This guest post is by Karen Falgore of Liberty University.
Online education isn’t new, but it is becoming more publicized by prominent institutions.
The modern version of distance education, online study is much more attractive than the correspondence courses of yesteryear.
There are many reasons for the growing appeal of online degree programs and courses, and the publicity garnered by such options is impacting the way educators, students and parents think about post-secondary education.
Past perception of online studies was questionable
For many, the concern was that there might not be legitimacy in a correspondence based degree program nor in a correspondence class.
The infiltration of computers into society, though, has greatly impacted the realm of higher education, providing more effective means of communicating, designing and publishing.
It stands to reason that these principles extend to the realm of collegiate study and research.
As these opportunities are explored, many strongly branded colleges and universities become compelled to advance the causes of online programs.
Devry, for example, is promoted as a solution for various 2012 Olympic athletes, enabling them to pursue both sports and educational goals.
For others, the online approach to learning makes it possible to achieve educational advancement while raising children, living rurally or continuing in a profession that demands one’s presence.
Flexibility that isn’t present in the classroom setting
A student can catch up on core curriculum requirements during a summer recess or get ahead during winter mini-sessions without having to worry about the living expenses associated with staying on campus during the term.
An ambitious high school student can earn preliminary credits even before obtaining a high school diploma.
Presented in a positive light, the online approach to a college education is gaining in popularity.
Approach to individual learning styles
Another manner in which online education is gaining traction is in its approach to individual learning styles.
The traditional lecture setting for a math class, for example, can be frustrating.
Use of online curriculum for providing students with interactive problem solving activities addresses learning styles in a more personal manner.
Some may view online learning as removed and dry
However, live classes allow more comfortable and relevant interaction than lecture courses.
Chat board discussion groups allow students to confidently discuss their observations and understandings.
Email feedback is often much more empowering for students than paper feedback on assignments submitted in a physical classroom.
However, the use of online studies is seen as a complement to such educational programs, allowing students to keep costs low and to move forward more rapidly. Some degrees are well-suited to online study.
Do you have a problem with focusing?
In many cases, students are found to be more focused when studying online in part or whole.
As credible institutions like Walden and Devry continue to develop and promote their online courses and degrees, more individuals will take advantage of such options.
As major universities add to their online offerings, access will become more widespread.
The opportunity to accelerate learning is an important factor in raising the level of interest in computer based studies.
Interactive experiences and teaching tools can be expected to be more fully explored and developed as support and success are experienced.
Karen Falgore is the Online Ambassador for Liberty University’s online education and academic programs. She is passionate about education, weekends at Busch Gardens theme park, and finding the perfect spa treatment.