Over the last decade, the prevalence of online education has heightened and has become more accepted and recognized by the vast majority. Since the first ever online degree program in 1985, we have experienced how online education has evolved with the internet.
The number of students enrolling in online studies continues to grow daily. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that at least 29.8% of the approximately 20 million students enrolled at different degree-granting tertiary institutions are studying online courses or at least a hybrid system of learning.
You may be wondering what the attraction of online education is all of a sudden, or why these numbers seem to rise periodically. Aside from the quest for knowledge and the need for career competency, online education has a number of benefits that prospective students look out for.
In this article, we’ll give a breakdown of how online education in general has evolved and the factors that are making it more attractive to learners today.
The various methods of delivery of online education
When technology began to evolve in the early 2000s, use of the internet and devices began to increase, and the first set of online colleges sprung up. Eventually, this current decade has seen the rise of numerous online colleges and even the integration of online education into traditional programs.
Also, online education has become ever more sophisticated with the way that materials are presented. Classes are now delivered in different styles that will fit the different learning needs of students. Audio and visual learners can now take advantage of the audio-video-based lectures. Also, courses, despite being online, can be taught interactively, ensuring that the students can participate in real time. They also have the luxury of joining study and support groups that will suit the specific needs of students.
Since the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were introduced in 2011, online education has continued to evolve, providing new ways for prospective learners to access tertiary education.
Acceptance and accreditation of online schools and courses
At the inception of online education, one major hindrance it had was that the public was skeptical about its acceptability and accreditation within the work environment. Accreditation is vital, as no one wants to spend time studying a course that wouldn’t be fully accepted where applicable.
However, the situation looks different now, as a good number of schools are now accredited for online education. An in-depth look into the US Department of Education’s list of accredited schools and courses will give insight into the potential online programs available.
Also, many top-ranked traditional institutions now make provisions for online delivery of various classes, which is a viable way of attracting students to the scheme. It’s also important to note that not all online schools are accredited, and not all online courses are fully accepted. The key is to research the schools, and find out what online degrees are acceptable in the career path you wish to follow, just the same way that you would for conventional degree programs.
Digitalization of the world
People nowadays want to move with the tide that the world brings their way, and this is very understandable. Every aspect of life, from business and commerce to communication, and now education, has become massively digitized. People are not only attending online classes because they want to, but because in some situations, it’s also what is required of them.
Digital tools are taking over the world, one sphere at a time. Online learning platforms are indeed the easiest ways to learn about these tools. For instance, taking a class online exposes you to the use of digital tools that will come in handy irrespective of the field in which you find yourself.
A wide range of courses
Online courses today cover a very wide range of fields. From marketing, management and information technology to foreign languages, design and software development, there’s hardly any field for which you wouldn’t find a program. Another benefit of online education in this regard is that there’s an opportunity for a proper review and grading of assignments that can help during the learning process.
In order to master certain things, we need to apply the knowledge successfully, right? In addition to theory, practical application is important in every job, and it requires practice. Online courses provide for tests, assignments, peer projects, seminar papers, etc., giving you the opportunity to get the most accurate practice and test of knowledge.
Introduction of accelerated learning
While online degree programs are already a non-traditional educational style, there’s yet another level that makes online education much more attractive nowadays. It’s the introduction of accelerated learning programs.
An accelerated degree program is a non-traditional program that offers students the same qualification, but simply at an abridged period of time when compared to the duration of traditional degrees. Benefits such as timeliness and lower financial costs, among others, are some of the reasons why online programs are becoming more attractive.
The University of Indianapolis accelerated BSN program is a good example of how online courses have evolved to become more attractive. You can get the same value and experience as someone who studies the same course in a conventional degree program. It is fully accredited with total state authorization, and you don’t have to worry about not being eligible when you get into the employment space.
Before beginning an online degree program, however, it’s important that you make enough preparations ahead of time. Just like you would for conventional education programs, ensure that you learn about the ways that you can succeed and maximize your efforts during your chosen course program.
Online education is fast evolving and will remain so in the coming years. It has indeed made gaining education much easier, faster and more accessible. Take advantage of it today!