Online education: the new norm

Online education: the new norm

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In today’s fast paced world where everyone is constantly striving to improve themselves in one way or another, online education has opened up a plethora of opportunities. It has become even more relevant at present, when most of us are quarantined within the four walls of our homes and the only access we have to the rest of the world is through the internet. Apart from offering an inclusive learning path, online education has broken all the rules of conventional classroom learning. The wide array of courses available online provides useful benefits for students on a global scale:

Accessibility 
Whether you are a professional looking to brush up on a skill you already have, a college graduate on your way to a masters degree, or a job-holder looking to resume your education, the world of virtual learning has something for everyone. While conventional classroom learning can often feel like a rat race, online learning allows you to progress at your own pace, making it exceedingly inclusive and accessible. You have constant access to go through all learning materials, review lectures easily, and go back to them as many times as you need.

Multiple modes of communication
The flexibility that comes with online learning as opposed to traditional learning, allows you to communicate with your instructor or professor a lot more vigorously, thereby enhancing your overall learning experience. It may not always be possible to ask your teacher to stay back after every class so that you may ask your questions or schedule an appointment during office hours in a traditional setting. However, between emails, phone calls, text messages, and discussion forums, your teacher can be more involved in guiding you through the course and efficiently addressing your questions.

Cost-efficient
This applies for both parties. While you are saving on transport and other incidental expenses, your instructor and the institutions at large are saving on overhead expenses, such as classroom space, supplies, and maintenance. Seemingly, this appears to be a small fraction of capital saved, but in the bigger picture it accumulates to a large amount of money and resources that is being saved.

Customized learning environment
Learners who are introverts or of similar nature might find it difficult and therefore take time to adapt to a new learning environment in the traditional setting of a classroom. Online learning allows them-and generally most learners at large-the opportunity to learn in an environment of their own choice and comfort, be it one’s study room or a cafe. You do not have to feel pressured to cope with a new environment or mingle with a new group of people every semester. Even if the need for such an endeavor arises, one can do so at his or her own pace.

A more global experience
Studying in a college in your city or your neighborhood may restrict you to meet people who only live in your city or country. While the similarity in social and cultural backgrounds may be comforting, it does take away from the possibility of meeting people from different countries and cultures. This is made possible through online learning, which allows you to closely and regularly interact with people from all over the world, widening your professional network while opening up your mind to efficient cross-cultural communication.

Instant feedback
In a traditional setting, receiving feedback on an assignment that was turned in before the first midterm, right before the finals, may not be surprising. Having been a teacher myself, I can safely say that amidst preparing lesson plans, quizzes, assignments, while finishing numerous other house-keeping chores, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet deadlines. However, in an online learning setting, it is possible to provide instant feedback on both objective and subjective questions. The advantage of such a facility is two-fold: it saves time and it helps the learner be motivated to stay on track.

The persisting uncertainty about when life will go back to normal again has not been able to take away the ambition and spirit of many indomitable, young individuals who are consistently focused on achieving their self development goals through virtual education. For now, online learning is here to stay.

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