March 3, 2024

What is online education?


– [Voiceover] In this course we’ll be discussing
online education.
So. let’s first take a look at what it is.
Online education is a form of education
which is delivered and administered using the Internet.
Twenty years ago it would have been difficult
to imagine high-quality instruction delivered online.
But today, in the digital age, it’s become a reality.
There are over 6 million students enrolled
in post-secondary courses online.
And that number continues to grow.
Now online education or online learning is a broad term.

Traditional education is considered
to be on the opposite side of the spectrum.
But in many cases elements of both
can be integrated into a course.
Let’s take a look at some terms which represent the degree
to which online resources are integrated.
First, we have traditional face-to-face learning,
in which there are no online components.
Often, however, instructors in face-to-face courses
will utilize the Internet to some degree
to share resources and provide learning opportunities
outside of the classroom.
This is considered web-facilitated learning.

Recently, a hybrid model has surfaced,
which engage the students
in a significant face-to-face component of the course,
but also requires online instruction as well.
This is known as blended learning.
And then there is online learning,
in which everything is done online
and there’s little to no face-to-face instruction.
All aspects of the course are done online, including:
the sharing of resources,
accessing and submitting assignments,
administering assessments
and delivering feedback.

In this course we’ll be focusing on online instruction,
although the principles within the course can apply
to most of these models.
Now, online education can be broken down further,
for example, in the synchronous versus asynchronous learning
Synchronous refers to the learning in which the instructor
and students are interacting in real time.
Obviously a face-to-face course is synchronous,
but there are synchronous online courses as well,
in which classes will meet through live chat
or through videoconferencing.

And then there is asynchronous learning,
which is when the instructor and students
do not meet in real time.
Resources and activities are accessed and completed online,
when is convenient for the individual
who’s taking the course.
There are varying levels of asynchronous learning as well.
For instance, this course that you’re watching right now
is completely asynchronous.
We’re not meeting face-to-face
and there also isn’t a time factor or time restriction.
In other words, you don’t have to complete certain chapters
and assignments by certain due dates.
Most online courses through a secondary
or post-secondary program will not meet face-to-face
but there will be set due dates and deadlines.

Also there are often times in which a course
maybe primarily asynchronous,
however once in a while the instructor requires the students
to meet together using a video-conference
or a live discussion forum, making it slightly synchronous.
Most online courses are asynchronous in nature,
because this method maximizes the flexibility
that online instruction provides.
However, these are some of the factors
you’ll have to determine when creating your online course.