The scope of Online Learning is increasing day by day. In the light of Babson Survey Group Report (2013), in 2011, 6.7 million students (approx.) were enrolled for online learning which is comparatively much higher than in 2002 i.e. 1.6 million (approx.) Due to keen-sighted, higher-education institutes were encouraged to upgrade and boost their Online Programmes. 72% of schools launched such type of Online Learning in 2002, which gradually increased up to 87% in 2012. Colleges also put emphasis on the establishment of the Online Degree Programmes. According to the recent survey; 62% of the schools and colleges awarding the degrees entirely through distance learning.
One of the main factors of evolution of Distance Learning is its demand by the Students. Online studies are cost efficient and flexible to schedule which are the main opportunities that students want to seek.
Main advantages of online learning
- Flexibility of the Schedule: Online courses can be accessed from anywhere by students at any time. There is a possibility for Parents, working students and professionals to attend classes without disturbing their work schedule. For students to take online classes only requires a computer and internet access.
- Easily Accessible: Accessibility to the curriculum is available according to the students’ necessity. Students can view lectures, conversations, descriptions, and remarks. Members of the community can help each other by sharing their learning notes.
- Huge Choice of options Available: A wider range of Degree programmes are available for students so that they may choose according to their needs. Some degree programmes may not yet be accessible through nearby private or public institutions
- Students are in full control their study time: Online Courses generally are generally scheduled in a strict format having inflexibility with shorter classes of about 50 minutes and more. Night classes may last approximately three hours. One of the advantages of online education is that students are not required to sit for long periods of time in one go. Lessons can be stopped when needed, and notes can be read at will.
- Online communications: Instructors are easily approachable in the on-line setting. Students have variety of opportunities to get to their tutors; through online chats, emails, and forum discussions instead of face-to-face discussions.
- More Time to absorb the material: According to a study by U.S Department of Education positive results are stated for the students enrolled in online classes. The reports says "on average, students in on-line learning situations performed with modesty higher than those receiving face-to-face Interaction." Over 1,000 empirical studies by the Department of Education showed that the additive that helped students to perform better was time. The report noted advantages in online studies during which learners spent much time on their assignment than students within the face-to-face condition.
- Better Chances for interaction: Online Education is less daunting than the usual brick and mortar lecture rooms and can help to motivate the interaction among students by giving a chance to share their ideas and to have a voice. Students have more time to think on their ideas and when they are ready they can share accordingly. In common lecture rooms the spoken communication may have past the point when the students gets an idea to share or is ready to comment.
- Reduced Costs: Online Learning facilitates the students by reducing the transportation cost and alternative overheads caused when attending lectures in on campus setting.
- No more expensive textbooks required: Some Online course categories might not need physical manuals, as reading materials could also be on the market either through the Institutes’ own library or their cooperation with e-libraries and different digital publishers. E-textbooks would possibly provide considerable savings for learners, adding up to many greenbacks a year.
Probabilities for suitability, cost-effectiveness, and student enhancement are just a few of the flexebilities that have subsidized to the evolution of E-Learnings. Distance learning has gained fame in these areas, and advocates are continuously trying to improve in these areas. One drawback is that the lack of collaboration and face-to-face interaction with the trainer as well as fellow students. Students might feel working lone when studying through online learning however colleges are proactively trying to look into the matter and to resolve these issues. Students can be facilitated with video conferencing technologies, cluster chats, and other online resources.