New digital times require new knowledge, understanding, and skills. Learning these skills require new ways of learning too! Online learning offers just the right mix to provide you with the most flexible, convenient and engaging environment in tune with the needs of the present and the future.
Learning is lifelong. Though we continue to learn informally through our life experiences, conventional education is less than sufficient in providing lifelong education. With the availability of large number of online courses which are trending day-by-day, you can learn whatever and whenever you want. Online has indeed become the reality of those born in the 21st century as they are the ones who can very well relate with technology and conventional classrooms seem a tad old fashioned to them.
Courseware World brings to you 15 most important reasons to convince you of the vitality of online courses and why you must see them as your learning companion.
An Online Course is the Best Learning Alternative Today Because It:
1. Is Good for Life-Work-Leisure Balance
Those days when education was a prerogative of few are long gone. Education is enveloping a greater number of learners in its fold, cutting across socio-economic classes. A liberating event in the history of mankind! Moreover, changing times demand you to continuously learn and update yourself till you are alive! Doing that along with keeping a balance with your family and social-life responsibilities requires a medium of learning which is highly flexible and customized as per your need.
The biggest advantage of online learning is the flexibility that it provides. There are no entry or exit requirement. You can join it anytime and complete at your pace. You can study at any time and from anywhere. Being online, these courses can be accessed through any of the digital devices like desktop, laptop, notebook, or even smartphones. The asynchronous mode allows you to leave replies or comments on the online forum anytime which is received by others whenever they get online. This provides the learner with a lot of freedom and autonomy to manage his/her own learning.
2. Increases Your Worth on CV
The certification acquired after successful completion of an online course is increasingly gaining recognition among companies. Having done an online course surely gives the impression of technological awareness, curiosity and willingness to learn which are highly valued by employers.
3. Provides Opportunity to Collaborate Meaningfully
An online learning environment gives you immense opportunity to connect with your fellow learners and teachers in a collaborative way through large number of activities. These interactions give you a lot of valuable and different perspectives on a thing which in turn enhances your lateral and divergent thinking skills. It increases your networking abilities which in fact might give you dividends in your business or profession.
4. Provides Stress-Free Learning
The face-to-face classroom is often associated with a kind of stress and anxiety coming from the compulsion to conform to the rigid rules and regulations. On the other hand, online learning spares you from fear of missing classes, not accomplishing a task timely, wrath of teachers and all those elements which makes school education despicable. It offers full scope of active participation — even to otherwise shy, anxious and introvert students in a normal classroom. It does not make you feel tired or bored.
5. Offers 24×7 Continuous Access
By virtue of being online, one can access the course with all its repository of learning content and support from the tutor/instructor round the clock. You can easily immerse yourself into online learning even on weekends and holidays.
6. Enhances Your Internal Motivation
Machines never get tired of providing reinforcement like ‘well done’, ‘Bravo’ when you complete a task successfully. This enlivens your motivation to learn and complete the course. In a face-to-face situation, people might judge you through your appearance, the clothes you wear, and your body language which may discourage you. However, there is an element of anonymity in online courses which does not bring in those complexes and an individual feels internally motivated to participate.
7. Caters to Your Learning Style
Whether you are an aural learner, a visual learner or a kinaesthetic learner, online learning can meet requirement of any type of learning styles. This is because online courses employ a mix of all kinds of latest and advanced technology. One may find text, graphics, discussion forums, video tutorials, podcasts, chats, web conferencing etc. which will make you believe that you are in the right place for learning.
8. Improves Your Higher Order Thinking Skills
When you write, interact, and express yourself, you engage yourself in active learning. You can learn at your pace. This gives you ample time to understand things deeply and undergo self-reflection (a higher order thinking ability). Moreover, the external links, references, and digital libraries provided in your online course give you opportunity of further exploration. Thereby, assisting you in your transit from surface to deep learning.
9. Furnishes Customized and Personalized Learning Experience
If you are confused about selecting a course, you might get customized suggestion of courses based on your needs and preferences through automation. A learner might get insights also from the online public reviews and feedbacks of courses by those who have already done it. An online course also gives you personalized attention through response to your queries and tracking of your progress in the course. Machine learning and artificial intelligence is further making machines more responsive. This can customize learning as per learner characteristics and their needs.
10. Removes Geographical Constraints
There is no need to physically attend a class. Anybody can get enrolled in online courses of any university howsoever far off it might be. Even most prestigious universities like MIT and Stanford provide online courses which anybody sitting in India can also enroll. It’s a boon especially for such learners who have medical issues or job obligations which restrain them from physically attending an institute.
11. Is Budget Friendly Unlike Regular Classroom
Online learning can be way cheaper than face-to-face learning. The providers of online courses saves out on setting up of physical infrastructure and resources otherwise needed. The learners save time and money as they don’t need to commute to the place of learning. Other sundry costs like that of hard copy of textbooks, uniforms, stationary etc. might also get reduced to a certain extent.
12. Exhibits More Transparency
Unlike in traditional education, a teacher cannot be biased in favor of few favorite students because everything which has been put online gets recorded in form of data which cannot be refuted. You can track, monitor and control your learning through the reports of your progress available on the course. Moreover, since most of the things are machine and algorithm controlled without any manual intervention, transparency is inbuilt in such a learning system.
13. Offers Duly Accredited and Recognized Courses
Many countries have approved and recognized the degrees, diploma or certificates obtained through online courses. Some countries still do not have any clear-cut policy on accreditation of online courses like India. However, this can be predicted with some surety that online courses will gain recognition with its vast user-base and will be treated at par with the regular courses in near future.
14. Instills Values of Self-Regulation
Your success in online courses depend on how well you regulate yourself. If you are motivated enough, you can get much more than expected from an online course. As the learner owes the responsibility of getting into a course, it can help in developing planning and organizing skills to manage one’s learning. Besides, interface with technology and online tools enhances your technical skill which is an added advantage.
15. Offers the Scope of Credit Transfer
Some online courses offer the facility of credit transfer to its regular classroom courses. For instance, Indian MOOC SWAYAM transfers credits from online course to regular face-to-face course like that in UG courses.
Having received 15 solid reasons in favor of online courses here, don’t be skeptical anymore and just get enrolled in one of your favorite course if you have been procrastinating in doubt. You can start with something you yearned to learn for long but could not due to exigencies of life. Just explore and you’ll get innumerable courses on diverse topics, be academic, professional or just for leisure and interest. You can become better at what you feel you are weak at, for instance, English communication, or one you are already good at like advanced statistics for research or a new computing language.