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The internet revolution is changing the face of education. Last year, enrollment in online courses offered through platforms like edX, Coursera and Udacity more than doubled. According to education experts online classes are the single most important technological development of the millennium so far. This is due to the enormously transformative impact online education can have on literally billions of people in the world. As internet bandwidth becomes more widespread, hardware and software becomes more reliable, and students spend more and more time online, the popularity of online courses is expected to grow exponentially.
Online education can take the form of completely online programs and courses, as well as blended programs and courses. According to the Financial Times, by 2020, 50 per cent of all college campus coursework will combine in-person and online learning; a shift driven by student demand for the convenience and effectiveness of online learning.
Some of the major benefits of online education include accessibility, affordability and flexibility. As technology becomes more widespread, education is reaching people in places it never did before. Many courses are available online for free. These huge, online courses are known as massively open online courses (MOOCs).
As the popularity of online courses continue to increase, some of the ways online learning will benefit students may include:
Thanks to the convenience and flexibility of online courses, students can cultivate new skillsets throughout their careers. Full-time workers can upgrade their skills on their own time in order to advance their careers.
Online courses can help to close the skills gap for employers. Employees can take online courses with self-assessment preparedness tests in specific skill sets when hired; or to keep pace with emerging trends and technologies.
Online courses can help prepare students for college. Just as many schools mandate required summer reading prior to freshman year, specific courses with self-assessment preparedness tests may be required of accepted students, ensuring they arrive on campus prepared.
Students around the world will have access to virtually any course subject in just about any language.In any country, there are only a handful of cities that can claim among their residents the experts in every field of study. Take away the limitations of geography, and expertise is free to travel almost anywhere. This transformation allows information on highly specialized subjects to reach more people, paving the way for advances in all fields.
The sticker shock associated with the textbook market is not news to anyone who has enrolled in a college course. Our knowledge of most subjects continues to grow and evolve, rendering many expensive textbooks obsolete within a few years. The remote delivery of curriculum allows instructors to keep materials up-to-date, and the lower costs over time remove what for some are insurmountable obstacles to furthering their education.
For information on the selection of online courses currently offered by Ashton College, please click here.