Are Online Learning Courses Effective for Students?

Ever since the last couple of decades, the internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. Nowadays, especially, we have become dependent on the World Wide Web for pretty much everything. Thus the field of education to has seen a gradual shift from traditional classes to online classrooms. So much so, that the year 2012 was called “year of massive open online courses” by a leading newspaper.

But like with every new thing, questions of the effectiveness and credibility of these online learning courses might arise in one’s mind. So let us take a look at some of the pros of these online courses and how effective they are.

Advantages of taking online learning course:

Taking an online learning course as opposed to going to a traditional classroom and taking classes poses many advantages. Few of them are:

  1. Time management:

Many students have to juggle their studies with other commitments and responsibilities. Many have to keep a job alongside studying and thus attending classes can be an issue. For them, online courses are the perfect solution to manage their time effectively.

  1. Cost effective:

Online learning courses cost significantly lesser amount of money than traditional classes. Students often cannot enroll for their desired courses because of cost constraints. Thus online courses give them the access to the courses they want to pursue with a smaller budget.

  1. Higher retention rate:

Offline courses often tend to be very lengthy and for that reason students struggle to cope up with them. Thus it is seen that students have a higher retention rate with online learning courses. Research has found that the retention rate for students has increased from 25% to an astounding 60% with online courses.

  1. Better for the environment:

Online courses are not just good for students but are also the greener option. Our environment can benefit from the reduction in the usage of paper for books. Thus online learning courses help the environment as well.

These are few of the pros of taking online courses over traditional classroom courses. Let us take a look at how effective they are.

Online learning courses: how effective they are really?

The “effectiveness” of any course depends on several factors- the most important of them being the student taking it up. Also, the quality of education provided is another determining factor for the effectiveness of any course.

Therefore, to answer the question- “yes, online courses can be effective” but whether they will be useful depends on several parameters.

A useful online course has to be developed strategically with particular emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of learning. This coupled with removing constraints like commuting to a specific place and on a particular time is advantageous to students.

Also, with traditional classrooms, only a few dominant students usually get heard during class discussions. But with online learning courses, each student receives the window of opportunity to present their queries and clear their doubts.

Thus with the help of all the research conducted, one can conclude that, online learning courses are indeed active if the students make good use of the opportunity!

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