New infographic details the many advantages of online learning, outside of just convenience

online-learning-advantagesWhether you oppose, support, or are merely ambivalent to the practice of online learning, the proliferation in the number of colleges and universities offering blended and online learning courses skyrocketing, reinforcing the fact that online learning is not a fad, but here to stay.

And according to a new infographic, created by online course provider SkilledUp, what initially got online learning through the door of mass consumption—convenience and lower cost—is changing. Though those benefits are still prevalent, online learning provides personalized learning, alternative forms of credentialing, tangible skill building, mobile access, and many other advantages that are propelling online learning past “trend” to mainstay.

“Although some would argue that online education is only an awesome alternative to traditional education because of the savings and convenience, there are actually many other advantages,” says Brad Zomick, SkilledUp’s chief content officer. “Only online education fully integrates itself into today’s educational technology. It is also more efficient for fast and especially motivated learners and offers skills that lack resources in traditional education despite high demand from employers (coding and social media marketing are common examples). One could even claim that it isn’t an alternative at all but rather a different path with its own rewards.”

(Next page: 10 advantages)

10 advantages:

1. Badges/specialization: Online certificates that represent different levels of work and engagement, including more granular, specific skills or achievements. Read more about digital badges here. Specialized courses/certificates are also available, with courses tailored for online learning that include data science, entrepreneurship, web programming, cyber security, reasoning, and technical writing.

2. Mobile access via smartphones and tablets. 13 percent of student report taking class notes on their smartphones, 33 percent use tablets for work, and 37 percent read eBooks on mobile devices, says the infographic.

3. Effectiveness: Research shows that online students achieve the same or better learning results in half the time as those in traditional courses. Research also indicates, says the infographic, that students are more active, engaged, and motivated…”

4. Tangible skill building thanks to online literacy skill building, badges, and completion rates.

5. Varied, useful courses, with over 130,000 courses from over 350 providers.

6. Reduced cost, thanks to limited commuting, lower course material costs, and reduced or free tuition.

7. Personalized learning: Students can learn when they want to, where, and how.

8. Accessibility, since most online course support special needs students.

9. Better teaching: Though this is currently under national debate, the infographic notes that teachers in online courses are often trained by ed-tech experts, have field experience, and use multimedia teaching techniques.

10. Cutting-edge technology, such as: virtual classrooms, discussion forums, online texts, online libraries, video lectures, and more.

(Next page: Infographic)

Click here for a larger view of the infographic.

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