According to recent publications from the New York Times regarding a study conducted with SRI International for the Department of Education, online education once started as a sketchy concept and has now come full throttle into a well-respected educational component for learning. While some of the studies considered K-12 settings, the majority of the research and findings concluded comparisons and finite information in adult education, online colleges and continuing education programs.
A twelve year span was considered and the report showed that there were quantitative comparisons of online and in-class performances in the same course matter. According to the Department of Education, students taking all online courses or at least some of their courses online scored in the 60th percentile of statewide and nationwide tests, while students who studied solely in the classroom scored in the 50th percentile overall. The statistics have a meaningful impact to educators and the Department of Education.
Findings also concluded that the rise in online education learners is growing at exponential rates and show no signs of declining anytime soon. In 2009, Arizona State University revealed that they had 5,000 students enrolled in education programs and within three to five years expects that number to triple. At their current rate, the number should actually quadruple in five years.
Educational Technology Evolution
More and more colleges and universities are offering online courses and programs. In order to stay up on the demand, technology is at the forefront and improvements in online study are consistently being made. Online learning management tools are becoming more and more interactive and allowing instructors and students to share information with each other at all hours of the day. Blackboard and Moodle are just some of the management systems available and other interactive companies are creating new valuable “blackboard” systems that provide a wealth of information for students.
Social networking technology is on the rise and the students’ demand for this type of technology is causing a drive in the industry to create more interactive tools that allow a social community to come together and learn. The community is geared toward allowing students to come together and teach each other, taking a load off of the instructor responsible for 10-100 students at a time.
The benefit of online learning, with the help of improvements continually being made in the industry, is that there is a real promise for education. Students are able to tailor make their education through online learning choices. They can pick classes that they want to take without suffering through many core courses that have nothing to do with their interest or major.
Students are enabled to “learn by doing,” which is highly appealing to online learners. Students no longer want to sit in the classroom and be bored with information they feel will never be put to use. Now days, students want to learn something practical that they can use that same day! With this mentality, online learning is not going anywhere and is here to stay for the long haul.