More and more young people are choosing non-traditional education to start and advance in their careers while completing and furthering their formal education. “Typical distance learners are those who don’t have access to programs, employees who work during scheduled class hours, homebound individuals, self-motivated individuals who want to take courses for self-knowledge or advancement, or those who are unable or unwilling to attend class” (Charp, 2000, p. 10). Three key elements surround the online learner: technology, curriculum, and instructor (Bedore, Bedore, & Bedore, 1997). These elements must be keenly integrated into one smoothly and operationally functional delivery tool.
While an online method of education can be a highly effective alternative for the mature, self-disciplined student, it is an inappropriate learning environment for more dependent learners. Online asynchronous education gives students control over their learning experience and allows for flexibility of study schedules for nontraditional students; however, this places a greater responsibility on the student. In order to successfully participate in an online program, students must be well organized, self-motivated, and possess a high degree of time management skills in order to keep up with the pace of the course. For these reasons, online education or e-learning is not appropriate for younger students (i.e., elementary or secondary school age) and other dependent learners who have difficulty.
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assuming responsibilities required by the online paradigm.
Millions of students use e-learning solutions in over 140 countries: corporations such as Kodak and Toyota and education providers like ExecuTrain, New Horizons, the Enoch Olinga College (ENOCIS), Phoenix University, amongst the hundreds of schools and colleges.
Studies have shown student retention to be up to 250% better with online learning than with classroom courses. Several recent ones have helped frame the debate. The Sloan Consortium published a widely distributed report titled “Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States in 2005” that examined the growing prevalence of online education across U.S. institutions.
In addition, a study conducted by the Boston-based consulting firm Eduventures found that, while about half of institutions and more than 60 percent of employers generally accept the high quality of online learning, students’ perceptions differ. Only about 33 percent of prospective online students said that they perceive the quality of online education to be “as good as or better than” face-to-face education. Ironically, 36 percent of prospective students surveyed cited concern about employers’ acceptance of online education as a reason for their reluctance to enroll in online courses.
But what actually drives quality? A March 2006 report released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education identifies six quality indicators: mission, curriculum and instruction, faculty support, student and academic services, planning for sustainability and growth, and evaluation and assessment.
The debate rages on while the Pros and Cons of Online Adult Education for today’s international students are constantly analyzed to determine if this type of education platform can deliver predictable and measurable results.
The Enoch Olinga College (ENOCIS) is one institution that uses this type of delivery system. ENOCIS enhances their learning experience by offering many other “value-added,” cost-reducing benefits to students. Online pupils can apply for scholarships available to students of excellence and other financial aid programs like the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), with attractive interest rates. They also provide convenient payment facilities, online banking, Western Union Quick Collect, and bank cards. A student who is granted a loan can start repaying it after two months if they have a corporate guarantor.
Pros of Online Education:
The key advantages of the online education experience are briefly explained below:
1. Cheaper: Online courses may be more affordable than those offered at colleges or trade schools. You may also save on transportation costs like gas, bus passes, and parking permits because you don’t need to commute to school, and there are no housing or meal plans to worry about since you do not need to live on or near a college campus. Housing expenses and other costs associated with living expenses are usually the most expensive aspects of college education, so by taking an online course, you could save quite a bit of money.
The best part of online education is the absence of travel and immigration problems. Some students may prefer not to pursue traditional on-campus education, as it involves traveling to attend lectures. With online education, an applicant does not need to travel. Courses simply require accessing the internet in order to begin the learning process.
2. More Convenient: By taking courses online, you’re able to decide when you study and for how long. You are also able to schedule your studying around your work or social schedule.
Since you’re not bound to a classroom, you may do your work wherever you have access to a computer and the internet. You’ll be able to set your own pace and decide exactly how fast you want to go over the material.
Take online courses when you need them, not based on some college’s annual or semester schedule. You can learn when you need it (Just-In-Time). A course is as close as a computer with an Internet connection.
3. Flexibility: with no set class times, you decide when to complete your assignments and readings. You set the pace. In some programs, you can even design your own degree plan. Online students can carry out their private or official work, along with online education. As it provides the convenience of time flexibility, a student can log in and log out as per his desire whereas. Traditional education does not provide such flexibility in learning.
The flexibility of online education allows the students control over their studies. They can allot more time in the topics, which they feel comparatively hard and vice versa. The speed of learning depends solely upon the students.
4. Technology: With the help of scientific technology, students can do their online education at any place. The only mandatory pre-requisite is the availability of a computer along with an internet amenity. Side benefits include learning new technologies and technical skills
5. Availability: distance-learning opportunities have exploded over the past few years, with many accredited and reputable programs.
6. Accessibility: with an online course, you can work on the course just about anywhere you have computer access. Your geographic location does not constrain your learning options. The new virtual classrooms have created a myriad of learning opportunities for global learning and education center. Online education is a new era of experience adapting to the needs of the world citizen.