Education plays a critical role in modern society. The rapid rise and development of technologies resulted in the appearance of drastic changes in essential activities performed by individuals working in different spheres. In this regard, to remain efficient and attain higher levels of performance, people have to possess a solid knowledge base and data related to multiple fields. Under these conditions, education acquires the top priority as one of the fundamental issues needed to achieve a particular goal. At the same time, the rise of the technologies mentioned above resulted in the emergence of new methods to educate students and ensure their improved comprehension of the provided information. Online colleges are one of these approaches that rest on technologies and their wide usage.
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Today, significant growth in the popularity of distance-learning courses can be observed. A 150% increase in the number of students selecting online colleges is reported (“Fast facts. Distance learning,” n.d.). Additionally, the bigger part of existing educational establishments (about 71%), such as colleges and universities, provides students with an opportunity to visit classes online and acquire specific certificates (“Fast facts. Distance learning,” n.d.). Moreover, there is a significant diversification of suggested programs which is introduced with the primary aim to meet the growing demand for this sort of class (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). In other words, online learning is a popular trend of the coherent society that provides learners with an opportunity to engage in distance learning and preserve the high level of their mobility.
The increased popularity of online courses can be explained by several advantages associated with this modality. First, as has already been mentioned above, students preserve high mobility levels as they are not confined to a particular spot. It also means a more comfortable learning environment as individuals might choose the place where to study and do not have to stand up early or miss some meaningful events (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). The second strength is a variety of courses and programs offered to enrollees (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). Every individual can find what he/she needs starting from management and ending with physics. Finally, online courses are less expensive if compare with the traditional ones (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). In such a way, their affordability results in the increased number of students who prefer studying online to save costs.
However, there are also some disadvantages associated with online courses. The most obvious flaw is the lack of direct contact with a teacher and other students (“Ten disadvantages of online courses,” n.d.). Communication is an essential part of any educational process and contributes to the improvement of social skills and interactions. Online learners are deprived of an opportunity to interact with their tutors, which might have a negative impact on their results. Additionally, the workload is much bigger if compare with the traditional modality. It is explained by the fact that to achieve a high quality of the suggested education; colleges have to provide students with more tasks to ensure that they will acquire the needed knowledge and master their skills (“Ten disadvantages of online courses,” n.d.). Finally, the lack of control from administration and tutor means that all individuals have to be responsible learners and plan their time to master materials provided within the course.
Nevertheless, regardless of the disadvantages provided above, online colleges remain attractive for millions of students across the world as they meet their specific requirements. For instance, disabled people might prefer distance learning because of their decreased mobility (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). The given modality becomes an appropriate option for them as it guarantees individuals socialization and their further personal and professional development. Additionally, learners living in states that do not have access to particular educational resources might find online courses beneficial as they provide them with an opportunity to acquire the needed degree and build a successful career (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). Finally, working people might also select this mode because of the lack of time and the necessity to perform diverse duties at their workplace.
Another unique aspect of online colleges is the existence of multiple resources and innovative tools to facilitate learning and attain appropriate results. For instance, students might be provided with access to online libraries containing numerous credible sources such as books, academic articles, dissertations, and reports (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). Moreover, there are online seminars and lectures organized to establish direct contact between an educator and his/her pupils. At the same time, there is specific software for mobile phones or laptops that guarantees instant access to these sources. Furthermore, students might examine their skills using applications provided by their educational establishments.
Altogether, online colleges play a critical role in the modern education system. They provide individuals with an opportunity to acquire the needed occupation, not leaving their homes which might be attractive for diverse population groups. There are certain drawbacks in the given modality preconditioned by the absence of direct communication or prolonged duration of courses; however, numerous advantages contribute to the further rise of the popularity of distance learning and the emergence of new programs offered to students from different parts of the globe.
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Fast facts. Distance learning. (n.d.). Web.
Kemp, N., & Grieve, R. (2014). Face-to-face or face-to-screen? Undergraduates’ opinions and test performance in classroom vs. online learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. Web.
Ten disadvantages of online courses. (n.d.). Web.