts claimed that “online learning is of equal quality or better than face-to-face learning.”
It is true that students and professionals want to be able to take their classes when they want to, where they want to, and fit everything around their fast-paced lives. According to the Open University, who pioneered online learning, they believe it is the flexibility which appeals. “As long as they complete their module tasks each week, students can log on at any time which suits them. The community experience is a powerful unifier – and we have many like-minded overseas and expatriate students who keep in touch with friends by learning alongside each other.” They further go on to say, “Great care goes in to developing the courses. On average, people read a third less on screen than they do on paper, so we need to place much a great deal of emphasis on visuals, quizzes and multi-media techniques.”
With the rising cost of university tuition skyrocketing worldwide, it’s fair to assume that online learning courses could lead the new frontier in education. Gaining access to quality expert lecturers online has never been so easy – just a few hours of your day and an Internet connection is all you need to expand your mind and grow your knowledge, leading you to an advanced career.
However, it’s not just students who are benefitting from online learning courses. Academic institutions worldwide are now adding online education courses to their catalogue of offerings with many schools partnering with third-party online portals to host their online offerings. This has allowed traditional academic institutions the ability to expand their curriculum with little to no risk.
Global Fortune 500 companies are also following suit, with over 41 percent of companies now using some form of online education to instruct employees. With changing technologies and emerging trends, employees must be kept up-to-date and online learning is playing a key element in the development of staff. According to IBM, a leading technology corporation, companies who use e-Learning tools and strategies have the potential to boost productivity by a staggering 50 percent. IBM further reveals that for every $1 that companies spend on online education, it’s estimated that they can receive back up to $30 worth of productivity from staff – talk about some pretty impressive numbers!
So what’s next for Online Learning? Here at ProLearning Hub, we’ve made some exciting predictions:
- Students worldwide will have access to virtually course subject in just about any language – there are currently tens of thousands of free online education courses offering everything from fine arts to engineering.
- Online education will get personal. Interactive technologies will continue to evolve and give the chance to personalize learning – you’ll feel as though your professor was sitting right there in front of you.
- The skills gap will close – online education will help close the skills gap for employers. Employees will be encouraged to undertake online courses in specific skill sets when hired, and potentially later in their career, to keep up-to-date with emerging trends and technologies.
- It could save the environment! Recent studies by the Open University prove that e-Learning consumes a whopping 90 percent less energy than traditional courses.
It seems as though online learning is growing increasingly popular, not just among students, but academic institutions too, and the future seems bright for those looking to undertake an online course. If you think you might be interested in learning more about online education, ProLearning Hub offers a range of courses – simply click here to find out more!