Skip to main content

Online Education

ONLINE EDUCATION

Online education is a flexible instructional delivery system that encompasses any kind of learning that takes place via the Internet. Online learning gives educators an opportunity to reach students who may not be able to enroll in a traditional classroom course and supports students who need to work on their own schedule and at their own pace.

The quantity of distance learning and online degrees in most disciplines is large and increasing rapidly. Schools and institutions that offer online learning are also increasing in number. Students pursuing degrees via the online approach must be selective to ensure that their coursework is done through a respected and credentialed institution.

RATIONALE FOR CONSIDERING ONLINE EDUCATION

Online education has become a viable and exciting method for instructional delivery in the global business society that runs on a 24/7 schedule (24 hours a day/7 days a week) because it provides students with great flexibility.

With the increased availability of the Internet and computer technology, students are able to access information anytime and anyplace that would normally be available only through a traditional classroom. Studies have shown that students learn just as effectively in an online classroom as they do in the traditional classroom.

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF LEARNING ONLINE

Online education offers many positive benefits since students:

  • have flexibility in taking classes and working at their own pace and time
  • face no commuting or parking hassles
  • learn to become responsible for their own education with information available at their fingertips
  • find the submission of assignments easy and convenient
  • are more apt to voice their own opinions and share and debate issues with other students, as well as learn from other students during the group discussions

Possible negative effects of learning online are that some students:

  • may miss the face-to-face interaction with the instructor and among students
  • may prefer to attend traditional classes with an instructor who teaches and guides them through the course
  • find access to the necessary technology challenging and the availability of technical support limited

In addition, some administrators and instructors who do not understand the workload may display a negative attitude toward online education.

FUTURE OF ONLINE EDUCATION

Online teaching is here to stay. Many students prefer the online classroom since it offers flexibility in their busy schedules. With the proliferation of information and knowledge, students must become lifelong learners in today's world, and online education plays an important role in helping individuals access the learner-centered and self-directed instruction.

With enhanced software, hardware, and Internet access, more options for online education will become available. With student enrollments increasing faster than classrooms can be built, students becoming more proficient with technology, and students pursuing an education that meets their needs, the future of online education will continue to grow. Online degree programs will become more widely accepted as they become a more common practice.

see also Professional Education ; Training and Development

bibliography

Center for Online Educators. http://educatoronline.org

NewsweekDistanceLearning.com. http://www.newsweekdistancelearning.com

Penn State Online E-Learning Guide. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/elearning/elhome.htm

Carol Larson Jones

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Online Education." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, 2nd ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Online Education." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, 2nd ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/finance/finance-and-accounting-magazines/online-education

"Online Education." Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, 2nd ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/finance/finance-and-accounting-magazines/online-education

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.