Online learning isn’t just for colleges

Alan Pringle / Opinion1 Comment

A recent study found that the number of students in online college classes is still rising:

Roughly one in six students enrolled in higher education – about 3.2 million people – took at least one online course last fall, a sharp increase defying predictions that online learning growth is leveling off.

Cost savings play a big part in the continuing upswing for online learning at the college level, and that is true of our online classes, too. Neither the students nor the instructor need to book flights, rental cars, and hotel rooms, and those costs can be considerable. The financial incentives go a bit deeper than that, though. Each day of our online classes is about 4 hours (2 hours of interactive instruction and 2 hours of “homework” for the students), so students still have time to handle other job responsibilities. It also means our instructors have time to do other work here at our office. (And let’s not forget the wear-and-tear associated with travel today: spending a lot of time on airplanes packed like sardine cans is no one’s idea of fun.)

Overall, we’ve been pleased with our first year of online teaching. Even though having an instructor with you in the same room is probably the best way to learn software and technology, the cost of classroom training eliminates it as an option for many folks. We recognize that, and that’s why we decided to offer online classes. Based on our experience so far, we feel they are an excellent compromise between do-it-yourself learning through books and the classroom experience.

About the Author

Alan Pringle

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Content strategy consulting. Publishing (electronic and print). Eating (preferably pastries and chocolate). COO at Scriptorium.

One Comment on “Online learning isn’t just for colleges”

  1. I am taking a “computers in education” class right now online, and I agree with you! Online learning is a wonderful opportunity for those who do not have the time or money to travel, let alone sit in a classroom. Learning technology over the internet may be a daunting task to some, but I believe if the teacher or prof presents the material appropriately, it gives the students the opportunity to explore the different technology themselves, spending as much or as little time as they deem necessary. I also feel that it is important, however, that the leader of the online class makes it a point to get the students to interact with both the leader and the other students. Social interaction is proven to increase learning, no matter how that learning occures.
    It seems that our university reflects the results of the study that you alluded to; there are more and more classes available online and students are discovering the flexability that they offer at an alarming rate!

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