Learning online is nothing new, and most people will find that they learn something new everyday while browsing the internet. As a huge resource for information, it’s no wonder that more and more people are shunning higher education and enrolling in online courses instead. Is e-learning the future? Could you be the next to sign up to an online education?
A growing trend
This year, a survey by the Babson Survey Research Group found that the number of students enrolled in a distance learning course had topped 6 million, accounting for around 30% of all educational enrollment. While this statistic may be a surprise to some, it’s important to remember that this number only applies to those in higher education and the number of people taking general e-learning courses could be significantly higher.
With more and more people turning to online sources to facilitate their learning, higher education institutions are having to seek new ways of guarding against their dwindling enrollment numbers and accept that online education could be the way forward. Traditional institutions will argue their case, but with the cost of going to college rising it’s something that they will need to think about if they are going to want to remain a competitor in the industry.
AN ACCESSIBLE WAY TO BOOST YOUR SKILLS
If you’re looking to learn new skills to help you develop your career, then online learning is a great way to do this. Learning online is often less expensive and easier to fit around your job. You can take anything from a project management course to learning how to speak in public.
You could be looking to change your career entirely. Quitting your job to retrain isn’t an option for most people, so learning new skills alongside your current job is achievable through online courses.
Learning on a less formal level
Online learning offers a much less formal environment for people to learn. Learners can do so at their own pace and comfort, developing new skills and knowledge without having to leave their homes. People are teaching themselves how to engineer and cook through online resources, giving them a whole new set of skills at a fraction of the price of a university education. Learning a language online has become even easier, with sources like the Effortless English Club helping people to learn languages quicker than a 4-year degree could. For those who have failed to make the grade or have no interest in going to a physical college, online learning offers possibilities that wouldn’t have existed even just twenty years ago.
Style over substance
Of course, one of the issues that could come from online learning is a lack of validity in the information provided. While college institutions vary in what and how they teach, their gravitas and legitimacy are difficult to argue. Provided e-learners keep an open eye when studying online; there’s no reason why online learning can’t be an effective way to learn new skills. If academic institutions were to embrace online learning opportunities, this could help to improve the quality of learning and ensure students have the option to valid and affordable education.
While online learning boasts many benefits, there are also arguments that support the college experience. If you’re considering the future of your education, why not take a glimpse of what life in college is really like? Learning is personal and subjective and one method does certainly not fit all. However, with the range of learning opportunities that are available today – it’s safe to say that 2017 is an exciting time for education.