Digitalization has become an essential aspect of success in different sectors, including education. In recent years, many colleges and universities have invested significantly in E-learning, and the demand for online courses continues to rise. Besides, several organizations have adopted online learning as the primary delivery method when training their employees due to the associated advantages. Talwar (145) refers to online learning as the gaining of skills, knowledge, and information using electronic technologies. The increased adoption and demand for virtual education can be linked to the accessibility of technology and the capacious nature of the internet. Gilbert (3) categorizes web-based learning into different groups, including fully web-based that is conducted entirely online; hybrid courses that are made of the classroom and virtual sessions; and traditional courses using web supplements where online technology is used as a medium for giving supplemental material for conventional classroom study. Online studying is an effective approach, and there are many rationales for offering and investing in it, such as reduced costs, increased internet accessibility, and flexibility.
Online learning offers a cost-effective learning option for learners hence making it easy to achieve an education. According to Talwar (146), cost-effectiveness is evident through travel fees, rentals, and printing costs. Learners are saved from the need to travel to other cities for training or to get the needed study materials from particular institutions. Besides, Sun et al. (167) reason that with online learning, the need to seek accommodation through rentals is eliminated. One study from home or other preferred areas hence avoiding the cost of rentals. The materials, such as handouts and readings, are sent via electronic means, such as mail, from which they can be accessed and read (Gilbert 5). Thus, learners are exempted from incurring printing costs, which form a significant part of expenses in the traditional learning approach.
Institutions incur fewer costs while reaching a large pool of students. One of the main challenges that schools face is a declining budget while opportunities expand. However, this problem is effectively tackled through online learning. Gilbert (7) holds that instruction compensation costs are significantly reduced when an institution introduces a hybrid instruction model for various courses. For instance, colleges can adopt interactive learning online software, which includes sophisticated machine guided instructions that could replace face-to-face learning. Sun et al. (167) note that the system is also designed to track learner progress and offer them targeted and practical guidance for optimal performance. Thus, online studying helps institutions to reduce the costs of tendering specific courses while maintaining the quality of education offered.
Online learning presents an excellent opportunity for learners who hail from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Roddy et al. note that such learners often find it challenging to enroll in typical educational programs due to the vast expenses, including fees, transport, and accommodation. Online studies, however, offers a quality education at a lesser cost and is thus a suitable option for such students. Hart et al. reason that since one studies from their convenient areas, the financial burden they have to bear is lessened. Also, locational barriers are eliminated as one accesses the courses and programs without any traveling. Subsequently, online studying ensures quality education and equal opportunities for all learners regardless of their financial status.
Convenience for Diverse Learner Needs
Online studying suits the needs of different kinds of learners, including those that traditional education classes could not meet. Talwar (146) notes that people with various requirements can conveniently adopt virtual learning. It caters to diverse groups, including employees who could be seeking professional development opportunities, homemakers, and persons with disabilities. Besides, there is no age limit for these courses; hence one can take them at any stage of their lives. The classes and materials can be accessed anywhere and at any time, which saves one from significantly altering their schedules. One can set time, such as evenings or weekends, where they can study at their comfort and convenience (Gilbert 5). For persons with disabilities, they are saved from the need to worry about whether an institution has the necessary supporting infrastructure to meet their needs. Online studying platforms offer an excellent solution for such worries since they can access courses from convenient locations.
Flexibility goes along with convenience to make online studying a practical and appealing option. For learners with work and family commitments, virtual learning offers an ideal approach to accommodate such by ensuring they are not compromised (Roddy et al.). A significant part of the people in online studying is in the later life stages and therefore have many obligations that must be expertly blended with education to achieve a fair balance. With e-learning, such people can get world-class education anytime and anywhere as long as they have access to the internet (Nguyen 310). Thus, virtual learning ensures flexibility, which is highly convenient for people with other commitments.
Leaners can choose study options that match their needs. Gilbert (6) notes that online learning appeals to most students since they can work at a place and time that aligns with their learning requirements. Students' attention is focused due to the added flexibility since they do not have to worry about issues, such as traffic and parking, which are typical in traditional class settings. Sun et al. (167) note that this element adds to flexibility since a learner is not restricted to a particular schedule and ensures minimal time wastage. They can visit the virtual classes for as long as they wish and cover a broad range of material. Besides, more time is left for learning, which enables one to master vast content within the available time.
Online learning presents a convenient option for students who prefer learning devoid of many external regulations. Gilbert (5) notes that with e-learning, a student gets a chance to become more self-guided. They can plan their time effectively to focus more time on concepts that require much time and spend less on the aspects they grasp quickly. Besides, virtual learning enhances one's time management and metacognition skills to track and reflect upon their studies. Nguyen (311) holds that as one goes through online studying, they become more self-motivated and well versed in planning their time to focus on the deadlines. Such skills are not only critical for a learner's success in their virtual course but could be applied to other life aspects, such as making one stand out in their workplaces.
The different and asynchronous modes of communication call for self-regulation and efficient planning. Roddy et al. highlight some of the methods used for interactions in virtual studies, including peer, learner-to-content, and learner-to-instructor communications. Such setting calls for learners to be more proactive and self-governed in planning and reflecting on their learning to achieve excellent academic performances. A student must be amply disciplined to actively interact with their peers, educational materials, and instructors. Establishing meaningful and disciplined connections is critical for student success (Nguyen 312). Online studying calls for a learner to devise strategies to regulate their time and activities, which promotes the growth of self-discipline among them.
With online learning, a learner sets their pace and regulates it as they deem fit. According to Hart et al., a student sets an individualized pace; hence slower learners have ample time to go through the materials till they master it. In the traditional learning environment, slow learners often feel overwhelmed as they feel left behind by their peers. Subsequently, they could end up cowering and unable to have their needs addressed in class. However, with online studying, they can work at their pace without any pressures. Conversely, in a typical classroom, fast learners often feel agitated as tutors make repetitive explanations to cater for the slower learners (Sun et al. 166). Online studies save them from such irked feelings as they can move on soon as they master the content.
Unlimited Access of Updated Study Material
Online studying allows learners to access content for as many times as they wish. Learners can watch the presentations and videos for an unlimited number of times whenever and wherever they get time (Talwar 146). Unlike traditional studying, a student is saved from worrying about missing a lecture since they can see easily view its recording later. One can also view the lecture session several times to gain more understanding. Besides, the materials offered are updated, and students, therefore, get the latest information (Talwar 146). The content is regularly updated, and the systems are designed to ensure learners access the latest materials whenever they access e-learning. Thus, students are assured of learning the current trends hence equipping them with valuable information.
Learners access a wide variety of coursework, which enhances the quality of education they receive. Hart et al. note that online courses have links that allow students to explore their interests, and they can access coursework appealingly and effectively. It is easy to reach the instructors and ask questions for areas where a learner has difficulties understandings. The tutors address each learner separately to ensure their needs are met. Additionally, there is a wide variety of courses and programs; hence learners can focus on the subjects they are interested in (Gilbert 6). Unlike in traditional settings where students were limited on the courses to take, online studying offers an extended range and is thus more convenient for learners.
Online studying is characterized by high responsiveness among learners and between students and the instructor. The lessons are founded on regular interactions between tutors and learners. The lecturers present the different learning materials and provide feedback while learners interact with each other through class groups and discussion posts (Sun et al., 166). As such, online learning brings together remote tutors and students where questions are answered in real-time hence providing a captivating learning experience. Besides, some software has been developed to create an appealing virtual setting for presentations, hands-on-training, and instruction effectively and at high speeds (Talwar 146). Such advances have enhanced online learning efficiency making it a highly attractive option.
The anonymity of virtual classes enhances the effectiveness of online connectivity. In the traditional class setting, some students are discouraged from participating in fully in-class sessions as they feel uncomfortable while amongst people. Such learners also fear being treated unequally due to aspects such as their looks. Conversely, online studying has no visual cues; hence tutors treat all students equally (Nguyen 315). Learner identity is also hidden, which allows shy learners to actively participate in class discussions without any hindrances (Talwar 146). Consequently, such learners have a fulfilling learning experience, which ensures optimal achievement from their studies.
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