What is online learning?
Online learning is an educational method that can be broken down into three subcategories: distance education, e-learning and online education. Distance education is the use of telecommunications to support traditional face-to-face instruction. E-learning, or computer-based training (CBT), uses various electronic media to support such instruction. Online education (also known as virtual universities) refers to the delivery of entire courses and degree programs using a computer network rather than on campus or at a physical location away from campus. Source: Wikipedia
The first time I had ever heard about online learning was in my freshman year of high school when I had signed up for an AP Biology class and it was being taught by Mr. Hodge who lived in Texas and taught several other AP classes remotely through a platform called Blackboard Collaborate (more on this later). Then last year during my senior year of college, I took two classes in which all of the instructors worked remotely from different locations around the country/world via Google Hangouts with their students either at high schools or colleges across North America; these two classes were one on how to program in Java for Android Development 101 with Professor Friesen who lives near Seattle WA, and another class called The Social Entrepreneur Program taught by Drs. I am taking online courses right now through Liberty University while I am on my internship in Ghana, West Africa, and I’ve also taken online courses at Minnesota State University Mankato during a semester abroad in which I was taking classes at the American School of Tangier.
Why take online courses?
There are several reasons to take an online course: flexibility, convenience and cost effectiveness. In fact, for some people these may be the only three reasons they decide to take an online course rather than a traditional face-to-face class. And there are thousands of students from around the world who would agree with me when it comes to these three things being very important factors that affect their decision to choose an online learning platform over another one. For example, why wouldn’t someone want more flexibility in their schedule if offered? Many people have busy schedules that need a little lightening up; this is where distance education comes into play for them. Another reason for choosing distance education is convenience; let’s say you’re taking a class because you like it and it interests you but there aren’t any face-to-face classes available near your residence or on your schedule or at all (because some classes fill up very quickly. This was the case for me when I signed up for my online class), then online learning would be the perfect solution. And finally, cost effectiveness: distance education can be much more affordable than traditional face-to-face courses because it’s not necessary to have a large amount of teachers and classrooms to teach each student in an online course.
How does it work?
There are several ways that an instructor can deliver their teaching material either live or prerecorded (i.e., streaming videos) to their students during an online lecture or session; these methods include streaming video, live video chat, web conferencing, text chat, audio conference call/web conference and email correspondence through inboxes that are created by the course platform like Blackboard. One of my most favorite things about taking a class remotely is being able to interact with my classmates who may be from all over the world! I love being able to talk with them about various topics related to whatever we’re discussing in our class…it gives me a chance to learn about new cultures and what life is like outside of Minnesota.
I hope this online learning guide was helpful. I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about my post, please leave them below! Have a great day/night!