18 Apr 2018

AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE OF ONLINE LEARNING

Learning has evolved with the ever-changing social landscape that surrounds it of which we need to constantly reflect on how society impacts the ways we educate and adapt our approach and the tools we use accordingly.

International concept lacks a universally accepted explanation, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development–the development of greater quality of life for humans. Meanwhile, computer and networked technologies have opened the way for educators to reach beyond brick and mortar to wider audiences of learners from every country and every walk of life.

Online learning provides an environment that is accessible for all, working around the limitations an on-campus education can unintentionally create. Collaboration also allows students to experience first-hand the issues that they are likely to experience in an increasingly networked and globally connected world. In this safe environment, they can learn how to communicate in a way that is culturally appropriate, work across time zones effectively, and adapt their leadership style to suit different audiences.

With society becoming increasingly fast-paced and constantly changing, online learning gives students the skills and knowledge for a potential head start in a world that is more connected and global. From accessibility, diversity of thought and collaboration, as well as the practical application of skills, online learning indeed nurtures and propels forward the best features of an international cohort.

Education is becoming increasingly international so the most represented case is the spread of mass schooling. Mass schooling has implanted the fundamental concepts that everyone has a right to be educated regardless of his/her cultural background and gender differences. Some scholars argue that, regardless of whether one system is considered better or worse than another, experiencing a different way of education can often be considered to be the most important, enriching element of an international learning experience.

Educational technology is intended to improve education over what it would be without technology. Its benefits include easy-to-access course materials; increased student motivation; improved student writing; subjects made easier to learn; and differentiated instruction.

Although there are quite many students who online learning does not represent an unknown mode of learning, the level of experience is still incipient. Given the regency of online learning and its level of regulation, these students have completed their full education in face-to-face environments. Thus, it is quite expected that these students require training and preparation in dealing with technology and most of all in understanding how to learn effectively in this medium.

As a result of the Internet, higher education is increasingly open and accessible. Online learning gives students flexibility and choice in terms of what, when, and at what pace they learn. Many universities and organizations are creating open educational resources that self-motivated students can access anywhere and at any time. Unlike traditional forms of higher education, open, online education generally does not take the form of recognized degree programs.

Empirical analyses tend to support the theoretical prediction those poor countries should grow faster than rich countries because they can adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and tested by rich countries. In developing countries, the number and seriousness of the problems faced are naturally greater. People are sometimes unaware of the importance of education, and there is economic pressure from those parents who prioritize their children’s making money in the short term over any long-term benefits of education.

 

 

Article by: Blessing Bassey

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