Like its name suggests, online learning involves learning via the Internet. A highly popular alternative to the traditional on-the-ground learning, online learning allows the learner to attend courses, take tests/exams, and communicate and interact with educators, businesses and other learners via the Internet. Though it was initially disapproved by the majority of the world-renowned academic institutions, online learning has eventually been embraced by most schools and universities. However, it is still predominantly offered alongside on-ground courses.
As mentioned above, online learning refers to a method of delivering knowledge/information and training via the Internet rather than face-to-face in the traditional classroom setting. The term itself has a different meaning in different contexts; it can mean a short online course (both accredited and non-accredited) but it can also mean an online equivalent to a full-time study programme. In either case, however, it is virtually the same as its on-the-ground counterpart with the difference that it takes place online.
Online learning offers a host of advantages over the traditional learning. Some of the top ones include:
Flexibility. Online learning allows the learner to progress at their own pace and learn from wherever and whenever they want. This makes it especially popular with learners who have families, work or other obligations as it offers them much more freedom than the traditional on-the-ground learning and travelliing into London.
More educational opportunities. Since all the learning takes place via the Internet, the learners are no longer limited to schools in or nearby their homes, or forced to move to campus. Thanks to online learning, they can now sign up to any course and school in virtually any place in the world and do all the learning in the comfort of their homes.
Lower costs for both learners and educators. Because it doesn’t require physical presence, online learning is very cost-effective for both learners and educators who can take in more students and expand their programmes with minimal investment for example see this software company in London which has expanded its online cliental.
The most commonly cited disadvantages of online learning include:
Less choice. Some subjects and skills cannot be transmitted via the Internet alone. For example, there are no online programmes for pilots, surgeons, engineers and similar professions.
Less support from instructors. Though there is often more interaction between learners and educators, some online learners dislike the fact that there is no face-to-face interaction with instructors.
Requirement of excellent time management and self-discipline. The more freedom you have, the better time management and self-discipline you need.