Online Education: Successfully Revolutionizing the Education System Globally
In the last two decades, the Internet has flourished into the most accessible database of information ever created. It has transformed the way people think, communicate, shop, socialize, trade, and learn. The internet has paved the way for online education, which is a digitally supported mode of learning that depends on the internet for the circulation of course material and teacher-student interactions. It is now the preferred mode of education by many people, especially who cannot manage to attend universities, such as working professionals or individuals under familial commitments and wish to pursue learning courses at their convenience. Online education has completely changed the traditional classroom learning mode by presenting the opportunity to everyone from every part of the world to have access to nearly every field of study.
There are subtle differences between online and traditional learning, but the main advantageous factor is that online education releases the student from the usual hassles of on-campus degree courses, such as transportation, the arrangement of their schedule according to the course timings, and being physically present for each sequence of their coursework. Additionally, the education methods and materials provided in online degree courses are often the same as those provided for on-campus programs. Other advantages of online education include the freedom to study courses from any fireld of study, the comfort of location, convenience of learning pace and affordability; which contribute to the growth of the online education market. According to Market Research Future (MRFR), the global online education market is expected to advance at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 28.55% through 2023.
Online education programs and courses are usually offered through the host university's online e-learning platform through synchronous instruction that is voice, chat and video streaming while some are delivered using alternative asynchronous instruction technologies like discussion boards, digital curriculum, social networking, and others. Online education provides students an opportunity to study associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, Diplomas, Master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees, among others.
Many online education institutes offer various forms of learning, such as online education, with the full course online or hybrid education where students have the option to combine online and on-campus learning. Similarly, they also provide an array of courses which can be either part of a degree or can be studied separately. The most common form is MOOCs, or massive open online courses, which are typically delivered in lecture form to online "classrooms" with as many as 10,000 people. Online education has many subcategories, depending on its learning medium, that is, the hardware, such as computer-based learning, internet-based learning, web-based learning, online training, e-learning (electronic learning), m-learning (mobile learning), computer-aided distance education, among others.
Online education is prevalent throughout the globe and is most popular in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, which can be credited to the technological advancements that are making online learning more accessible to people. Additionally, people are slowly becoming aware of the merits that multiple degrees and courses add on their resumes, and with the stiff competition in the employment sector, online education has become a necessity more than a choice. The most well-known companies that are leading the online education market are Edmodo, Aptara Inc., and PowerSchool Group LLC, of U.S., DoceboLMS of Italy, and Classteacher Learning System and Tata Interactive Systems of India. Many top universities across the globe, like Harvard and Yale, have online paid as well as free courses.
India is considered as one of the fastest-growing markets for online learning, so much so, that Udacity, a U.S. based online education company that offers paid and free courses from varied fields of study, has invested in India. The Indian government has also recognized the potential of the online education industry, and the human resource development ministry is soon going to introduce an online education policy in the coming months of 2019.
The online education industry has faced challenges depending on how it is perceived. While most people consider it as a progressive, convenient practice, many also believe that it cannot replace traditional classrooms, no matter how fierce a competition it may pose, because it may be an excellent alternative to enhance knowledge but cannot provide the mentorship and guidance that university professors can. Additionally, an increase in free course materials and a lack of awareness about what online education has to offer can make the market growth stagnant.
Even though many of these challenges for the future of online education may seem intimidating, they are by no means impossible. Competent and intellectual professionals are focused on resolving these challenges. Hence, it’s safe to say that the online education sector and market are expected to show massive growth in the coming years.
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