Written By Alicia Jane
Why Distance Learning Is The Way Of The Future
Imagine a way to complete your education without having to worry about the cost of high tuition, transportation, and even books.
As we have covered here on Rebellion Research, this scenario is becoming more of a reality thanks to the rise of online education. As investments continue to pour into technological advancements like faster internet speeds and artificial intelligence (AI), platforms for online learning are projected to improve and provide direct competition to traditional education. With the demand for personalized and low-cost education growing each day, there are many reasons why distance learning is a part of the future of education.
One of the main reasons why distance learning has become so attractive is because of the flexibility it provides to both students and professors. In a Forbes article exploring the future of online education, they note that this option provides students with resources they would not have had in a traditional set-up. A student can now learn from a top professor in a different continent – all while balancing a full-time job and raising a family. Here, e-learning compensates for the rigidity of the traditional classroom, and although it is still far from rendering traditional institutions like Harvard irrelevant, e-learning does offer students something brick and mortar universities cannot.
Another reason why distance learning is alluring is due to increases in various technologies that enhance the student’s experience. One of these trends is the development of learning analytics and visualization software, which helps instructors understand where students are in the curriculum and where they may be struggling. Similarly, adaptive technologies, like AI, are proving increasingly capable of adjusting teaching material to the individual learning style and progress of each student. As technologies continue to improve, online education may become a better substitute to traditional institutions for students.
Finally, the rising costs of a traditional education are far from affordable. Various colleges, like Harvard University, are constantly raising tuition fees at a rate almost 6% faster than that of inflation. In fact, the average cost of tuition fees at a private, non-profit, four-year university in 2018 was about $34,740, a compared to the $1,832, or $11,856 in today’s money, it cost back in the early 1970s. By contrast, the cost of an online undergraduate program is only about $16,580 leading many students to choose the online path. This has raised many questions as to whether the current price of a private university is even worth attending.
As a result of the flexibility, the developing trends, and the low cost that an online education offers, the number of students enrolled in online courses jumped from around 1.6 million to about 6 million between 2002 and 2016. In line with this, Maryville University describes how the proportion of higher education students taking at least one online course is now at an all-time high of 33.5%. This trend has even become apparent on an international level, in places like China, where online learning platforms have gathered an estimated $700 million in revenue just last year.
Written By Alicia Jane, Edited by Willie Turchetta, Themis Pappa & Alexander Fleiss
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