Overview of Online Education
Online education is a kind of learning ecosystem in which learners use their computers, tabs, and mobile phones to access learning material through the internet. The students have access to the learning ecosystem from remote locations. There are several online learning platforms enabling learners to connect with the trainers and teachers from distant locations.
In simple terms, online education is a computer-based and web-enabled online training in which learners and trainers connect on digital learning platforms.
Over the past two decades, the advent of the internet and communication technologies has brought far-reaching impact on the way we learn, share, and transfer knowledge with each other. The internet has completely changed the way people connect, do business, buy goods and services, and learn from other individuals. The digital platforms have been altering the traditional brick and mortar education system and enabling learners to learn without visiting traditional learning systems.
Online learning is getting traction due to ongoing pandemic which disabled learners visiting brick and mortar learning environments for their learning activities. Online learning may happen in audio, video, audio-video, textual, symbolic, animation or virtual live sessions with chat options enabled for supportive communication requirements. One of the biggest advantages of online education is that a learning activity can be standardized or customized to the needs of an individual.
Online education programs
The online education programs can be considered under any of the following categories:
Due to the very nature of human being, online education requires special attention in design and delivery compared to brick and mortar education system. Now let us investigate 10 advantages of online education
Benefits of online education
Online education is favored by individuals who can not make it for classes in a traditional classroom environment for multiple reasons. Below we will examine some of the advantages this exhilarating education offers to students.
- Flexibility: Working professionals have the liberty to manage their professions and school since they are not knotted down to a fixed timetable. In a conventional classroom environment, class meeting times and the learners have no saying on the timetable and other aspects of learning confirmation activities. However, in the online education system, the students will have control over their learning activities in terms, flexible calendar, audio-visual learning artifices, flexible assessment timetable, freedom to choose the location of examination, and many advantages.
- Reduced Cost: The cost of online education is lessor compared to the traditional brick and mortar education system. Since the learning happens over the virtual environment, the institution offering education need not establish sophisticated infrastructure to administer the learning activities. The virtual environment saves lots of money for the institution which they can utilize efficiently to enhance the profitability of the business
- Networking opportunities: Online education platforms offer a wide range of networking opportunities to the participants. Since the learners join the platform from different geographical locations, they got to know people from the different geo-cultural background.
- Access to expertise: When the learner registers for a course online, they will have access to the individuals with a high level of expertise even when they are geographically far from the learner. The people from different corners of the world can connect with learners and mentor them on the subjects. Particularly, when the brick and mortar system cannot hire a full time professional for a topic that is to be discussed with students only for a short period, online education helps them solve this problem.
Online Education in India
Improving media and communication technologies, India is becoming a hotspot for digital learners. India constantly growing in terms of technology, access to smartphones, internet connectivity, and communication tools. The fast-growing internet technologies enabling learners to access online learning programs that are hosted in different geographical locations. Friends and families are allowed to connect in a virtual environment for family events in which the learning takes place and enable them to share their experiences. With an ever-increasing number of courses online, the learners have quick access to the course of their choice and conveniences. They need not struggle to find out their learning activities as there a lot of recommendations available on the internet.
By witnessing the potentiality and enormous reputation of digital expertise in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisaged transmuting our nation and creating prospects for all citizens by utilizing digital learning opportunities through the digital India program. The program includes several projects relating to health, employment, education, and many other sectors.
In this project, many universities and colleges offer online courses according to the convenience of learners with a highly affordable cost which otherwise costs in brick and mortar learning environment. Online education in India is thriving due to its convenience and affordability. Byjus and Vendatu have been providing courses for children of less than 12th standard, while upgrad, Simplilearn, Edureka, iTrack, Intellipaat, Edx, Coursera and Udemy offering online courses for students and working professionals of various age groups. Online education in India is more popular especially among working professions who have less time to undertake learning activities in a brick and mortar learning system.
Some of the most interesting facts about Online education in India are listed below:
- In 2016, the size of the online education market in India was worth approximately $247 million which is expected to reach $ 1.96 billion by 2021. The compound annual growth rate is more than 52%.
- The number of learners enrolled for online education was 1.6 million during 2016 which is expected to grow by about 9.6 million by the end of 2020.
- The cost of classroom education is expected to rise by 175% which would bring cost pressure to the learners. Online education platforms can reduce this cost and help learners earn the same education.
Free Online Education
Well! India is a country with the second largest population in the world next to China and has its unique problems when it comes to education. The per capita income of the citizens is still as low as $ 1900 which poses a serious threat to the lifestyle and quality of education that one can access. A good chunk of India’s population is still living below the poverty line. The income disparity is becoming wider and wider which leaves no solution for the betterment of society.
Considering the situation, the governments of India since Independence have been taking continuous measures to help citizens to become literates. The governments offering deep discounts on fees, offering food, accommodation at discounted prices. Yet the problem is unresolved.
Due to the advancement of income online technologies, the government has been attempting to take maximum advantage in terms of helping citizens pursue education online platforms. These courses are available at a lower cost with the convenience of learners. SWAYAM is one of such confident steps taken by the Government of India. Further, several universities and institutions have come forward to offer courses and programs at a deep discount (often free of cost) and many courses under free online education.
Coursera has offered many of its courses free of cost which international endorsement on quality of learning content. Further, the online education providers offering certificates upon the completion of courses which boosts the interest and motivation levels of learners. Free online education is getting traction in India since last five years.