The infographic begins by showing us the technological evolution of education from the first televised lectures in 1971 to the creation of the youtube based Khan Academy in 2004.
This is also a lot of information presented regarding the sheer number of students taking classes online. Here are some of the highlights:
- The largest university in the UK, The Open University, has 250,000 students enrolled and teaches the vast majority of its classes online.
- The largest university in the USA, The University of Pheonix, is an online university enrolling over 500,000 students.
- There are 25,000 online courses offered in the United States.
- 75% of US based universities plan on offering online courses in the near future if they don’t already.
- It is estimated that by 2019, 50% of all higher education classes will be taught online.
Benefits of Online Education:
- Increased availability of higher education classes means more people can participate. Because the overhead costs of online classes are reduced (no building, chairs, equipment, etc.) the cost to students attending those classes can also be reduced. As a result of increased availability and more affordable costs, the World can become a more educated place.
- Students can progress at their own pace. Traditionally, students have had to progress at whatever pace the professor has deemed appropriate. This means some students can’t keep up and they sink. Other students are not challenged enough and they end up wasting their time. With online education, students can go as fast or as slow as they need to.
Downsides of Online Education:
- Decreased oversight and supervision. Nobody is looking over the shoulder of students taking online classes. Cheating is easier and because of that, some employers do not view online degrees in the same way that they view degrees from universities that require physical attendance.
- Education requires some human interaction. Obviously some classes are easier to teach online than others. Have you ever tried taking a public speaking class online? The decreased amount of human interaction in online education is definitely something that raises concerns. The ultimate class is probably one that has some online aspects and also some “in-person” aspects.
Take a look at the infographic below and let me know what your thoughts are in the comments section!