Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why and How Online Education Is Growing

Are you a student in an online IT course? Colleges and universities continue to expand and improve their online offerings, citing student demand as the force behind the expansions. EdTech Magazine’s Wylie Wong just featured several colleges and universities in EdTech with highlights of the programs they offer online for student learning.

Wong quoted Eastern Maine Community College's dean of information technology, Tim Conroy, as saying, "Students today are fully wired. They can get anything they want online, and they expect to have the option to either come to class or get their education online."

Online classes are helpful and attractive to students for many reasons. For example, at TestOut we hear of many students who use LabSim IT training courses in online college courses because the online offering is a flexible option that works around their already busy schedule balancing classes, a job, and sometimes a family. Additionally, Wong wrote that students also “view online courses as a valid alternative to classroom learning because the technology offers rich, interactive learning experiences.”

Carolyn Hardy, professor at Northwest Missouri State University, uses LabSim Network+ as the curriculum in an online course for graduate students for the very purpose Wong described—as an interactive component.

Bonnie Yates, Master’s student in Instructional Technology at Northwest Missouri State, explained that the interactive, hands-on elements of LabSim give her what she needs to learn how different technologies work. “I need hands on,” she said. “LabSim gives me that.”

In Wong’s article, he wrote that even though students demand the flexible option to take courses online, most still prefer to attend class on campus when they’re able. “But they also want to enhance their studies by accessing video lectures and interacting with their classmates and professors online,” Wong wrote. He quoted Valorie McAlpin, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, as saying, "If a faculty member is teaching a large course, and more and more classes are increasing in size, they opt for a blended approach because it's a way of engaging students.”

For the same reason, many IT programs utilize LabSim as a blended approach to on-campus IT courses. Students may use LabSim in class, where the instructor is present to answer questions or give one-on-one help, or they may use LabSim at home for continued training online.

IT students, what has been your experience using LabSim as an online curriculum?

1 comment:

  1. According to an article in Training and Development Magazine, "students advance through an e-learning program 50 percent faster than they do through a traditional course." A student can just skip over a familiar subject and concentrate on the course that you must learn.

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