A survey conducted by the SRI International for the Department of Education, has found out that "On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction."
The survey was conducted with the purpose of finding out the percentage of students voting in favor of or against online education. The revelation, according to many industry experts, was starkly apparent, with a majority of students voting in favor of online learning. Starting from K-12 settings through to higher level education in colleges and universities, everywhere, we see the growing significance of online teaching and learning.
However, this study was performed not to underestimate or undermine classroom-based learning in any way. The report only suggests and recommends the expansion of online education in the next few years in as many academic institutions as possible to accommodate students from various economic strata.
Let's now look at some of the key benefits of the online educational system.
Can Be Tailored to Meet Individual Student Needs
Internet-based education provides learning experiences that are more tailored towards individual students than is possible in conventional classrooms. It enables "learning by doing" rather than by just listening to what the teacher/lecturer says and silently taking down notes.
Post Assignments Easily
The widely used online Learning Management Systems such as: Moodle, etc. can be used to post assignments, homework, projects, reading lists, and more on web discussion boards. Many K-12 schools, colleges, and universities are already using online Learning Management Systems to manage their classes better.
Teachers can be Contacted Anytime
Traditional face-to-face learning provides limited student - teacher interaction hours and that too only during designated school hours. However, the new-age online educational system allows a student to get in touch with their professors, 24x7, from home, at night or any other time to discuss and share valuable ideas and learning content. Schools that have implemented e-learning settings include an online discussion forum to freely chat and discuss content and assignments with fellow classmates and with the teacher.
A Dynamic Learning Environment
Online leaning is far more dynamic than a traditional classroom-based learning style. For example, you can browse through internet, social media websites, personal blogs, wikis, etc. to find out more on specific topics being currently discussed in the class. You can even connect with the other students via social media sites to exchange notes, reference materials, and relevant website links.
Study from Home
In case you are unable to go to school due to health problems, you can easily log onto the school website to follow what is being taught every day. You can use Skype chats or video conferencing with teachers to know in detail what is being said and assignments given to students as homework.