Published On: Sat, Mar 11th, 2017

The Perception of Online Education Has Started to Change

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Over the last decade, online learning has become one of the most controversial developments to take place on the internet. Obtaining a degree or a similar qualification over the internet is perfectly acceptable for many employers, students and college or university staff, but there have been many others who believe the qualifications you get in this way are of less value than those obtained through traditional classroom based courses. In many situations, this is not just an education issue either, with many recruiters preferring to hire individuals who have a traditional degree, rather than an online degree.

No Reason to Discriminate Against Online Learning

Up until recently, many students hesitated to tell potential employers that they had an online qualification and some were even embarrassed to mention it, in case it affected their career prospects. However, this is slowly but surely changing as learning technologies improve and more people get accustomed to online education.

More people and educational institutions than ever are starting to realise that with an online course, you still have to complete the same coursework in an online course as you do in a traditional course. You are also tested in the same way and the same discussions between lecturers and students take place, except that they occur online instead of face-to-face. All of this means that there is no real reason why an online qualification should be seen to have less value than its offline counterparts.

Indeed some people see the need to figure things out on your own and research them independently as a benefit. They think that students that attend traditional courses are ‘spoonfed’ and don’t learn to figure things out for themselves.

There are amazing resources out on the internet that you can use to teach yourself new skills. For example, this article that I recently used when working with Microsoft Excel.

Why this Discrimination Occurred in the First Place

In the past, questionable online degrees were handed out to students and many of these qualifications were not accredited or recognised by employers. This gave the online learning community a bad name. It’s only now that this perception of online learning is changing as more universities and colleges provide online versions of their degrees and other courses.

In other situations, the problem lies with the people who look down on online courses. Many believe that you can only learn in a traditional classroom setting. This is still an extremely effective way to learn, but it’s not true to say that it’s the only way you should learn and get a new qualification.

More Students Than Ever Prefer the Flexibility

Despite the negativity that has surrounded online learning, it’s the students who are studying in 2017 that have the final say and many students prefer the flexibility of learning over the internet. The age profiles and backgrounds of today’s students vary and online learning fits in perfectly with many people’s busy routines.

They can study at home and don’t have to relocate to another location in order to attend classes or lectures and they can study at times that suit their schedule. Many students also find that they receive more attention from their lecturers when they study online.

A large number of lecturers and professors are also starting to encourage online learning. Many of the leading colleges and universities in the world now have full time faculty members leading many of the most popular online courses. This is a serious commitment to this type of learning and it looks set to continue for many years.


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