Online learning is a system of distance learning, where formalized education is offered over the internet. This type of learning offers a great deal of flexibility, which offers convenience in the learning schedule.
This enables the learner to balance their professional responsibilities and personal bit while still pursuing a course.
The types of online learning are:
- Self -Education- This is a self-initiative method where a learner can choose to take up a course and obtain extensive educational resources from sites and online search engines such as you-tube.
- Online College Courses- In this category, Massive Open online courses (MOOC) are offered, and they are not necessarily aimed towards graduating with o degree or diploma. It is a method of learning that is not constrained to on-campus learning.
- Supplemental Online Education- This category aims to benefit students struggling with a particular area or a learner wishing to extend a particular area in their learning. Some of these courses issue online certifications.
- Online Public or Private K-12 Schools- Some states offer these as full-time tuitions to facilitate school education from home. Parents are advised to get involved integrally in their children’s learning.
- Educational Apps/Programs-These offer supplemental learning and, in turn, an interesting experience for the learners. Examples of such apps are ABCmouse.com, LearnBop, etc.
Online learning approaches are different types that are classified depending on the instructional approach. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Asynchronous Online Learning- In this approach, learners are provided with the course work and assignments, and duration is given to achieve completion of the same, including examinations. There are platforms set to discuss the content, such as discussion boards, wikis, and blogs. This method of learning is suitable for learners with busy schedules.
- Synchronous Online learning- In this approach, both the enrolled learners and the tutor interact online simultaneously. Participation and message relaying are done through text, video, or audio chats. This method suits learners taking the programs from a distance.
- Hybrid/Blended Learning- This approach uses both online and in-person interactions. In the semester, the learner meets in person for sessions and shares part of the content or assignments online.
Statistics from a survey conducted by Purdue University & The National Center for Education Statistics have revealed the following:
- Over 6 million learners are using online learning for their higher education programs.
- About half of the students enrolled are educated exclusively through e-learning.
- 85% of students consider online learning similar or even a better learning mechanism than the on-campus method.
Advantages of Online Colleges
- Development of self-discipline skills
- It helps in guiding learners to meet the licensing requirements of the state.
- It does not require a learner to relocate or commute.
There are a large number of programs to choose from for online learning. When selecting a program, a learner should consider the budget, daily schedules, and long-term career goals. Based on the affordability, graduation retention rates, and the student-to-faculty ratio, this article lists the top 10 online colleges.
- University of Florida
It is an accredited institution located in Gainesville. It was founded in 1853.t host several on-campus programs and launched an online platform offering 200 courses, both full and part-time, in 2014. The university has lower tuition fees for online than for on-campus learning.
To enroll, applicants require a minimum 2.0 GPA or GED equivalent in their high school diploma. Transfer credits for previous training are offered to transfer students with a 2.0 GPA. The annual tuition fee is $11313.
The graduation rate stands at 90%, and there is a 93% possibility of financial aid. There are excellent counseling services and a student-teacher ratio of 18:1.
- Peirce College
The Middle States Commission accredits it on Higher Education (MSCHE). It’s located in Philadelphia and founded in 1865. It offers 11 online bachelor degrees in health administration, technology, and criminal justice.
It employs both synchronous and asynchronous modes of learning. To enroll, learners require a minimum 2.0 GPA college level in Mathematics and English and a high school diploma. The graduation rate is 35%, 100% possibility of financial aid, an annual tuition fee of $6395, and a student-tutor ratio of 9:1.
- Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
It is an accredited institution established in 1973 and offers 25-degree programs 13 online courses in HRM, marketing, and paralegal studies. The mode of study is mainly asynchronous. Learners are required to complete a 39-credit program.
Transfer students are offered credit for previous training. Online learning tuition fee is constant regardless of one’s location. The graduation rate is 57%, 100% possibility of financial aid, an annual tuition fee of $16337, and a student-tutor ratio of 7:1. Counseling services are offered.
- The University of Illinois at Spring field
It is an accredited college located in Springfield, established in 1970. It offers 12 online programs in healthcare informatics and information systems security, among others. The mode is both synchronous and asynchronous.
To enroll a high school diploma or GED credential is a requirement. Credits on previous training are offered for transfer students with a 2.0 GPA minimum. The graduation rate is 51%, 100% possibility of financial aid, the annual tuition fee of $10733, and a student-tutor ratio of 12:1. Counseling services are offered.
- Oklahoma State University
It is an accredited college offering over 20 online degrees in human sciences, nursing, and business administration. Both synchronous and asynchronous modes are used. A minimum of a diploma and 3.0GPA, ACT scores, or strong SAT is required to enroll.
The graduation rate is 61%, 96% possibility of financial aid, annual tuition fee of $6707, and a high student-tutor ratio. Counseling services are offered.
- Purdue University
It is a leading public research institution that focuses on developing practical solutions for modern-day challenges. It ranks as the 5th best university in the U.S.A in matters of innovation. Their inventions add quality to present-day life and prove the potential for future generations and times.
- Indiana University
If you attain a degree here, you can use it anywhere in the world. Residents across Indiana have the convenience of attending classes in the state since there is a multi-campus system. The university offers over 170 academic programs online to reach students globally.
- Mercer University
Established in 1833, it was the first private university in Macon, Georgia. Mercer University is dynamic and comprehensive, accommodating every student’s needs. The reputable institution offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. It prides itself on being named a “College with a Conscience” by Princeton Review.
- Mary Baldwin University
Mary Baldwin University has its main campus in Staunton, VA. We cannot overlook the breath-taking Shenandoah Valley near the campus, which offers a serene learning environment. It is a small institution that allows it to be student-centered.
The student population is vibrant, dynamic, and culturally integrated. Its college of health sciences is state of the art. It offers the student a once in a lifetime opportunity to achieve their potential. MBU offers forty undergraduate degree programs and has online study options. They lead in curriculum activities such as NCAA DIII athletics.
- Florida International University
It is the only public research University in Miami. It offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. The University’s service is exceptional in the academic world. It is one of the leading top-tier research institutions not just in the U.S.A but globally. They emphasize in-depth research as a major pillar of their studies.