3 Tips for an Enriched Learning Experience Via Online Courses

Most of us are familiar with the traditional concept of campus based study and classroom learning. However, are we really aware of online learning and the benefits of pursuing a degree through this new medium at all? In recent times, hectic lifestyles and fast growing technology is making online education the most sought after advancement in the virtual world. An increasing number of students are enrolling in online university degree programs. Such courses are not only cost effective but also allow learners to finish the course at their own pace and convenience. One question however remains; is online learning as enriching as traditional learning? It is; to ensure maximum absorption via such courses students need to adopt certain strategies. Here I have outlined a few steps that will help you to make your online learning experience more elevating.

Understanding the Difference

First you need to understand how the online courses work. Most students make the mistake of presuming online classes to be less rigorous and demanding compared to traditional courses. However, in reality, the case is not so. Online courses demand similar attention as that of traditional courses. A minimum of 6-8 hours weekly study is necessary if you are opting pursue your degree online. Although such programs are designed in accordance with your lifestyle but you must not forget that to ensure a fulfilling learning experience you have to be sufficiently disciplined and dedicated.

Online Teaching Positions Create a Positive Academic Career Trajectory

The academic employment turmoil on today's college and university campuses can be identified as a direct result of severely declining public education budgets that are needed to pay full time salaries for post-secondary instructors. Teachers still working on the traditional college and university campuses have a right to feel apathetic about their career trajectories. After all, there is real pain associated with declining faculty salaries and the benefits associated with them. While there is little hope of budgetary funds for public education increasing in the near term, there is an alternative available for clear-sighted academics with computers skills. To put a sharp point on this set of circumstances the act of searching for online teaching positions can cure academic apathy. This release from the despair of constantly worrying about the next round of teacher layoffs results as a growing awareness of the sheer number of online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs being developed constantly by post-secondary academic institutions. The popularity of online college degree programs is high among academic administrators that are sincerely worried about successfully meeting the educational needs of the swelling student populations at community colleges, universities and for-profit colleges.

The reason the administrators and department heads of traditional college and universities are so eager to offer online college courses to students instead of physical classrooms is because their jobs and their state incomes depend on continuing to operate the academic institutions with fewer dollars each year from the state. The cost of providing online degree programs that can be enrolled in by students quite familiar with digital media is much lower than maintaining and building college and university classrooms and the absence of students on traditional campuses means lower cost to maintain the campus grounds. All of this means that the chances to become an online professor and actually make a real living from teaching online are better than ever before in academic history.

Three Disadvantages of Traditional Classroom Learning

In a traditional classroom setting, students are made to sit passively while the teacher delivers a lecture. There are reasons as to why many teachers seem dissatisfied with this practice. For now, I shall limit myself to only three:

a. Students' focus is set in the wrong direction; in taking notes rather than understanding and absorbing new concepts.

  • students' inability to grasp key ideas and concepts,

  • Failed lesson objective.

b. Too much focus on presentation, little time left for practice: Since a teacher has to deliver a fixed number     of concepts within a limited time, most classroom activities are sufficed to the presentation stage only. Practice is left for the student to do as homework.

  • This strategy does not allow for students to experiment with new concepts. Their learning is put to a halt at a certain stage; they end up cramming concepts, and are unable to produce anything fruitful, except generic answers to exam questions.

  • Furthermore, many students might get stuck while doing problem sets at home. This too thwarts their performance. If they are unable to master one concept, and have been unable to practice it effectively, we cannot possibly expect them to grasp a newer concept based on the previous one,

GRE Test Format Changes in 2012

The new format is barely 7 months old and hence it is not very well known. The changes in terms of questions per sections have been changed to 20 questions each per 2 verbal and 2 quant sections. It is more dynamic in terms of attempting questions as students may skip questions and the feature of flagging skipped questions allows them to comeback once they are done with the rest of the paper. The question's level of difficultly does not increase as students keep giving correct answers is a major change that has been made from the previous format. There may be an experimental section which means it will go ungraded but it will be unwise for students to guess which one it is. The verbal section will contain 4-5 sentence equivalence questions, 6 sentence completions and for credit all the blanks in a certain line have to be correct. There may be multi-correct answers in sentence equivalence whereas text completion will have one correct answer. In the reading paper 2-3 questions may have 3 answer choices. The quant section may have questions for which all answers have to be selected. In the essay section, the time allotted to Issue task has been reduced to 30 minutes as opposed to 45 minutes in the old format whereas the Argument task is still worth 30 minutes.