“In order to create an engaging learning experience, the role of instructor is optional, but the role of learner is essential.” – Bernard Bull
In today’s digital world, it’s hard to imagine a time without the influence of the computer, the Internet, or even speedy 4G service. Rewind the decades back to 1983, and the Internet, then known as the ‘network of networks’, was little more than an innovative concept; now, the ‘information superhighway’ forms the foundation of modern life, allowing us to progress in ways we could never have imagined.
When Steve Case co-founded America Online (now commonly known as AOL) 30 years ago, a mere three percent of Americans actually had an online presence. Back then, in times before the Internet was formally established, these early-birds spent less than one hour a week perusing the online world.
“We designed it to connect people with shared interests and ideas, to produce more durable offline relationships,” says Case. “We tried to level the playing field by reducing the cost to communicate and increasing efficiencies so that more voices and greater perspectives could be found.”
Today, 85 percent of Americans are active online users, with a total of 3.6 billion users worldwide – that’s 40 percent of our global population. Statistica reports that the average person in 2016 spends 118 minutes per day online using social media alone. When we consider these statistics, we can see that the impact of the World Wide Web is vast and undeniable.
There’s no facet of society that does not depend on the far-reaching features of the Internet – including education. According to EducationFirst, Elliott Masie, Head of The MAISIE Center, is accredited for coining the term ‘eLearning’ in 1998. The term was met with a wealth of enthusiasm from students and educators alike, and come the turn of the millennium, exhibitions, lectures, conferences, seminars, and workshops around the world were touting the value of this new learning method.
Countless studies have shown the effectiveness of eLearning against traditional teaching mediums, one of the most prominent coming from the U.S. Department of Education. In its report, the Department notes that “students who took all or part of their courses online performed better than those who took the same course solely in a traditional face-to-face environment”. But beyond student experience, online education has another significant advantage: its use of cutting-edge technology.
“Certainly face-to-face courses integrate technology into the classroom, yet based on my own experience teaching both face-to-face and online courses, I pay more attention to the role of technology in my online courses,” writes Linnea Sudduth, a distance learning student, instructor, and respected academic.
“For instance, in a professional and corporate communication course that I teach, I require students to use blogs, Wikis, Twitter, ePortfolios, instant messaging software, email, telephone, and discussion boards to facilitate communication and complete assignments,” she adds.
“And, as an online student, I used additional educational technologies, including social networking sites, podcasts, webcasts, webinars, virtual seminars, and virtual worlds…I found the online discussion board enabled me (and others) to participate without being talked over, ignored, and/or intimidated by other, more vocal students,” Linnea explains. “In other words, the…technology enabled me to participate in a different, but not necessarily inferior way, than in my face-to-face courses.”
On top of granting students valuable flexibility, meaning they can mould their degree program around existing work commitments, studying online gives students access to the same world-class academics for a considerably cheaper price. When you also consider that employers love the soft skills instilled in online candidates – like effective time management, the ability to multi-task, IT fluency, and perseverance, just to name a few – it’s hardly surprising that there’s now 5.8 million students pursuing online courses in the U.S. every year.
If you think online education could be the ideal path for you, here are 3 global universities offering exceptional online degrees:
Set in the scenic foothills of the Adirondack Mountains is Clarkson University, a nationally-ranked university known to be on the cutting-edge of international research relevance. With more than 50 outstanding programs of study, plus a wealth of dynamic and inspiring learning environments, it’s hardly surprising that Clarkson is the choice institution of 4,300 enterprising students at the undergraduate and graduate level.
To offer the best in flexibility and convenience, Clarkson provides a number of accredited online graduate programs, researched and delivered by the same industry-connected faculty who helped build the university’s distinguished reputation.
The Clarkson Online MBA allows you earn your globally-recognized Online MBA in just 21-months. Named as a Top 50 Best Value Online MBA Program, Clarkson provides online business students with an invaluable insight to the ever-evolving business world.
Clarkson’s Data Analytics, MS will help set the pace of your career and other personal goals. Over the course of one year, you’ll successfully complete 33 industry-relevant credits, resulting in a respected MS qualification in Data Analytics.
Clarkson’s Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, with a concentration in Power Engineering, allows students to mould their program of study to meet specific industry needs. With a total of 30 graduate credits, Clarkson’s online Power Engineering provisions are both industry-informed and comprehensive. Read the full profile…
As one of the world’s most impactful, research-centered providers of higher education, JCU is ranked in the top two percent of tertiary institutions by the respected Academic Ranking of World Universities. Surrounded by the magnificent ecosystems of the tropical rainforests, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef, JCU provides outstanding academics in an inspiring location.
JCU students come from a variety of backgrounds, promoting a rich cultural and experiential diversity on-campus. Its undergraduate and postgraduate courses span the Arts, Biomedical Sciences, Business, Creative Media, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Healthcare Sciences, Information Technology, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy, Planning, Psychological Science, Science, Social Work, Sustainability and Veterinary Science, preparing students for success in a varied global workforce.
JCU also provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that can be completed off-campus via flexible delivery.
These courses are presented via a blend of online resources, printed material and other unique technologies. Some courses include on-campus workshops and travel for professional placements.
FSU is an elite university in the heart of the U.S., providing a distinguished education in the sciences, technology, arts, humanities, and professions, while embracing a philosophy of learning firmly rooted in the traditions of the liberal arts. Located on the most historic higher education site in the state, FSU boasts a long-held tradition for teaching and research excellence.
As a comprehensive, degree-granting university, FSU offers baccalaureate degrees in 88 disciplines, master’s degrees in 102 disciplines, advanced master’s/specialist degrees in 19 disciplines, doctorates in 67 disciplines and two professional degrees.
On top of this, FSU provides a broad range of academic programs that students can complete entirely online. These innovative online offerings are not limited to degree programs as students may also acquire a professional certificate or take courses in an area of their chosen specialization. All of FSU’s online Undergraduate Programs are advanced standing degree programs. This means students are required to complete 60 or more semester hours of transferable credit as determined by the Office of Admissions (usually an Associate’s degree or the equivalent) and meet junior level transfer requirements.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Asian Correspondent