More than 9.1 mn students around the world are currently enrolled in an online course/program. This trend despite its recent massive popularity is not being given its due recognition by conventional educationists, who still believe that the most effective way of learning is the traditional face to face classroom environment. But recent studies carried out by eminent global research organizations and institutions reveal a startling fact, to the surprise of such academicians. The popularity of online courses has picked up substantially in the last 3 years mainly due to a number of merits (convenience, affordability, seamless, quality etc) over traditional education system, though it is highly unlikely that online education would be able to completely replace traditional system of learning. It is pertinent to note that online learning is a way to enhance one’s knowledge and can be utilized effectively to supplement formal traditional physical classroom based education.
“A number of well-known educators have said that there isn’t going to be much learning in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs),” said a professor at MIT. He added “if not, it is very helpful to already educated people, who want to learn but do not have time for it”.
Online courses are dependent on online libraries, real time teacher assistance, virtual classrooms and study groups.
Online libraries in contrast to traditional libraries are better suited to the needs of a modern day student who wants to refer from various sources. Very few online libraries offer high priced books at very affordable charges through an online subscription based model. A student can download as many eBooks as he/she wants and can make notes, create reports or read for pleasure.
But the real revolution in the field of education has to be virtual classrooms. It has replaced the old fashioned exchange programs run by schools and universities around the world. Now students can interact with teachers and professors in real time from the comfort of their homes.
Similarly, a student has the freedom to create study groups, exchange notes and interact with students from other parts of the world. Innovative platforms have been designed to make all this possible, all you need is a portable device and an internet connection.
Students from all over the world are finding these platforms extremely useful as it helps them in learning new concepts & network with people with similar interests. On the other hand, traditional education system is not as flexible as the online learning system.
Clearly, online education scores over traditional education on many fronts. Like any other system of education has its flaws too, but a blended system, where traditional education system is in sync with online learning is what is needed. Neither of the two can be ignored. Thus our education system should accommodate both.