Online learning continues to grow and expand with more and more students taking more online courses every year. With experienced educators opting to go the online route, receiving quality education has become easier. Thanks to the power of technology, an online learner can now use an online whiteboarding tool from one corner of the planet and connect with an experienced professor in a reputed university anywhere in the world. Education is no longer bound by the shackles of distance.
However, like any good thing, online learning, too, has had its share of naysayers. Not all online courses are well designed. As a result, some myths about this new-age learning medium have cropped up. It is all too easy to assume that all online courses will suffer from these issues. Through this list, we will tackle some of the biggest misconceptions that have plagued online learning. Let's get down to debunking some remote learning myths.
Myth – The Quality of Learning is Low
As educators and schools have gained more experience with online learning, and adopted an expanding array of tools, this has opened the door to high quality learning experiences. With highly engaging learning modules, learners have the freedom to start or stop the process as per their convenience. The ability to control the pace of learning has a direct impact on retention rates. Studies revealed that online learning increases knowledge retention by 25-60%. With more information being processed and understood by learners, online learning can, in fact, be better in comparison to traditional methods of learning. The learner has to take much more control of their learning experience.
Myth – Learners feel Isolated
This is probably the most well-known misconception about online learning. We've all heard stories about students not feeling ‘connected' with the class and how boredom quickly takes over the learning process. This can certainly be a challenge in the online learning environment, but there are many tools and techniques that can help provide more interactive presence. Teachers can effortlessly bridge the divide by giving learners the freedom to communicate through video conferencing, chat, screen sharing, online white boards, and other communication mediums. Additionally, the mobile-friendly aspect of many tools allows anytime, anywhere access to provide a richer connection.
Myth- Online Learning Costs more
If compared to a local community college, yes, the costs would be higher. However, keeping the quality of education as a common factor, online education costs far less, when compared to a regular university degree.
Case-in-point being Illinois University's iMBA program. The online program costs around $21K in comparison to almost $80K that an on-campus student needs to shell out. Students in both courses have access to the same faculty and similar course structure. Owing to the reduced costs that the university needs to invest in infrastructure, the online course is priced moderately and well within reach of students of all economic backgrounds. While online learning might require students to invest in better equipment or computer hardware, but that being a one time cost, the more significant benefits of online learning will turn out to be cost-efficient in the long run.
Myth – Online Learning is only for the tech-savvy
This myth is as baseless as the ‘flat earth theory.' With the development of well-researched course material, having prior knowledge of computers is not a necessity. In its current state, online learning offers students and educators an immersive experience that takes into account their existing skill levels. As long as users can operate the basic functionalities of a computer, online learning can be received or imparted with ease. And schools generally provide a wealth of support resources to help guide those who might need assistance.
Online learning is a trend that is fueled by growing technological advancements. What seemed like a distant likelihood has been made real, thanks to the power of technology. Don't let the skeptics keep you away from the unimaginable power of knowledge that is now more easier to receive through online learning. This was our effort to bust some common misconceptions about online learning; we hope the information you read was helpful. Let us know in the comments section.