Online learning is an education program that is often referred as e-learning; it is a form of education that is facilitated by electronic technology. There are two components that are involved in E-learning which distinguishes it from other forms of learning; exchange of knowledge and utilization of computer and networking systems which provides the medium in which the transfer of knowledge takes place (Gary).
Generally the elements of E-learning usually include virtual classrooms, computer-based learning and web-based learning (Gladen). My personal experience with online learning is in the area of Internet-Based Training (IBT) which often involves learning through internet medium. In this paper I am going to discuss the reasons that made me choose this mode of learning over the others and the experiences that I have encountered so far from learning electronically.
By far the most compelling reason that made me to choose E-learning program was because of the flexibility of the program that I was undertaking in terms of time, duration and pace. This meant that I had the leeway to structure my timetable of learning around my work schedule rather than the other way round which is often the case for programs that are not done online.
This latitude to structure my learning time table also enabled me to set the pace at which I wanted to pursue the program; this was especially advantageous since it enabled me to fast track my learning process during those periods of two months when I always take leave from my work. On the other hand when I was busy with work or the times when I had taken up more difficult classes it was possible to scale down my learning process to cover the remaining time only.
Overall I have also found the online learning process to be less costly, time efficient and convenient; as a matter of fact I don’t incur transport costs since all that I need is access to internet which enables me to log on the virtual classroom. Through this interface there is a portal that I can initiate discussion with my peers, access the subject notes from the teacher, review questions with the teacher, download recorded lectures of the day and upload required assignments that are due. All this I do remotely from the comfort of my office space which I have fitted in my house. In addition since I don’t have to attend the virtual classes on line as they occur live, it means that I can access the lecture classes at any time that is most convenient to me. What is more, I can replay the recorded lecturer instructions in part or whole over and over to grasp a concept that I am experiencing difficult to assimilate without concern of appearing retarded to my peers who are of course not in the same room with me.
In addition I don’t have to bother the instructor to repeat a section when I drift off because of exhaustion since I can always take a break and come back refreshed. The online program also offers me the ease of combining several courses for purposes of tailoring my skills and knowledge to fit a specific portfolio; a luxury that would be impossible to achieve in most regular programs due to site limitations.
If I was taken back in time and told to choose the kind of learning program that I would prefer I would still choose the E-learning program despite the few disadvantages that online learning entails such as technological hiccups that at times limit and hinders the learning process. But this is a small price to pay for the many advantages that this mode of learning provides me with.
Gary,J. Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning, 2002. Web. 16 Oct 2010
Gladen,N. Online College Courses, 2006. Web. 16 Oct 2010