Online Education trends in Pakistan. Many students are now adopting on-line education in Pakistan. These young students tend to enroll in local education institutes that offer on-line training programs as well as on-line certification courses, where students can learn new skills and equip themselves with the necessary knowledge to compete with others in their professional careers. The trend of online education is also increasing rapidly in countries like Pakistan. Among many online education institutes in Pakistan, eCoursesPK (a education start-up) offers online education programs via distance learning.
A recent study from a top market research firm showed an increasing trend of online and distance learning education. The study highlighted the main reasons why students are actively pursuing online education than on campus education.
1. Online Courses are Cheap and Affordable
Online courses and diploma programs are mostly cheap and affordable courses for most students and learners. Students pay a nominal fee just to register for a course of their choice, compared to the huge fees that colleges and education institutes demand.
2. Easy Access
The online course can be easily accessible once a student registers or enrols for a particular course. They just need a PC and a high speed internet connection to attend lectures and pass online exam. These courses can be studied anytime and anywhere when ever the student feels convenient. They do not need to go to anywhere and pay transport fares that adds up the cost, the daily fares also accumulates in the end of the course and students can spend that money on something more productive.
Admittedly, the one great advantage of online learning is the enhanced access for students, removing the constraint of commuting to a specific location at a certain time. Annual studies document that hundreds of students are able to enroll in online courses around the globe. Even in third world countries like India and Pakistan, there are many online education institutes that are striving hard to increase literacy rates in respective countries.
3. Individual Attention vs Collective Class Participation
Compare this to a traditional classroom where the discussion might be dominated by a subset of students, while the rest of the class is passive. Every online student can have a voice and be heard. In addition, expanding the time for a query permits students to reflect and explore additional information, thoughtfully consider the views of their classmates, and then take the time to construct their own contribution, which can lead to higher quality responses.
4. Focus on Learning
Not all traditional learning experiences are equal. There is a significant difference between a lecture in a large auditorium with hundreds of students and a small seminar room with 20 students.
5. Course Design
Effective on-line courses are developed through the systematic design of instruction with emphasis on the achievement of course learning objectives. This rigorous approach to course development and the creation of learning activities (which vary by course) is fundamental to create an effective learning environment and increases the potential for student learning and their construction of new knowledge.
The physical classroom has one advantage – the “spontaneity” of the discussion that can occur. These occasions can be wonderful learning opportunities. This lack of spontaneity has been a constraint in on-line classes due to the limitations of required bandwidth for live (synchronous) web conferencing or through other learning resources such as power-point lectures, video lectures, ebooks etc.
On-line education is currently blooming and with some of the technological challenges that have recently been alleviated we are sure that one day we have on-line courses with class discussions where students can see and hear each other, regardless of their physical location.