The trends and benefits of e-learning

by frank-stuart
5JUN

The post-secondary education landscape has been indelibly changed with the advent of the internet. We are a digitally connected world and in many aspects, this global connectivity has changed user experience in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of only decades earlier.

Trends in online learning

The rise of online education has been rapid in recent years, prompted by advances in technology and the need to balance professional and personal commitments with study.

On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations loftily proclaimed “everyone has the right to education” and that “higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” Who then would have thought that in less than 50 years, this world embracing vision as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would have been realised?

Today, higher education is a steady growth global industry, and e-learning has become a mainstream education delivery method. Studying by “correspondence” has morphed by advancing course delivery technology into a sophisticated “open learning” experience for students around the globe. As the delivery technology has advanced, so too has the credibility of such qualifications. Today, most major universities have their own e-learning options or are affiliated with an “open institution” which collaborates with a number of global universities offering students the tools and infrastructure required to collaborate remotely and study the course they want to complete.

Laptops and other electronic devices like tablets and i-pads are beginning to replace the pen and paper of old and internet connectivity has enabled students to download a podcast lesson from the location of their choice. Mobile apps for studying also enable collaboration between remote students, simulating face to face study groups in a regular bricks and mortar experience. In fact, all these technological advances have impacted both studying on campus as well as remote learning.

What’s more, these advances in technology have enabled global access to quality education. Many students from developing countries in Africa and Asia who once could only dream of changing their lot through a quality education now have improved access to education and qualifications. Thanks to the anthropological work of many NGOs, distance education has enabled global access to educational resources, by publishing to a world audience. Video conferencing easily and cost effectively enables students from any part of the world to take a virtual field trip and communicate and collaborate with students and teachers across the globe. Students can participate in virtual and live lectures with world class scholars without leaving their home/village.

Benefits of online learning

Besides the altruistic aspirations of e-learning, it is a flexible and cost effective way to study towards higher qualifications in today’s fast paced and fickle economic climate. Employers competing in this harsh business climate are reluctant to relieve valuable staff in order to facilitate study, and few people can afford to “take a sabbatical” in order to achieve this end when they have bills to pay. E-learning offers affordable study anytime, anywhere, with many options leading to a degree at the end of it.

Whether you’re fresh out of high school, seeking to further your study and juggle a busy lifestyle, or you’re employed and want to up-skill but can’t afford to take time off your paid employment, e-learning might be the way to go. Given its potential in allowing you to obtain a qualification and expand job prospects at the end of your journey, distance learning might make perfect sense.

At ACPE, the Graduate Diploma of Sports Administration is delivered via our brand new fully flexible online mode so you can balance professional and personal commitments with study.

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