Online learning is more mainstream than ever

Online learning is more mainstream than ever

The COVID-19 pandemic had life-altering effects for individuals across the globe. From restaurants being shut down to protective masks becoming the new norm, changes were seen almost everywhere. 

The effects were especially prominent in the academic field, since schools weren’t able to operate normally. As a result, most institutions switched from a traditional, in-person method to asynchronous courses. 

It is worth arguing that e-learning is a better option than in-person courses.

Although day to day life has resumed normalcy, the use of online learning has become more mainstream than ever. For the fall semester of 2022, 53.3 percent of postsecondary students enrolled in online courses, according to the National Center for Education Statistics

Online learning grants students a more flexible schedule and allows each one to blend their regular lives with education where they see fit. The National Library of Medicine states this “extended the scope of higher education to include students who would otherwise be unable to attend traditional daytime institutions.”

Older adults who return to school, whether it is to finish a prior degree or to acquire a new one, have the latest tools available which further support their academic career. Universities have seen a notable retention rate increase by 9-21 percent than their strictly in-person counterparts, according to a study done by Arizona State University and Boston Consulting Group.

Self-pacing is another major positive when it comes to distance learning. Instead of being forced to adhere to a strict on-campus schedule, students are able to follow the curriculum in a timeline that best suits them. 

Students who are parents or who hold full-time jobs are the individuals who would reap the most from the fluidity of self-pacing. According to the UC Davis School of Education, 13.4 percent of students at California community colleges are also parents. Online learning makes education more accessible than ever to those who are in time-rigid circumstances. 

Since the coursework is mostly self-directed learning, success rates are up to 80 percent, according to the Journal of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies by Southern Connecticut State University

Along with the freedom of scheduling, the opportunity to learn from a distance also proves to be highly beneficial. Geography is no longer a limit, with students being able to take courses from out-of-state without relocating, encouraging higher enrollment rates. 

Distance learning can also enhance variety in terms of what classes are able to be taken. Instead of only having the option to take five to six courses in-person, students can take more which would not otherwise be available to them due to time commitments. 

Online learning can provide more leniency for students, thus being the better option for education.

Photo illustration by Kyle Camacho.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *