This is a guest post by content publisher Tom Grant.
Learning over the internet is still a relatively new phenomenon, but it is steadily becoming more popular all over the world. It is sometimes criticized for being impersonal or increasingly the likelihood that students will cheat. However, it is seen by many as a very positive way to teach and learn, and has actually been shown to have a positive impact on test scores. Here are some of the main reasons why.
1. Sense of Community
The physical classroom environment is very unique, but that does not mean that the online classroom is any less engaging for the students. On the contrary, the interaction between students is often better when learning online compared to learning in a physical classroom.
Students enrolled in online courses often meet up with other students, either in person or virtually, to form their own study groups. Some software even incorporates social media to make the learning experience even more engaging, which can have a positive impact on grades.
Students can also interact by asking each other questions. Because there are often students on the course in multiple time zones around the world, students who post questions often receive answers very quickly, even when they ask a question in the middle of the night.
2. Personalized Learning
In a classroom environment, the type of teaching is often restricted to a standard format. For some students the class goes too fast and they find themselves constantly catching up, whereas for others the class goes too slow and they find themselves becoming bored.
In education there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and distance learning often provides a more flexible option. Students can often study at their own speed and ask the questions that they need answered rather than having to listen to other questions they know the answers to. Overall, it is a more personal form of learning, which can improve the level of student engagement.
3. Increased Interaction
Online courses are sometimes criticized for a lack of interaction, but this is often not the case at all. For example, rather than simply showing the students a video and expecting them to take everything in, a course might stop the video halfway through and pose a question. The students then take the time to answer the question before it continues, allowing them to interact and engage on a greater level.
Students can also interact with tutors and other students to find out where they are going wrong, which is an essential factor of learning. Tutors can highlight their concerns where necessary, and students can learn in an interactive way to improve the learning experience.
Distance Learning Has Numerous Benefits
Distance learning online is still essentially in its infancy, but it is certain to become more prevalent as the benefits become clearer to educational institutions around the world. In addition to the above benefits for the students, it should not be forgotten that online learning opens up education to people all over the world. Distance learning enables people from across the world to get access to the highest level of education, meaning it can play a large role in changing the way in which the global population is educated.
Paige Burton has been researching online education and the impact it is having on the lives of students and educators alike. Her articles appear on education blogs. For more distance learning information and ideas, visit the link.
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