We are far from the amateur online course with shady credits and certificates. Thanks to the fact that many universities and reputable institutions have opened up their online door to the world, an average student can enjoy almost the same quality of education both online and in person. The successful spread of electronic learning or eLearning for short has also been supported by a growing number of those who prefer to study at their own pace and from the comfort of their own homes. Needless to say, recent events only sped up the process, with platforms such as ZOOM skyrocketing in user number and stock value.
What is eLearning?
eLearning or electronic learning is learning using electronic devices of one kind or another. eActivities, such as Kahoot! have been around for a while, but having entire classes and courses online was simply unimaginable until recently. eLearning, online learning, and distance learning environments and the difference between them, are still to be delineated, as a research paper by J.L. Moore has shown back in 2011.
eLearning vs Remote Learning
Unlike eLearning, Remote Learning is a simple move of a regular college course online without much attention being paid to the activities and progress tests. eLearning stems from a need to scale up (include more students from varied geopolitical areas), and from the need for learning at any time of the day. Remote learning, on the other hand, stems from the measures undertaken by many governments as a response to recent developments and University lockdowns.
There are many benefits eLearning has to offer to college students. Many students already use electronic learning in one form or another. Benefits of learning online include:
- Adjusting the course to your own schedule and lifestyle,
- Reducing tuition costs,
- Quick delivery of the desired material and printables,
- Scalability as you can take as many courses as you want,
- No commute for students, so courses can be taken at any time of the year.
Of course, there are many more important benefits of eLearning for students. These are thanks to the fact that a physical classroom has its own limits when it comes to exemplifying what the lecturer is saying, the size of the class, and the times the class is available. With eLearning, including photos, graphs, videos, and other material can clearly exemplify what the lecture is about and present the matter to the students in a new light. This means that the inclusion of other streams of information, such as social networks is welcomed, as it enriches the learning experience.
Adjust to Your Schedule
When you take an online or electronic course, you are not bound to specific times and dates when you should be taking it. With eLearning, you determine the times that suit you and make as much progress as you want. As electronic courses developed over time, so did the richness of activities offered and the possibilities of the learning platforms.
Far from simple ZOOM sessions, online learning platforms offer you the blackboard capabilities, recording, pausing for note-taking, asking questions, submitting your projects, and many more. Some students turn to WritingUniverse to free up even more time and be able to start a small business or a blog page. At the same time, you can learn on platforms such as Coursera, BuddyBoss, Thinkific, Learnworlds, and Teachable.
Reduce Tuition Costs
As tuition prices in the world increase year after year, it becomes clear that higher education is difficult to pursue, and it is progressively becoming less available to those whom it would benefit the most. Electronic learning can help here, as it significantly reduces costs of learning and tuition fees and many introductory materials are available for free even on YouTube so that you can take the baby steps before deciding on paid options.
It is little known that a single university course can cost upwards of several thousand dollars. However, being able to take an online course can mean a lot, especially as the costs get closer to zero. Harvard online courses, for example, start from $149 with a certificate included. Bonus: this certificate is valid if you ever go to study at Harvard University, and it excuses you from taking that exam again.
Quick and timely delivery of learning materials is a very important aspect to take into consideration. As you enroll in a course, you get access to video, audio, and printable materials. While some courses offer these materials at once, some offer weekly releases of new materials to ensure the proper pacing of the learning process itself and ensure a more university-like experience.
The scalability here does not relate to the number of students that can take a course. It rather relates to how many courses you, as a student, can take. You may be aware that one of the biggest obstacles in a classroom setting is overlapping courses or courses held too far away to even make it in time to the next class. With eLearning, these obstacles do not exist, and you can take as many courses as you can handle, giving you more control over the pace of your studies.
eLearning also means no commute. As there is no need to leave the apartment, eLearning is the best way to increase your productivity and make sure that you do not miss any lectures because of a bus that was late or due to the bad weather. Needless to say, eLearning is changing student habits, but the scope of the changes remains to be seen. Some of these include enjoying a wider scope of knowledge as students take eCourses as complementary to their regular education.
There are some other benefits of eLearning as well. With the number of participants in a class rising, the plethora of materials being available for learning, and a number of lecturers to choose from, eLearning seems to be the future of learning. Let’s dive into some more benefits of eLearning:
- Gain new skills without putting your job on hold,
- Access to updated content,
- Students can define their own speed of learning to accommodate work and family,
- An employer may pay partial tuition for a job-related course to expand your knowledge,
- A variety of educational tools to choose from,
- Greater access to information, less time spent browsing books and libraries,
- More chances to exchange information with other working adults,
- Better research outcomes,
- Better cooperation between you and fellow students,
- Ability to learn and implement the new processes or knowledge at the workplace,
- Instant updates in the field.
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