Online courses have long been seen as inferior to in-person classes, but recent research has shown that they can be just as effective. With the advent of multimedia content, IBM has found that participants learn five times more material in online learning courses than in traditional in-person courses. On-the-job learning is also more effective because it gives the student the opportunity to practice what they have learned using actual workplace resources. In addition, online learning is better for the environment, reducing the use of paper and electricity and cutting down on carbon emissions.
Online learning increases access and increases the likelihood that a student will be able to complete a course or program when physical limitations are eliminated. Studies have shown that retention rates for online students are much higher than for traditional in-person students. Online courses give students total control over what they are learning, so they can work at their own pace. However, most online courses, especially those serving K-12 students, have a much more similar format to in-person courses.
With more flexibility, self-directed study options, and access to the same instructors and teachers as traditional learning, it's no surprise that online learning is becoming increasingly popular. Before jumping on the e-learning bandwagon, it's important to understand how online learning differs from traditional in-person methods and decide if it's right for you or your organization. While online learning is a convenient way to take courses, it's not always a good idea for everyone. Students may have more distractions and less supervision in an online environment, which can reduce their motivation.
Here are five reasons why online learning may be more effective than enrolling in an in-person training course: students can decide for themselves what they want to deepen and spend more time learning; serious students can catch up during evenings or summer using online classes; there is less disruption to their educational trajectory; there is greater flexibility; and there is access to the same instructors and teachers as traditional learning.