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Online Education

Online learning can make the best lecturers in the world available to students everywhere, for all time to come.

Online education in various forms is the only way to simultaneously rapidly increase accessibility, affordability and quality of higher education at the global level. Online education refers to the use of electronic media and ICT in education. The idea originated in the 1960s, but has caught on in the past decade.

Source: Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the US,
Babson Survey Research Group, 2013

In recent years top American universities including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Duke and UC Berkeley have conducted research and pioneered new initiatives in online education. This has led to the establishment of solely online universities such as University of Phoenix, with 300,000 students, University of the People, Sofia University, WEU. The rapid expansion of MOOCS services millions of students. The participation of top universities, technology companies and the support of governments has been matched by soaring demand among learners worldwide. Studies confirm that the quality of online education can equal or exceed that of traditional classroom learning. When used as a complement to classroom education, the effectivity of learning improves vastly. Online education will form a component of education in the future.

Online Education can –

  • Expand a class of 30 students into a class of 300 million.
  • Address the critical shortage and high cost of qualified instructors which severely limit the expansion of quality education through traditional classroom learning.
  • Make the best lecturers in the world available to students everywhere, for all time to come.
  • Supplement oral classroom lectures with video and audio recorded lecturers accessible anywhere anytime, e-books, animation, movies, and virtual labs.
  • Provide courses translated into any and every language so students can learn in their mother tongue and preserve traditional culture.
  • Facilitate rapid and continuous updating of syllabus content.
  • Adapt to the speed, learning habits and capacities of each individual student.
  • Be customized and specialized to meet the varied interests and needs of students.
  • Benefit students in rural areas and small towns where colleges offer limited program options.
  • Be delivered at a fraction of the cost of traditional classroom education.
  • Be accessed at flexible hours and self-paced to suit those who are trying to juggle work, family and studies.
  • Enable students to benefit from exposure to many cultures and viewpoints.
  • Make possible learning from lecturers from other countries, and discussing with peers spread all over the globe, so students gain a global perspective otherwise be beyond their reach and qualify to become global citizens.

Facts about Online Education

  • The number of students in the US taking at least one online course has grown 319% between 2002 and 2011.
  • In the US, the proportion of all students taking at least one online course in 2012 is 32%.
  • Online education lends itself to collaboration between colleges, government organizations, companies and communities.
  • Many online educators provide training for students through tie-ups with companies. Some allow companies to recruit from among their students.