The landscape of higher education has changed over the past years and online learning is increasing every year. Universities have to take into consideration what the masses wants and can online learning address these needs … it can reach more people than the traditional universities and colleges.
My first post matric qualification was done full time but thereafter I enrolled and completed two qualifications through UNISA (correspondence). Technology was in those years not as advanced as now, it was actually almost non-existant in my world. The online qualification that I completed at the end of last year suited my needs better mainly because of the interaction online with fellow students. The presenters identified the need for students also to interact on a less formal platform and we even had a virtual coffee shop.. So from studying through correspondence we are moving over to online learning.
We have a long way to go. Many students and lecturers who are used to the traditional classroom based learning often measure the quality of learning by the information transmitted by a subject expert. I thought that the bigger challenge would be to improve computer and information skills but it is actually to get students to take responsibility for their own learning.
It is exciting that online learning is bringing the classroom to you. For many adult learners this will be the only way of how they can start or continue on a path of life-long learning. It will be interesting to hear other people’s thoughts on this. And is there maybe somebody that can refer me to a website that has statistics on on-line learning, e.g. how it has increased over the years, the success rate, etc.