How to enhance your E-learning experience in 2013
E-learning or online education is fast becoming a good alternative for a lot of students. A main attraction is its affordability, allowing someone to keep their day job and be a student at the same time. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), reported an enormous increase in the number of students enrolled in at least one distance-learning course between the years 2002 and 2006. It further reported a prediction from the research firm Ambient Institute that the number of online students taking all their classes online will increase a further 3.55 million by 2014 in the US alone. Of course, one of the potential benefits of E-learning is that you don’t even have to be in the same country of the institution at which you are registered.
Now if you think that taking a distance learning degree or course online means that you will be stuck on your own, relying upon your own resources, perhaps now is the time to reconsider. In terms of the quality of the student experience, the balance is tilting in favor of E-learning. Not only that, there are also a number of ways to enhance learning or help you along with your studies. Want to find out? Read on.
- On-line Libraries
Do a search on digital libraries you can access online. Chances are your college or institution you’re with already has its own, however, broaden your horizons and check out what else is there online. JSTOR and EBSCO are a couple of examples of digital services able to access the back numbers of thousands of academic journals. Try them!
- Other Online Resources
Most web searches throw up a Wikipedia entry near the top of its list. Beyond this handy reference guide, however, is a growing array of high quality online resources that are available for free or can be accessed for a nominal registration. Project Gutenberg is just one example, already possessing more than 40,000 free e- learning books.
- Student Forums
Even the smallest institution will have more than one student on a program of study. A great way of overcoming the loneliness of long distance learner is the online forum. Although voluntary, these are a great way of sharing experience, swapping information and general encouraging one another through their studies.
- Social Networking Sites
Forums are usually operated under the aegis of the educational provider, and as such are monitored and moderated by a member of its staff. That is why many students prefer social networking sites such as Facebook or Google+, either as a supplement or even as a complete alternative. They find the informality and freedom of these sites less inhibiting.
- Controlling your studies
As well as online libraries and supplementary learning facilities, most distance learning institutions provide their students with the means to access their own records. They can review past assignment feedback, chart their progress through a course, follow study calendars, and even check their predicted final grades. It is all at their fingertips
- Your Online Tutor/Teacher
A fear of many e-learners is that they will have a diminished relationship with their tutors because of the geographical distance between them. Ironically, the opposite is the case: tutors in distance learning institutions will invariably be more accessible than their colleagues in colleges requiring physical attendance. When they say ‘don’t hesitate to get in touch’, they actually mean it. So use them – they are there to support you all the way.
- Brain Track, http://www.braintrack.com/online-colleges/articles/online-education-continues-to-grow (accessed 14 December 2012)
- Project Guttenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page (accessed 14 December 2012).
Edward Blazinski is a freelance writer. He is currently working for bestessays.com