This guest post is by Sylvia Ross of SolidEssay.com.
Online education has continued to gain popularity among students as more and more institutions of higher learning continue to offer online courses/programs in different disciplines alongside traditional brick and mortar courses.
This has had the effect of increasing access to higher education.
Apprehension among students who are new to online education and laxity among techno savvy students who join online classes may result in undue difficulties for the students.
As online courses proliferate, dispelling doubts becomes imperative. This can be done best by debunking some of the myths and misconceptions that people have about online education.
Myth 1: Virtual courses are distinct from traditional brick and mortar programs
Courses offered via online platforms undergo a vetting process to ensure that they are aligned to rigorous academic standards. No new course is offered online before it has been tested in traditional classrooms.
People who are tied down by family and/or work responsibilities may find it difficult to attend traditional brick and mortar classrooms.
Apart from lifestyle issues, the lack of financial aid and increasing cost of high education may hinder students from enrolling for full time classes.
Such circumstances among others may compel a student to enroll for online classes. This does not compromise the quality of training that the student will receive.
Since students interact more with each other and the trainers, more students are opting for online classes as a matter of choice and not a necessity.
Myth 2: Online classes put teaching profession at risk
Computers are a means of conveying information and not an end. Thus, it’s absolutely ludicrous to assume that they can replace instructors.
On the contrary, more qualified instructors will be required because online classes restrict the number of students who can participate in a session to only 25 people as opposed to a traditional lecture where there can be hundreds of students.
Hence, online classes inspire confidence and more institutions will continue to adjust to accommodate more online instructors.
Myth 3: Qualifications obtained online are not recognized by employers
Employers recognize qualifications obtained online because they are just as accredited as those from on-campus study.
Employers weigh the credibility of qualifications obtained online based on the quality of graduates and accreditation of the college or university offering certificates, diplomas and degrees.
An employee who is pursuing a part time degree online is more likely to be promoted because his or her learning does not interfere with work schedule or obligations.
Myth 4: Online classes are about technology
Virtual schools are for everyone with basic computing skills. Being techno savvy does not guarantee straight A’s. Technology only facilitates delivery of instruction.
Instructors, students, content and the learning objectives are the most important things in an online learning environment.
In an online environment, a student has to work equally hard. Online platforms act as a catalyst to facilitate learning and without responsibility a student can not perform well.
Within an online environment, a student gets the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. Thus, a student is not isolated from the rest of the real world as myths would have us believe.
Although tradeoffs exist, the benefits of online learning outweigh its downside.