I have just completed an online course. It was not related to English language or ESL (although it was taught in English), it was about accountancy. Since I am an accountant I have decided to update my knowledge related to International Accounting System. I was skeptical at the beginning (it is my first online course) but at the end I realized that online learning has a bright future. Here are my top 5 reasons why I was skeptical about taking an online course.
Online learning has no group interaction - Well, there is a lot of interaction. There are forums, private social networking sites, chat rooms, video conferences, etc; all of them specially design just for the group interaction. Every online course has those interactive tools (at least the course I have taken). The student who studies online just needs to want to interact with others.
Online learning’s curriculum is not that good - No, that is not true! It is the same curriculum as an on-site course has, there is no difference. The only one difference is the way the curriculum is presented to the students.
Online learning degree is not a serious one - Online learning has evolved. Long time ago, online courses where poor designed and an online qualification was not really appreciated by employers. Well, things have changed. Online courses are very well designed and more and more employers appreciate an online qualification. More and more qualifications are offered by top universities which is nothing but one more prove that online qualifications are taken more seriously.
Online learning is for those who are not smart enough to enter a traditional college - Let me tell you something, a traditional college is expensive, the traditional college I like is in America/England (I am in Vietnam), I can’t go there in the morning (I have to work and support my family), etc. I think these are just enough reasons to make someone understand that the people who choose online learning are not lazy or stupid.
Online learning is boring - Online learning is not boring at all. Students can raise their hands and answer questions, they can chat with other students and the tutor, find online resources etc. Personally, I find it much easier to interact online than in a real class.
Online learning is fun. There is a lot of interaction/communication with others and despite of online medium, you can build a lot of relations. The quality is very similar to traditional courses and it offers a huge advantage over the traditional courses, flexibility, which for me is the most important factor.