Online Learning Opportunities
The internet is a wonderful place. It holds the majority of the worlds information and is now a computational platform for people to solve problems and to pose questions. Interactivity is now built into the internet experience.
Institutions are finding that traditional classroom learning environments are under threat because internet based learning has many advantages for both learners and institutions:
Benefits for learners
eLearning platforms put the power in the hands of the students. Learners have the ability to decide when they can learn. This opens up new markets for traditional learning institutions. Learners are no longer required to attend classes (when and where) as stipulated by the institution but are able to incorporate their learning schedule into their lives. Many people who depend on their jobs to survive could be excluded from the traditional learning environment due to personal responsibilities.
The cost of learning plummets. Learner don’t have to travel to classrooms to attend lectures. They don’t have the expense of accommodation when deciding to enrol in a programme. They can do it from home or wherever they have internet access. In a world where most people own smart phones, all learners need is data access to study. This opens opportunities for many who would otherwise be excluded.
Benefits for Institutions
Institutions have access to learners from broader geographical markets. Learners do not have to reside close to the institution and do not have to accommodate themselves in close proximity at greater expense.
Scaleability and consistency is a major benefit of eLearning for institutions. The learners have access to the course all the time. They can revisit certain sections if they don’t understand as the material is still available. Institutions are able to quickly create new policies, ideas or training and co-opt other internet based information to create better understanding of concepts.
Cost reductions. Once material is produced the institution has an evergreen system that they can plug students into and each student works at their own pace. The material is delivered to consistent standards and students benefit from this approach.
Learning institutions are under threat form the changes to society brought about by the new open world created by the internet. Many smart institutions are embracing eLearning, either in support of traditional programmes, or as stand alone methods of instruction.
eLearning provides flexibility for institution and for learners. There is no one size fits all solution for institutions but the possibilities are mind blowing.
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