Education as such is recognized as one of the basic necessities for the overall growth of the individual and society. It is considered a fundamental human right, as explained in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Human Rights Covenants.
The traditional system of education has been catering to the needs of the society for centuries. But when it was found that the demand and supply gap is widening in this field, educationists started exploring other viable means of delivering education. Online education is one such mode in which education is delivered at the doorsteps of the student.
Technological advancement plays crucial role in this mode of education. Over time, the approach of looking at the means of education has changed a lot. Now computers and internet are considered very much as an integral part of education system. E-learning is another term describing this form of education. Key features of online education are;
Asynchronous mode of learning: In a classroom teaching-learning environment, if for some reason, a student is not able to attend the class; s/he misses the day’s lecture. But in online education system, student can access the lessons whenever s/he has time for it. Therefore this kind of education system is also suitable for a working professional, who wishes to acquire higher education or wishes to upgrade his/her skills. This helps in career advancements and pursuing the professional goals
Wider choice to the student: In the traditional form of education, seeking admission in a college outside city or country would involve a huge expenditure on logistics. But thanks to the online platform, we need not worry about these things, because the universities from around the globe are within easy reach for us through internet.
Skill development: With the onset of globalization, demand for appropriately skilled workforce has increased manifold. In fact, globalization has proved to be key driver in stimulating the growth and demand for higher education, training and development. The online platform has also made it possible for corporate houses and MNCs to enter into strategic tie-ups with universities and institutions for upgrading the skills of their existing workforce. Many governments around the world are also in the process of reforming the education system, so that they can include the online platform also in the mainstream of their education system.
Interactive learning: The online platform also makes it possible to present examples, computer simulations, live videos etc. to the learner. This helps in making the process of education interactive and interesting.
Industry’s participation in the education system: E-commerce plays an important role in education. With collaboration of industry and educational institutions features like streaming video/ audio, real-time computer conferencing, audio broadcasting, video broadcasting, real time telephony and of course real-time business can be added to the online platform.
Helps in bridging the digital divide: Online learning also helps in reducing the digital divide between those having access to the advanced technological aids for effective education and those without it. The planned lessons will be uniformly accessible to students in the US as well as in far off countries places like Africa or India.
It is therefore worth emphasizing that online education is indeed very much helpful for the students in general, and we must explore the possibilities of upgrading our qualification and skills through this cost-effective and flexible mode of learning. From my personal experience I’d like to suggest to fellow students that online learning provides a wonderful opportunity to seek quality education at affordable prices at our own convenience.
As far as gaining admission in online courses is concerned, indeed there should certain minimum criteria for a student to ensure his/her active participation. The minimum criteria can be in the form of minimum academic qualification, ability to make use of certain technologies etc. Such criterion also helps in enhancing the acceptability of the qualification on offer from the online university.