Online learning has revolutionized the distant education industry like nothing else. One can learn a subject matter from the best expert in the industry even if they are not in the same geological time zone as the learner. But a lot of students are still apprehensive about taking up online education courses due to some highly prevalent stigmas and misconceptions about this. We would like to break the bubble and make you aware of some of the most common misconceptions listed below:
- ONLINE COURSES DON’T HAVE A TIME LIMIT FOR COMPLETION
When the trend of online courses had just begun, most classes were designed to be self-learnt by the students. Hence, they could take as much time as required. However, in recent times distance learning classes are usually part of degree courses and have set timelines for completion. In case the course is not completed in the fixed time, a student could fail to obtain their degree.
- QUALITY OF ONLINE COURSES IS LOWER THAN OFFLINE COURSES
Most people believe that the standard of online courses is lower than those offered by face-to-face classroom courses. However, advancements in the field have ensured that online classes are designed to follow a well-organised pattern with the lectures and exams being delivered following the best practices in the education industry.
- INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER STUDENTS IS NEGLIGIBLE
The most prevalent misconception by far is that online courses do not support interaction with other students. However, that is not the case. Peer interactions are a significant part of distance-learning courses. Most online courses have discussion forums and mandatory group projects where students must collaborate with their co-learners and present assignments on web conferencing platforms. Review discussions among individuals are also encouraged so that students get ample opportunities to interact with each other and promote the culture of peer learning.
- CHEATING IS PREVALENT IN ONLINE COURSES
The thought that online learning classes give rise to fraud and unfair practices might be plausible. But the instructors make sure that they utilize various means to curb this practice. Services like ProctorU or Turnitin are used to make sure that online exams are not plagiarized. Some courses have done away with examinations altogether and favored project or portfolio submissions to protect the integrity of these courses.
- INTENSE TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE IS REQUIRE TO DO AN ONLINE COURSE
Although a basic knowledge of technology is required to undertake an online course, like connecting to the internet, generally these online programs are quite easy to follow. They employ common aspects of learning. There are tutorials designed to help students in understanding the process of the course and instructors available always to provide simple solutions to all problems, making the students learning experience seamless.
- ANYONE CAN SUCCEED IN AN ONLINE COURSE
Since there isn’t anyone present to remind students to submit their work on time, the success of the course entirely depends on the student’s capability to manage time. Thus, only a person who is disciplined with their time commitments can easily excel in an online course. The bottom line is that success depends on the individual’s ability to manage the work requirements and the hard work put in by them in such classes, contrary to popular belief.
- MOST EMPLOYERS DON’T ACCEPT DISTANCE LEARNING DEGREES
Most students have the underlying fear that employers might not accept online learning degrees. However, the certificates awarded in a distance learning program are similar to that of offline degrees and are acceptable in any company. Characteristics like focus and commitment are also searched for in candidates and distance learning students are also trained to be quite adept at these qualities.
- DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMMES ARE EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE
Traditional college courses are much more expensive when compared to the cost of online classes since students don’t have to pay for the infrastructure. Moreover, distance courses offer flexible payment options that can be paid in installments, thus, saving a lot of money for the student.
- COLLEGES THAT PROVIDE ONLINE COURSES ARE NOT WELL-KNOWN
Many reputed colleges have started their online courses, thus, offering students various choices for learning. The only point to be kept in mind while choosing an online class is to select the one that is acknowledged by local educational authorities.
- ALL DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES ARE OF THE SAME TYPE
Although online courses have many budget constraints, yet, most of them have adapted to provide students with state-of-the-art knowledge on several topics and specialities. They all follow different methods and have taken a step away from traditional ways to give students the best quality of education in the field they are training for.
- TEACHING ONLINE CLASSES IS NOT PREFERRED BY GOOD TEACHERS
Professors and tutors who have had unmatched experience in the field of learning are the ones most likely to become part of an online teaching faculty as their inputs will be better in serving the students to learn the nuances of the course.
- MOST ONLINE COURSES ARE OFFERED IN IRRELEVANT FIELDS
People often think that online courses are usually offered in fields that do not hold any relevance in the real world. But that is not the case. There are distance learning courses designed to meet the needs of all kinds of individuals. There are technical courses, software courses, programming courses and even courses that help in developing more exceptional skills like writing.
- ONLINE COURSES ARE MUCH SIMPLER THAN OFFLINE CLASSROOM COURSES
Most students enter an online course thinking that passing them would be easy. However, these courses are just as demanding and time-consuming as a regular classroom course. Students are required to put in the same level of hard work to utilize all the opportunities that an online learning course provides.
- DISTANCE LEARNING CREDITS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE
There is a constant worry in people’s minds that the credits earned in online courses cannot be transferred to other institutions in case there is a change of schools. However, most universities deem online course credits to be as valuable as offline ones and hence, can be transferred easily.
These misconceptions about online education in India often hinder the rate of learning in many students and stop individuals from gaining necessary knowledge that might help them in the longer run. Understanding the finer details of an online course shall assist the student in becoming more open to the idea of online learning courses. One of the best platforms to gain this knowledge is provided by the Sikkim Manipal Distance Education program that gives numerous options to individuals to learn what they like.