4 Disturbing Myths About Online Education

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Get to know what’s real and what’s not about online learning.

Online learning has forever changed the way people look at education and skills acquisition, and is fast gaining popularity all over the world. According to an article published in ELearning! Magazine in 2013, more than $35 billion was spent on self-paced e-learning in 2011. It quickly became a $56.2 billion industry in 2013 and this figure is expected to double up by 2015.      

Busting the Myths: Revealing the Truth about Online Learning
Despite the popularity of online learning, there are still a lot of myths surrounding the topic. Here are some of them.

Online courses are easier than regular courses. Many people believe that online courses are nothing but condensed, easier versions of regular courses. There is absolutely no truth in this. Online courses follow the same rigorous standards being enforced in traditional schools. There are attendance policies in place and students are required to take state assessment tests and comply with competency-based academic progress requirements as well.

Online courses are only easier in the sense that they offer more flexibility. Students are free to move faster through the easier stuff and take their time on more challenging lessons. However, this does not mean that there is no time limit for the completion of a course. Students are expected to submit their assignments and projects on time with no exceptions.

Online courses lack interaction. Contrary to popular belief, students who are studying online frequently interact with their teachers and peers. The online learning environment is designed to allow for maximum collaboration and socialization so there is no reason for any student to feel lonely or isolated.

Taking online courses increases the risk of cheating. Based on a study conducted at the Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia in 2010, cheating is more prevalent in traditional classrooms than in virtual classrooms. The online venue also enables teachers to know their students’ skills better so they can easily spot any inconsistencies with their students’ previous works.

Credentials earned online are not recognized by employers. According to the results of a survey conducted by the Excelsior College in New York, about two-thirds of employers who are familiar with online education believe that an online degree is as credible as a degree earned in a traditional educational program.

In addition, over 40% of Global Fortune 500 companies now use some form of educational technology to provide best practice and on-the-job training for their employees. Based on a report by IBM, companies that use e-learning tools and strategies boost their productivity by up to 50%. They also increase their chances of becoming the leader in their industry.