The time is nearing in good pace, when children in nurseries will be learning through MOOCs as the internet revolution has transformed the face of education. Dr Anant Agarwal, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, states, “Today’s two- and three-year-olds have been born with keyboards pinned to their fingers”. However, this kind of impact of internet education is not the subject of future in the case of higher education. It is very much reality when it comes to higher education, going through a transition period of digital age. From tablets to smart phones, from searching wikis to having a blog, todays high tech environment embraces communication, collaboration & information all in digital way.
The Boom Of E-Learning Revolution
Now the pivotal question is what are the special elements that lead education to the doorway of this new and innovative study programmes? The most probable answer would be inventions of new technologies, change of social scenario and ever-rising tuition cost. Thanks to the advent of this revolutionary academic technology, two fundamental domains of education-teaching & learning are now establishing themselves on a multi-faceted level, including cutting edge online techniques & personal instructions as well.
The Voice Of Statistics
According to the facts & figures, higher education institutions are endeavouring to meet the demand of online learning opportunities. In 2010, Sloan Survey of Online Learning made the revelation that, nearly 30 percent of all college and university students now take at least one course online.
The same is the statement of the Babson Research Group, who has been tracking the development of online education since 2002, more than one-third of college students, more than seven million people, took at least one online course in 2012. (Source: bit.ly/X6aMbk)
The flexibility and access, provided by the online facility of education, explains its growing popularity among the students, including working professionals and those who can’t afford the time & money, that a raditional education programme demands.
However The Pace Begins To Slow Down
Along with the benefits, rendered by the phenomenal growth of online learning, there also comes a plethora of challenges for academic institutions as well as for online learning itself.
- The issue has begun to be prominent with the fact that most of the educational institutions are much more accustomed to the traditional classroom environment. Stimulating additional expectations from stakeholders, students, instructors, regulatory institutions and advocacy groups, these institutions are being subjected to sevearl challenges.
- Online courses generally are very popular among middle-aged learners, as these courses let them enjoy the program’s flexibility, allowing time for juggling home life, work, and school. However, the regular students of schools & colleges prefer more the regular campus scenario.
- It is also a proven fact that online learning is not the tea of everyone’s cup. Betty Vandenbosch, provost for Kaplan University, says, —“Online education is fabulous, but it’s not for everybody. Some people don’t realize how much effort it takes. Many of the people who don’t finish barely start.”
- Unfortunately some university professors are starting to lose faith from online learning, assuming online learning is not as beneficial to students as chalk-&-board classes. The percentage of teachers in favor of the courses has gone down from 77% to 74%. Many think that online learning is for those students, who are self-starters.
What Can Be Said Finally
Technology is turning education into an evolved one and its impact just continues to go ahead. By building & accepting a solid framework for online learning and employing cutting-edge learning management systems, higher education institutions are in a position to significantly improve student outcomes today and into the future. Though the situations seem to bleak, but the ongoing participation of educators from all around the world definitely maintains the hope.
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