Online Education Benefits
Distance Learning Defined
Distance Learning is generally defined as instructional delivery that does not require the student to be in a face-to-face situation with the instructor or fellow classmates. Most importantly, distance learning allows geographically dispersed individuals and groups to come together for the purpose of learning and sharing experiences.
Growing in Popularity & Acceptance
The growing usage of the Internet and related audio and video technologies are speeding the adoption of distance learning courses. Online classes often combine the use of video tapes, audio tapes, the Internet, printed materials, or a combination of all of these approaches. Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that the number of college students enrolled in distance-learning courses will reach 2.2 million in 2002, up from 710,000 in 1998. Online learners comprise 15 percent of all higher education students, which represents a 5 percent increase from 1998.
Online Education Benefits
Research studies have consistently found that distance learning classrooms report similar effectiveness results vis-à-vis traditional classroom methods. Research studies have also indicated that student attitudes about distance learning are generally positive and employers are receptive to supporting employees that pursue degrees via distance education. Some of the major benefits of online education include:
- Learning can happen anywhere at anytime – at your convenience.
- You can learn at a pace that is comfortable and reasonable for you.
- You do not have to wait until the beginning of a quarter or semester to begin your studies – start your program on your timetable.
- Distance learning degrees are available in a wide array of subjects and at a large number of schools, increasing your educational options.
- Course materials are tailored to meet the needs of the online student.
- Programs faculty dedicate a substantial amount of time to meeting the educational needs of their students.
- One-on-one time with instructors is commonplace for students that require it.
- Many schools make tutors available for more difficult subjects. In many cases, these individuals are drawn from the best and brightest in the country on the respective topic.
- Courses prepare students for a wide range of qualifications and professional certifications (e.g. CPA, MBA, RN, etc.)
- Online education is more affordable than you might think and financial aid and scholarships are available just as they are for on-campus students.
- There is a substantial amount of collaboration among students, either by meeting locally or online, so that you can share experiences, work on group projects and learn from each other.
- Courses are often tailored to meet the needs of your specific position or career objective.
- Many employers financially support employees that are pursuing online degrees (i.e. tuition reimbursement programs).