Technology has changed the way we shop, travel, do business, and even earn diplomas. Online learning has earned its place in the educational sector and for good reason. Apart from making quality education more accessible, it has also promoted flexible learning schedules and faster career promotions.
While more technical industries like healthcare and engineering still require traditional degrees, many employers are beginning to see the value in online education. Unfortunately, there are still myths surrounding the practice that need to be debunked ASAP.
Myth #1: You are your own teacher
Just because you’re learning remotely, it does not mean you’re absorbing material alone. In fact, online class instructors are just as present and sometimes even more meticulous than your traditional classroom teachers. Because of the distance, they tend to put more effort into making sure lectures and instructions are detailed and clear.
In online classes, instructors get to know their students through submitted course work and class discussion forums. They also tend to provide highly valuable feedback to make up for the distance gap.
Some teachers also encourage students to connect with them on social media or other learning platforms to forge friendships and build professional networks.
Myth 2: Online courses are easier than on-campus courses
Just because online learning may seem self-paced and flexible, does not make it easier. Online courses are held to the same standards as traditional programs. This is even truer if you are taking an online program from accredited schools and universities.
Courses undergo a design process to ensure clarity and cohesion. Learning resources including video lectures, modules, and academic readings are optimized for digital devices. Similar to traditional classes, evaluation is usually based on attendance, participation, and submitted output.
Apart from the actual workload, you also have to practice proper time management. Learning remotely may give the illusion that you can be more lax about school work, but in reality, it can be challenging to stay focused and self-motivated.
Myth #3: It can get very lonely
Peer interaction provides several opportunities for mentoring and overcoming academic difficulties. Getting to know your classmates also helps with network-building in your chosen field. Being acquainted with the right people can help you land jobs and learn about career opportunities.
Depending on your chosen program, you can actually take classes with other enrollees from all over the globe. Forum posts, group works, and social media allow you to bond with your classmates from miles away. In fact, online platforms give more people the chance to share ideas than in a typical lecture hall. Better insights can also be formed since everyone has time to organize their thoughts and express themselves at their own pace. Typically, the instructor would set certain rules and etiquette to ensure safe, friendly, and fruitful dialogue.
Myth #4: Only the digitally savvy can excel
One of the biggest misconceptions about online learning is that you have to possess advanced technological know-how. In fact, anyone with basic tech skills including connecting to the internet or navigating a website can take an online course.
Online learning platforms are specifically designed to be simple and student-friendly. In cases where you are required to use more advanced tools and programs, necessary links and tutorials will likely be provided. You can also contact your instructors and classmates for better understanding.
Myth #5: Employers don’t value online degrees
With more respected universities offering certificates and complete online masters, many employers and hiring managers have become more compelled to accept digital graduates. Many companies even believe that completing an online degree proves your capability to multi-task and keep up with new technologies. It can also signify better time management skills, which is a big plus when reviewing your application for employment.
Online courses tend to use digital tools and techniques that are also used in the modern workplace. Video conferencing, for example, has been a growing trend in the corporate world. If you look closely, it pretty much follows the same concept as online classrooms. In today’s digital landscape, hands-on experience with all sorts of tech trends can go a long way.
Myth #6: It’s easier to cheat and plagiarize
Technology has evolved to produce tools that can detect cheating and plagiarism. Turnitin, for example, checks submitted papers for citation errors and similarities to published works. From keystroke tracking to enabling browser blocking functions during exams, virtual classrooms are more equipped with efficient cheat-proof functions than its traditional counterparts. In some cases, objective or essay exams may be replaced by creative projects, portfolios, or group works.
Online education makes learning exciting again. Apart from its flexibility and convenience, virtual learning has opened promising opportunities for non-traditional learners. Whether you’re aiming to pursue an undergraduate degree or simply just want to enrich your skills, an online course can help you start your journey in just a few clicks.