ONLINE LEARNING: PRACTICAL BENEFITS

You

Saving time with our classes
7:00 PM


Enjoying the class, finished before others reach their class!
8:00 PM
Others

Still going to the old school

Going to the class in traffic Filling gas on the way Finding a parking space Finally there


ONLINE LEARNING: WHITE PAPER: KEEPING PACE IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

Remember Circuit City and CompUSA? Well, chances are, you may not.  These computer/electronics behemoths are already slipping out of memory and into oblivion. They simply didn’t keep pace with the times. Their corporate bigwigs failed to see the writing on the wall that hailed the end of big box retail and the rising tide of online shoppers. Similarly, the advent of new technology that allowed whole books to be purchased online and instantly downloaded onto hand held devices changed the rules of the game in the publishing and book selling industry. Amazon got the message and shifted gears in time while Borders missed the message and, instead, headed down the oblivion highway. And just think about the impact that iTunes has had on CD sales. Its advent has put an end to companies like Tower Records and sent them nose-diving into bankruptcy.

The widespread use of the Internet is not only changing how we shop, but also how we work, play and learn. Since its introduction, the internet has continued to grow and expand well beyond its own original parameters and has now become a viable tool for learning. In the last decade, online education opportunities have blossomed providing students with a new and fresh alternative to traditional schooling. The young adults of today have grown up with the internet at their fingertips. They know that the hallowed halls of education are no longer restricted exclusively to buildings made of concrete and steel. For them, a facility for learning doesn’t need to drip with ivy to give it value or reputation. Times have changed. Today students are embracing online education.


Learning Online

According to a report written by e-Learning guru, William Hambrecht, students in a traditional classroom retain only 58% of the imparted material while students in an e-Learning situation experience a 25% - 60% enhanced ability to retain knowledge.  Combine this with the other stunning information he shares, “ Technology based learning (e-Learning) has proven to have a 50% -60% better consistency of learning than traditional classroom based learning,” and it’s easy to see that the whole education paradigm may be shifting. Educators and businesses need to sit up and take notice lest whole brick and mortar institutions find they are going the way of the big box dinosaurs like Borders, Circuit City and CompUSA.


The Flexibility of Online Study Schedules

Aside from avoiding the obvious cost factors associated with conventional schooling, online educational sites offer much more for inquiring minds. Online schools offer flexibility for prospective students who are saddled with other responsibilities. Professionals looking to enhance a work resume with new skill sets or young people moving beyond post-secondary education are all able to find schedules, offered by online educational resources that meet their specific needs. Opportunities for learning abound online.

Young professionals can pursue online studies in their spare time without infringing on full time work. However, savvy entrepreneurs are beginning take notice of the positive effects online training have, when implemented as part of the regular workweek. So studying online in spare time is no longer the inevitable scenario for those that want to get ahead at work.


Online learning in the business world

The internet is a tool that can easily be adapted for learning new skills and upgrading old ones. In this fast paced time of technological advances the skills we learn today could easily be obsolete tomorrow. Education is an ongoing process. It has to be. Young people know this and are looking for employers who also recognize this reality. They want the opportunity to keep their skillsets current. Online learning opportunities are providing a viable way for the business sector to help workers develop the skills necessary for keeping pace in a global economy. Employers sponsoring employee education benefit from staff that stays put and they also know the company will ultimately profit from the education employees are about to receive.

When an employer chooses to sponsor their employees, by offering online learning opportunities, they can provide special incentives, such as bonuses or pay increases, to employees who learn skills that will benefit their performance at work. Not every online course demands full-time focus. In fact, some will require only short periods of time, possibly as minimal as one hour per week.  This can easily be fit into the work schedule. Acquiring new skills, learning English as a second language would be a good example, becomes immediately more interesting to employees. Online courses can represent a win-win situation for both employee and employer.


Choice and selection

Online education offers students the ability to choose and select courses from a widely diverse range of schools and programs. The student is no longer restricted to what might be available locally but now has access to a world of grand possibilities. An increasing number of online schools allow students to work at their own pace. Students can also benefit from being able to network with their peers across the world. Testing and evaluation formats are also choices a student can make before beginning a course.


All you need is a laptop and a good internet connection

For the independent online learner the internet offers an almost infinite menu of possibilities, without a great deal of fuss. All that’s needed is a laptop and a good internet connection. Studying at home eliminates a host of negatives and makes learning possible and enjoyable. Battling traffic jams or putting up with inconvenient bus schedules, in all kinds of inclement weather, are things of the past. The money saved by avoiding high gasoline prices or exorbitant transit fares, is a gift in itself.

So with the monies saved, invest in a good quality coffee bean and pour yourself a cup. Now, all you have to do is concentrate on your online studies and reap the fruits of your labor. The added bonus, of course, is you can do it all without the distractions of an overcrowded classroom and dressed in nothing more than pyjamas. That alone has to count for something and be well worth the price of admission.


References:

Kubala, Tom. Addressing Student Needs: c. THE Online Journal. March 1998. Retrieved August 17, 2013 http://thejournal.com/articles/1998/03/01/addressing-student-needs-teaching-on-the-internet.aspx

Nichols, M. (2008). E-Learning in context. Retrieved August 17, 2008  from E-Primer Series. http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/sites/default/files/ng/group-661/n877-1---e-learning-in-context.pdf

Learn Frame, (August 2000) Facts, Figures &  Forces behind e-Learning, Retrieved August 27, 2013.  http://learnframe.com/aboutelearning/elearningfacts.pdf

Hambrecht + CO, Corporate E-Learning: Exploring a New Frontier, Retrieved August 27, 2013. http://www.internettime.com/Learning/articles/hambrecht.pdf.pdf