Web-based learning, which is commonly referred to as e-learning or online learning is a new way for individuals to absorb knowledge and information through a timely manner which can be both efficient and effective. These courses will typically include the following learning avenues: e-mails, live lectures, videos, video conferencing which are all possible with just a few clicks of the fingertip. These platforms would allow participants to give their perspective on these topics and would also provide the chance for further discussion. In fact, even more sophisticated types of e-learning allow a feedback mechanism which allows learners to know why their choice was right or wrong, which further reinforces the learning experience of the participants. Most of the time, e-learning is also reinforced with static materials such as course hand-out to further boost its effectiveness and enhance the participant’s learning experience.
Trends in Online Learning
The growth of online enrollment in the United States of America has been increasing in the past fourteen years, despite the highs and lows of the economy and the decline in college enrollments. At the same time, the number of students exclusively enrolled in a typical university with only classroom types of learning methods has also been declining according to a study by Seaman and Allen in 2018. In fact, a research by Lederman in 2018 showed that in 2016, there were at least around six million students in the US who enrolled in at least one online course, and from hereon, the number of students who enrolled in at least one online course has been steadily increasing to about 30%.
In addition, research shows that public institutions and non-profit organizations have the largest number of students who are enrolled and taking online courses, making them the largest sector of consumers for e-learning. It is forecasted that there will be continued growth for online learning platforms for the next five years.
Effectivity of Online Learning
Greater Learning Experience
A research from IBM found that students learn up to five times more in online learning platforms as compared to traditional face to face classroom methods. This can be attributed to the fact that in online courses, students are given the freedom to work at their own pace as compared to the traditional set-up where information is thrown at students at lightning speed and students would have no choice but to keep up to the instructors. In this way, students are able to digest information better.
Higher Retention Rates
The Research Institute of America found that online courses have increased student retention rates from 25% to 65%, while traditional classroom learning approaches struggle to retain the students in the length of the course.
Less Time Investment
A research from Brandon Hall Reporting shows that online learning platforms would save around 40%-60% of a student’s productivity in terms of commute to and from classes, as well as waiting time for instructors and other students. This implies that the appeal of online learning in terms of time and productivity is greater because there is less time investment.
Online learning platforms are designed to test the students on a more frequent basis. This allows the individuals to track their progress better, and would have more frequent feedback mechanisms in terms of their learning performance.
Research from the Open University in Britain shows that online courses have 90% less energy and 85% fewer CO2 emissions as compared to the traditional in-person course.
As a conclusion, while there are both pros and cons for e-learning, global trends would forecast that e-learning will continue to emerge throughout the years as a competitive avenue of acquiring knowledge. The main objective of learning, whether it’s within the classroom or through a screen, is for individuals to absorb knowledge and apply this knowledge for the betterment of society.