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While Canadians are among the most highly connected nationally on the planet, in other words, the most frequent users of the internet, there haven’t been wide scale studies carried out regarding the use of e-learning in Canada. In the U.S. the Sloan Commission (2006) has reported that the growth in student participation in e-learning continues to rise.
In 2002, 1.6 million PSE students in the U.S. had taken at least one e-learning course. In 2006, that number had risen to 3.5 million, or nearly 20% of all American higher-education students. Increasingly, educational leaders in the U.S. (62%) consider e-learning to be as effective as, or better than, traditional forms of teaching.
Ashton College, based in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. has been ahead of this trend since 1998 when it opened its doors to a wide assortment of career building online programs.
Colin Fortes, President of Ashton College, pointed out that one of the many reasons for the global influence achieved by the Canadian-based College was its innovative approach to education.
“Our innovation in education means that we can bring the classroom to you, wherever in the world you may be. We have reinvented traditional online learning by offering a live and interactive virtual classroom through award winning and cutting edge technology.”
Back in the 90s when e-learning was considered quite radical, few Higher Educational Institutions were offering courses online. Ashton College took a visionary, proactive approach realizing that online learning increases accessibility, affordability, flexibility and quality of post-secondary education and learning.
Generally speaking, these benefits are as follows: –
Accessibility: Convenience is a key factor as online courses offer students the ability to study from the comfort of their own home. And when specific video platforms are used, fashionistas have their day on camera. Even then, ones’ attire is ultimately a matter of personal preference when studying online.
Affordability: Decreased cost compared to traditional delivery methods. The tuition costs are generally lower than attending a live classroom environment but there are additional savings as well without the need to hop in the car or use public transit.
Flexibility: The ability for students to learn at their own rate. The asynchronous model includes tutorials that allow students to work through content at their leisure offering the ultimate in education-on-demand learning. The simulated classroom model is also known as real time or flexible time learning. Real time or synchronous learning involves technology such as video conferencing or electronic white boards. This gives students the experience of being in a class while interacting with other students.
Quality accessibility: Online learning offers increased access to Higher Education, which can be especially important to remote geographical regions.
Up-skilling: The ability to target the busy working professional who may wish to upgrade a skill-set or even change careers is another important benefit of online learning.
Fortes adds: “One of the things we are most proud of at Ashton College is being able to deliver quality education to the working professional. We recognize how hard it is to balance a work life with the pursuit of education and that is why we have designed programs with you in mind. With programs offered full-time, part-time, and in our virtual classrooms, you do not have to sacrifice your income or schedule.”