More Students Opting For Online Courses Close To Home

Gearing for an accredited online degree? It is often a great idea to study online as it allows you to earn a higher education degree without the need to investing excessive time or money. One of the biggest advantages of studying online is that it allows you to work and study simultaneously and also manage time for family commitments. But are there any challenges behind all the benefits? Or is online education actually a helpful mode of learning?

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Digitising education

According to latest US data on business schools, the notion of digitising all services will lead to a greater scope for a global audience has not come true for e-Learning. Technology-inclined education may conceptually have a vast scope, however early adopters of such digital programmes are still choosing the ones offered by institutes located to their home, the study found.

The research was conducted by the online education platform 2U which compiled data available from its own statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics, US News business school rankings and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study discovered that more than 66% of learners enrolled in internet-based graduate degree courses pursued the ones offered by schools located in their region or state. This data is almost similar to the statistics for traditional on-campus programmes. The findings reveal that location actually matters to the learners a great deal, whether they study online or attend the campus personally.

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Rob Cohen, president and chief operating officer of 2U, claimed that the findings surprised him. However, he believes that new online learning platforms 2U would keep disrupting the market.

He said “We are seeing that there will be more winners among existing business schools from online education, but it will put pressure on the market.”

Education for everyone

2U offers online degree programmes in association with 13 recognised US universities and 3 reputed business schools. It runs online courses on behalf of these institutes and generates around $795m of tuition bookings (retention adjusted). Digital education is an assemblage of audio and video lectures delivered online that the students can access any time and have multiple viewings. Students can also participate in virtual seminars by connecting at specific times and view their fellow learners, participants and themselves on screen.

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Cohen said “This is not a MOOC,” talking about the massive open online courses where learners watch a video instead of interacting with the educators. “It is a classroom where everyone is on the front row,” he added.

Even though the emergence of online learning has resulted in the end of distance education, the president of 2U Rob Cohen said that his company’s partner institutes are focused on wider demographic of learners pursuing the online courses. Today, most students pursue online education courses as they want to learn and earn a degree while doing their current full time jobs. Cohen claimed that many learners who are studying the masters in public health from his learning platform are doctors.

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He added “We are able to attract not a weaker student but a better student.”

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