Online Learning- A Quality Educational Alternative
More than 5 million students (25% of all college and university students) are enrolled in distance education courses according to the National Center for Education statistics. Besides offering greater flexibility for students, it also provides a quality alternative to traditional classroom training. At first educators were hesitant to embrace online learning but now as technology continues to grow and improve, so have opportunities for this type of education.
Some educational facilities are also offering “blended learning” courses that combine online learning with traditional classroom sessions. This is especially beneficial to students that are taking courses with clinical labs or practical applications. Another type of blended learning is called “flipped learning”. “Flipped learning” is when students typically learn content in their own time and spend the lesson time on project work that demonstrates they have learned the content, thus allowing instructors to focus on an interactive learning environment where the instructor guides students as they apply concept and engage creatively in the subject matter.
Because of social media sites such as Skype, Tumblr, YouTube, and Twitter, sharing ideas has never been easier. Teachers and students are able to collaborate together and foster a better learning environment. Of course it is always important to remember that in order to have successful online courses, the curriculum must be top-notch, the teacher needs to be accessible to the students (via email, Skype, or other media platforms), and student interaction is facilitated and encouraged. Obviously class size does matter even with online classes.
Instructors are able to monitor online attendance, completed assignments, and tests are usually set up to be automatically scored. Students are able to see their grades quickly and instructors can quickly pinpoint an area where a student might be struggling. Most courses include some sort of an essay assignment that the instructor will have to read and grade. This is beneficial because it ensures that the student was able to comprehend the course content.
There are many other benefits associated with online learning. Flexibility is the most obvious and allows students to work and go online at their convenience, while saving travel time, gas money, and even child care expenses. There is another important consideration- online learning also requires self-discipline and commitment in order to achieve a successful outcome.
HealthStaff Training Institute- Kim Esquerre, R.N., CEO