Brief History of online Learning
Online learning started in 1960 from the University of Illinois where students where provided with computers and allowed access to view their course materials and listen to recorded lectures. 1. However, the main breakthrough with online learning started in 2002 from the introduction of Openwarecourse project by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nevertheless, the MIT openwarecourse project has the intention of providing free online education for everyone around the world free of cost. This form of education trained and continue to train individuals all over the world in different fields of study.
Later in 2008, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was introduced, the MOOC permits the participation of a large number of people to participate in an online study at the same time. In other words, MOOC is like a traditional classroom where people can interact and share ideas on a particular topic. Consequently, MOOC gained popularity since it can link people all over the world and permits networking.
Since then, many Universities, institutions and companies have been designing different courses in different fields of learning for people all over the world to access without a geographical barrier. Interestingly, most of these learning centers have free courses for both students and professionals.
Now, many universities are offering so many degree courses online with certificates. Thinking out loud, ” Maybe soon, there will no be need for physical learning”.
In that regards, what advantages has online learning over traditional method of education?
Advantages of Online learning
Many people will be asking, what need has online education if it can be done offline?
I will give you reasons that will shape your focus towards online as a supplementary and not a total replacement of the offline education.
Below are some of the reasons;
Online learning is Cheaper
The cost of studying online is way cheaper than offline learning. Example, so many universities are offering very affordable Master degrees online that is cheaper to the corresponding tuition fees offline. In addition, other costs like transportation e.t.c. are not for an offline learner.
In tradition classroom type of education, the meeting time for lectures are fixed and the student has no much power to change it. Hence, all student’s activities are built to fit in to the timing. But online learning allows a student to be the architect of his/her own time and can also have time to engage in other things like career or even job.
Online courses are designed not for people in a particular geographical location. Basically, people from all walks of life participate in a course. Therefore, there is exchange of contacts, ideas, professionalism e.t.c., from people of similar interest all over the world. That being said, can be a cornerstone to help in your career building
The courses online whether video recordings, audio or other study materials, are always accessible at times of the day and anywhere. This means you can actually at your own convenience go through the courses as many times as you like. Some platforms can give you access to the materials even after the program has ended for reference purpose.
Access to expertise
Schools that offer online courses always employ expertise in the field because it must meet a global standard and not a local standard. As a result, online education institutions are meticulous about the quality of staff they have. Having an expertise in a field gives an edge above others who have no such exposure.
Online learning Broadens one’s Horizon
For so many reasons online learning is an eye opener to both students and even the teachers. Some of the reasons includes;
- The fact that its a global interaction and therefore different standpoints of solving a problem.
- You will get to learn what people in your field are doing in other countries.
- It can permit you to learn a different skill altogether while still in your field.
- Privilege of learning from experts e.t.c.
However, enrolling for an online learning is not just enough, the most important thing is to make it count. Therefore, this post is to give you an insight of things you need to do to make sure you come out with flying colors.
How to be successful with Online Learning
There is always a vibe when someone want to learn a new language, new skill or a new course. However, as time goes on, the excitement wanes gradually till you will have to battle to complete the course. With regards to that, this post will give you some tips to help as a guide to completing an online learning successfully.
Start the online learning with a plan
Every course comes with syllabus, modules, discussions and assignments – having a plan on how to effectively go about it will help to keep you organized. However, the easiest way to keep in track and balance your online education with your other activities is to have a planner or To-Do-List to help keep you focused.
Nevertheless, the challenge with writing a plan is that, it is easier to set unachievable goals. Therefore, make it simple and make sure that you include your major activities of the day in your plan.
Be equipped with the right study materials
Before the lectures start, you will have to get acquainted with the tools you will need for the online study. The list of the tools and software to be used will be listed in the site such as; the best operating system to access the course, conference call apps, video apps e.t.c. Also, get yourself notebooks, textbooks and practice materials.
In addition, its important you visit the learning dashboard and get familiar with it before the course commences.
Good time management
Good time management simply means being in charge of how and when to do things as opposed to just sitting back and just watch things happen randomly. It is impossible to alter time, everyday have same number of hours and minutes. Meaning that any time lost can never be regained.
Therefore, to be successful with an online cousre where no one tells you when to come to class or when to learn – you will have to be responsible for your time management.
Learn to manage stress
Most people that engage in online learning have other engagements that they expend their energy on too. Consequently, there is need to balance personal life and the education in other not to burn out easily and get bored with the course.
Hence, the student should know how best to deal with stress especially from work.
Read also: How to deal with work stress
The phrase “avoid procrastination” is always easier said than done. Am actually procrastinating writing this post about procrastination – Lol. But, what keeps you in check with procrastination should be discipline – if not, you will always battle to complete a task.
As i mentioned above about having a planner or To-Do-List, once any schedule pops up, make sure you pay attention to it. Finally, your target shall be to at least complete 70 % of your daily plan.
Have a will power and motivation
Motivation or inspiration is the major thing that fuels your desire to complete your course. When making the study plan, clearly state your aim and the reason why you actually enrolled for the course. Always repeat it and remind yourself the reason(s) why you have to complete it.
In other words, the will power helps you to make reasonable decisions that will favor your online education positively without being swayed away easily.
Online learning have some special advantages which includes lower cost, access to professionals around the world e.t.c. Hence, the reason for its popularity these days. But, to get the best out of an online education, attention should be paid to your attitude towards the course. Therefore, the tips above on how to be successful with an online is a guide.