The Rapid Growth of Online Education

Many people today are attracted to an online education because of its inherent benefits. In fact, the growing trend is to take formal elearning courses since it allows professionals to gain new skills (and sometimes certifications) at their own convenience while still pursing a career.

The advantages of distance elearning for education goes beyond the corporate environment. There are many educational institutions turning to this teaching method in both higher education and in the K-12 space.

Interestingly, studies are showing that online students are actually outperforming their peers (see the infographic below, created by Independence.edu).

That said, I don’t think that this is the scenario for all online course students. For example, the completion rates for massive open online courses (MOOCs) are quite dismal. Only a small fraction of students actually complete the entire course and its requirements.

There could be many reasons to explain this, but I believe the primary one is based on incentive. While many people have an inherent desire to learn, having an incentive to do well and finish the course is a critical component.

In traditional education, this translates to getting a passing grade and some form of credit (such as actual university credit). For professional training organizations, this can be in the form of a certificate, or points towards accreditation (also known as continuing education units).

The point is, people are often motivated by obtaining rewards of some kind. So in order for an online course to have adequate completion rates, it really should be associated with some kind of benefit.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

4 Comments
  1. Whilst I agree that the provision of a reward is an incentive for the completion of any task – be it on-line or otherwise – the simple fact remains today that on-line training is still very hit and miss with not enough attention being given to the actual delivery of expensively produced content. It is assumed that the remote user will participate as fully as they would do in a classroom environment.

    So why not introduce technology that re-creates the classroom in a remote session? By verifying the identity of the individual (cf taking a register), monitoring their attention throughout (cf what the tutor would do) and then recording the session for future reference, the disciplines of the classroom can be brought to bear and with them an associated improvement in results.

    Please take a look at Presence Assure – originalbusinesssolutions.co.uk/solutions/communications/ – a solution that ensures the effective delivery of e-learning.

  2. Fully agree with your thoughts online education is a type of distance learning—taking courses without attending a brick-and-mortar school or university. Instead, online students and teachers interact over the Internet. Online courses are ideal for students whose work schedule or family commitments don’t allow them to attend classes on campus. Distance education can provide you with the opportunity to meet your educational goals

  3. At present, individuals are taking interest in online education due to convenience and its also a type of distance learning. We don’t require to attend school or college for courses. Individuals can easily interact with teachers online via internet. So various companies are developing online educational websites for distance learning where Individuals can take help of tutors online for courses. Select My Tutor is one of the online educational source where individuals are learning online with the help of relevant subject tutors.

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