The Internet has allowed for so many things to be done faster, more efficiently and all at the same time. We know we can communicate, get information and work online, and it has proven to be at far, at times even better than its manual counterpart. Lately, a new movement is gaining ground all over the world in different campuses: online education.
Many universities in the world have now started to offer online education. The discipline is still selected as curriculum and programs are still being developed. However, it is becoming popular. The move is advantageous for the schools. It widens their student base as it can now include people who, before, could not go to school either because of distance or because of work. It also allows the school to tap more instructors and professors who are more capable. Since the platform is online and the students are online, professors can also be online.
By bringing more people and capabilities together, thanks to the Internet, more knowledge is generated in the school in terms of research, field knowledge and experience of students and teachers. More students from a different background also add perspective to the school which will not only fatten their store of knowledge but improve the overall academic experience for more students as well.
For students, the advantages are countless. Aside from bridging distances and breaking time constrains, students are able to meet other students far from their location. They can meet students from other countries or regions and exchange ideas and share their culture. Students are also encouraged to be resourceful and diligent in studying and completing requirements, which raised the overall learning experience.
By not leaving home or work, students also bring knowledge into the table and not just rely to learn from teachers. This is perhaps the biggest advantage of online education. Here students are not just consumers of information, they are also producers. This lives true to the promise of Web 2.0, when users do not only get information but add to the repository of knowledge online as well.
Of course there are many disciplines that could not work on an online platform. Most of the programs offered online are advanced studies like the Master's degree. Preparatory school or undergraduate college courses may find it difficult to be online. However, there are also short-term courses online. Webinars (a short term for a seminar on the web) is also becoming popular because of its convenience and its price, which could start at as low as $10 per session payable by credit card. Online forums with teacher-moderators are also gaining ground.
Science courses may also find it difficult to be taught online. In fact, many universities that offer online education still have on-campus components. Where students actually go to school for a few weeks for more intensive subjects and of course, to meet their classmates and teachers.
Online education is still a budding technology but with a lot of promises. With technology and systems being churned out at an unprecedented rate and with universities themselves getting involved, it is just a matter of time that technology, a curriculum and a system will be in place to make it even better to serve even more students.