Online Learning: Different Schools of Thought
Where and how students learn is completely subjective. Some thrive on the teacher-student interaction felt in the classroom, while others find it easier to tune in online and connect with the class at any time and from any location. Both methods are effective, but a wireless education may be what the future of America’s college system brings. The question is at what cost.
Online learning is the most convenient way to pursue a college degree or even just take online classes. The cost for courses and/or a degree is significantly lower than attending them on campus, especially if you sign up for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). In this case, each class is free. There is great flexibility in earning a degree or taking classes online, as well as many are self-paced in nature, while still being effective.1 However, if you are not a tech-savvy person, online learning can be cumbersome.
Dropout rates for some online learning institutions is high. In fact, while enrollment for many online courses, including MOOCs has significantly increased, so have the dropout rates. Students may have a change in academic interest or conclude that there is a lack of information needed within the course. Learners have also been known to drop out because they lack motivation to finish all the coursework. 2
Finally, if it seems to good to be true, then it probably isn't worth a student's time. With the advent of MOOCs, many unaccredited colleges and agencies are popping up online. Degree seekers can fall prey to the false offers and commitments. In the end, they find out their money and time have been wasted. It's in cases such as these that online learning is not beneficial.