Online learning is the umbrella under which other names such as e-learning, mobile learning, blended learning, and online education fall together where the main component of all of them is technology. If there is no technology, there is no such thing as online learning. The advancement of online learning provides higher education and K-12 institutions online courses where students now have the option to not set foot into a physical school or campus. In this post, I provide three concepts on how to explain online learning to your mom.
The Brief History
One could argue that online learning started over a hundred years ago when the universities would mail their lessons to students, and students would mail their completed assignments back to the university. In 1960 the University of Illinois created an intranet system for its students that linked terminals to its students for access to course materials.
In 1986 when the Electronic University Network created its first online course and in 2002, the OpenCourseWare Project from Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT) provided free courses and lecture material free of charge in what is now called Open Education Resources.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and students know to turn on a computer and have immediate access to an online course, and instructors can teach without having to step inside the classroom.
How Online Learning Works
Online courses are available through learning management systems (LMS), both of which are under the umbrella of online learning. LMS is a software application that allows instructors to deliver, track, report, and administer online courses.
Popular LMS software includes Blackboard, Moodle, Blackboard of which many university institutions and K-12 institutions use for their classroom purposes. Once courses are posted on an LMS, students have access to the online course content and communication between the instructor and classmates.
Benefits of online learning
Online learning provides tremendous benefits, including lower-costs, flexible schedule, comfort, and learn whatever you want from where you want. When students take face to face courses, they have to set their schedules around the course because they must be physically present.
An online course provides students with the flexibility to take the course at their leisure from the comfort of their own home. The savings cost of an online course compared to a face to face course depends on the institution, but you do save on gas and mileage.
Online learning is not difficult to learn once you know the background. When it comes down to it, online learning is growing, provides students the flexibility to choose their schedule, and provides institutions the ability to reach more students. Ask your mom if she now understands online learning?
To learn more about online learning check out the course from Learngenix.
Dr. J Real Talk
Learning and Development Specialist. Discussing business, ed tech, and life. Follow me on social media @DrJRealTalk