With the unprecedented growth of the Internet in the last 20 years, many things about our world have changed including the way people live, communicate, socialize, shop, work and do business. The Internet has transformed the way we thing about problems and solutions, knowledge and learning and so on.
With the Internet already becoming the largest and most easily accessible repository of information, online schooling has become both desirable and achievable.
What exactly is online education?
In order to clear any doubt or confusion you may have, I need to point out that online education goes by several other names as you may have heard and the name a speaker may choose to use might depend on the personal preference of the speaker and the context within which they are speaking. Online education might be referred to as
- Computer-based training,
- Web-based training,
- Internet-based training,
- Online training,
- e-learning (i.e. electronic learning),
- m-learning (mobile learning),
- Computer-aided distance education, and do on.
Regardless of the name it is called or the modus operandi, online education must encompass the following definition as its core:
- It is an electronically supported learning.
- It relies on the Internet for teacher/student interaction.
- It relies on the Internet for distribution of class materials (audio, video, text, animations), giving of assessments, feedback and evaluation.
From the foregoing, we see that online learning is a deviation from the age long mode of learning in traditional classrooms within college campuses. Here, the students, regardless of their location or environment, can join the classes as long as they have Internet access and electricity. This offers both the students and teachers ample flexibility which makes for greater effectiveness of teaching and learning as it is tailored towards anyone’s schedule.
We shall still examine the advantages and benefits of online learning but let me point out for now that this form of education is very suitable for students who wish to acquire their first or additional degrees while working full time or raising families.
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