Monthly Archives: November 2015

7 Tips For Continuing Education Online

I love continuing my education, right in the comfort of my own home. Can you imagine this – having the flexibility and freedom to attend classes according to my own schedule, choosing the course I want, and having easy access to all the materials for classes for the next lesson?

If you too, are an online student, you could probably relate with me. However, if you are considering an online education, there are 7 important tips to know about continuing your education online, and how to be a successful online student:

1) You must be able to communicate through writing.

As you are attending a virtual classroom, nearly all communication is written, and in order to fully participate in classes, it is critical that you are able to express yourself effectively through writing.

2) Motivation and self-discipline.

When you attend a conventional school, you have your friends and teachers to motivate you and even ‘punish’ you if you do not complete your assignments. Not in the world of online education. You must therefore be highly motivated and disciplined, and take responsibility for your own education.

3) Learn to ‘speak up’

In the traditional world of education, if the teacher sees that the students look confused or unsure of what has been taught, he/she will repeat it until the students are clear. However in the online world, the instructors are unable to know if the students are able to keep up to speed with the lessons, unless the students ‘speak up’.

4) Have a different attitude towards online education

Most students nowadays think that online education is the easy way to get an education. That is far from the truth. In fact, continuing your education online may be harder than a normal education, due to the strict quality control most online schools enforce. Therefore, view it as a convenient way to get an education, and not an easy way.

5) Practise critical thinking and decision making

The online learning process requires the student to be decisive in making decisions based on information provided, along with experience. And making the right decision requires critical thoughts.

6) Participate

One of the most important tips is to participate actively in a virtual classroom. You can learn a lot from your peers as well, and this makes continuing your education online a much more fun process.

7) Be polite and respectful

Although you are anonymous, be wary of your language. You are after all dealing with real teachers and students, and it is crucial to have a productive and supportive online environment. In such positive environments, you will feel more valued, and your own work will have higher value naturally.

Online education is starting to take the world by storm, and more and more students are turning to virtual schools to get their accredited online degrees. If this sounds good, you can always request for your free online education match, and decide for yourself if continuing your education online is suitable for you.

Why Continuing Your Education Online is So Easy

If college is looking impossible because of no money and huge responsibilities, then you can research education continuance online. Universities and colleges have a number of college courses and degree programs.

Community colleges have technical training and certificates for careers. If you want a training certificate, college degree, PHD or master’s degree, then you can do this online as it is easy and manageable.

Job training and college can be brought into the home through online education. Just picture being at the computer with some juice, in your PJ’s on a morning and you are pursuing a certificate or degree. This is possible with education online and students are pursuing this option more and more. When your education is done online there is no commute to and from school, stressing about attending classes late, staying back late after class, or having to leave your job early to make it to class. You would not have to do without an income so that school can be finished or getting a job to go around your schedule. Education online brings scheduling flexibility and freedom.

You can locate these programs very easy if you utilize the search engines. There are many directories of education and these have a lot of information about the programs at your fingertip. You can research if the school has your field of study, certifications or the degree that you want to pursue. A good method of finding reputable education classes online is to locate the main websites of universities and colleges that are desirable. Many of them have information about their education programs and courses that are online.

Money can be saved on tuition is you stay local. Many more schools are jumping on the bandwagon of distance education and even schools in small towns are offering at least some of the online courses. Call the local university or college to see if they have certificates or degree programs online. Find a distance education catalog for other opportunities that may have been missed when you did your online research. Get advice from family members or friends that may have already done distance courses. People who have done the classes sometimes know about future offerings before the information is put out by the college offices.

Once you locate a desirable program, start the process of application and enroll in classes. Many of the online classes use discussion forums, email or class boards online, where grades and assignments are posted online by teachers. Use the first day to get familiar with the set up, how to contact fellow students and teachers and how to turn in assignments. When you are comfortable, time can be organized and learning can begin.

Everyone can use the ability to advance by utilizing distance education. You can manage a full course load easier and have a better ability to schedule appointments. Many students like the advantage of the freedom and simplicity they obtain from distance education. Anyone who is in possession of a computer that can access the internet has the ability to advance their education that can be done in a way that is comfortable for them.

Copyright (c) 2008 Steven Magill

Difference Between On-Campus Education and Online Education

On-campus education vs. online education! Is one better than the other? Can one completely replace the other? Indeed it seems that online education is the way of the future. Educational institutions, corporations and government organizations alike already offer various forms of electronic teaching. However, can a computer truly replace a teacher and a blackboard?

How people learn

Each individual has a form of learning that suits them best. Some individuals achieve fantastic results in courses taught online, however most people drop out of 100% computer-led courses. Educational institutions, as well as companies in carrying out staff training, must recognize that there is no ideal way to carry out the teaching of a large group of individuals, and so must design programs that best suits the needs of the group as a whole.

People learn using multiple senses. This involves learning through both theoretical components of a course, as well as social interaction with both instructors and other students. Students learn from each other’s mistakes and successes, not just from what they are told by instructors.

Each individual student has an ideal learning pace. Instructors are therefore faced with the challenge of designing courses that move forward such that those students with a slower learning pace do not get left behind, while not moving so slowly that students with faster learning paces get bored.

Online education

In the age of high-speed information transfer, online education is becoming a popular and cheap means for delivering teaching to individuals outside the classroom, and in some cases all over the world. Teaching can be via CD, websites, or through real-time online facilities such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms. However, different methods of online education each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Online education is still a relatively new concept, and in many respects still in the teething stages. As such, various problems arrive across different online education environments. For example:

1. Lack of immediate feedback in asynchronous learning environments: While some online education environments such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms operate live with the addition of an instructor, most do not. Teaching that is delivered through a CD or website, although having the advantage of being self-paced, provides no immediate feedback from a live instructor.

2. More preparation required on the part of the instructor: In an online education environment, an instructor can not simply stand in front of a whiteboard and deliver a class. Lessons in online education environments must be prepared ahead of time, along with any notes and instructions that may accompany the teaching.

In many cases it would also be necessary that the instructor not only understands the concepts being taught, but the technology used to deliver that teaching. This therefore increases the skill-levels needed of online education instructors, placing greater demand on educational institutions.

Staffing levels may also be higher for courses run in an online education environment, requiring for example:

The Instructor – able to teach both course content and be skilled in the use of technologies involved

The Facilitator – to assist the instructor in delivering content, but may do so remotely

Help Desk – to offer assistance to instructors, facilitators and students in the use of both software and hardware used to deliver the course.

3. Not all people are comfortable with online education: Education is no longer only sought by the world’s youth. With an increased trend towards adult and continuing education, there is a need to design courses suitable for students over a larger age-range, as well as students from different and varied backgrounds. It is difficult, however, to design online education environments suitable for everyone.

4. Increased potential for frustration, anxiety and confusion: In an online education environment, there are a greater number of parts making up the system that can fail. Server failures may prevent online courses from operating. Software based teaching applications may require other specific components to operate. Computer viruses may infect software necessary to run online education environments. If these systems are complex, students may choose the ease of On-campus education rather than taking the additional time and effort necessary to master the use of online education systems.

5. The Digital Divide: Many people who live in remote areas and developing countries do not have access to computers, making any form of online education virtually impossible. For this reason, online education is only able to be targeted at the people lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the technology involved. Similarly, offering live teaching across the world means that different time zones and nationalities increase the demand for multi-skilled instructors.

In addition to these, there are also several legal issues associated with maintaining an online education environment. For example, intellectual property laws, particularly those relating to copyright, may or may not fully cover electronically created intellectual property. For example, information on a website is not necessarily considered to be public domain, despite being available to everyone. However, the Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2001 to ensure that copyright owners of electronic materials, including online education environments, could continue to provide their works commercially.

On-Campus Education

Still the most common form of instruction is traditional classroom-style learning. These instructor-led environments are more personal than online education environments, and also have the advantage of allowing for immediate feedback both to and from student and teachers alike. However, the classroom allows for less flexibility than courses run in online education environments.

Instructors in modern classroom environments are still able to take advantage of several forms of electronic teaching tools while still maintaining the atmosphere associated with the traditional classroom environment. For example, PowerPoint slides can be utilized instead of a whiteboard or blackboard. Handouts can be distributed via course websites prior to the event. However, on the day, students are still able to actively participate in the lesson.

Like online education environments, On-campus education comes with certain drawbacks, the most common of which is the classroom itself. This requires a group of people which, in a university for example, could reach a few hundred people in size, to gather in the same place at the same time. This requires enormous time and financial commitment on behalf of both the students and the educational institution.

However, it is this sort of environment that is most familiar to students across the world. People of all ages can access a classroom environment feeling comfortable with the way that a classroom-run course is carried out. Older students who may not be comfortable with the use of information technology are not required to navigate their way through possibly complex online education environments, making On-campus education the most accessible form of teaching.

On-campus education has one advantage that 100% electronically delivered courses can not offer – social interaction. Learning comes from observing, not only what is written on a page or presented in a slideshow, but what is observed in others. Most students are naturally curious, and so will want to ask questions of their instructors. The classroom environment allows students to clarify what is being taught not only with their instructors, but with other students.

So, Which is Better?

There is no style of instruction that will best suit every student. Studies have shown (Can online education replace On-campus education) that courses where online education is used to complement On-campus education have proved more effective than courses delivered entirely using only one method. These courses take advantage of both online education materials and a live instructor, and have produced results higher than those of students in either 100% online education or classroom environment courses. Students have the advantage of the immediate feedback and social interaction that comes with the classroom environment, as well as the convenience of self-paced online education modules that can be undertaken when it best suits the student.

It would seem that online education environments will never completely replace On-campus education. There is no “one size fits all” method of teaching. Teaching styles will continue to adapt to find the method that best fits the learning group. Using a mix of online education environments and classroom sessions, educational institutions, corporations and government organizations can ensure that training is delivered that is convenient and effective for both instructors and students alike.