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Online education continues to gain popularity with students


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It is common knowledge that the Internet has revolutionized how people learn, spanning all levels of education from kindergarten to college. However, according to some experts, the rising popularity of online education has resulted in a major shift in the landscape of higher education. Although some university leaders have expressed doubts as to the effectiveness of Web-based learning as compared to traditional classroom instruction, it appears that today's students do not share these concerns, according to the "Online College Students" report published recently by The Learning House, an online education solution partner.

Return on investment
According to the survey of 1,500 former, current and future online college students, it appears that students are more than satisfied with their educational experiences online. Researchers found that of the individuals who had completed an online degree program within the previous 12 months, more than two-thirds found it to be a good use of both time and money.
While some colleges are worried that online degree programs will compromise the quality of traditional classroom-based offerings, students' preferences are leaning strongly toward online. In addition, 44 percent of individuals who completed an online degree either secured their first job or successfully transitioned to a new position, further emphasizing the value of online education.

Promoting accessibility
Perhaps the area in which online learning has had the greatest impact is the fact that it enables students to choose from a wider range of schools. This, in turn, has promoted accessibility of higher education, particularly among nontraditional students. In fact, according to the report, 45 percent of participants indicated that had an online option not been available to them, they would not have pursued a degree at all.

In terms of the appeal of online degree programs, flexibility remained a key factor for many students. Approximately 32 percent of respondents said the ability to study where and when they found it convenient was particularly appealing, while an additional 17 percent said being able to study and maintain work obligations was a major draw of online degree programs.

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