Laptop Picturing a Man's Face

Entering a Thriving New Age of Digital Learning

Digital learning is on the rise.

As technology continues to flourish, the possibilities expand to heights we would’ve never imagined 20 years ago.  While some educators fully endorse it, others are skeptical if its potential positively affects students or will hinder them in the long-run.

There’s no question that it’s growing: between 2010 and 2012 alone, online enrollment rose 29% and 32% of students in higher education in 2012 were enrolled in one or more online courses.

Despite the questioning doubt of some, we can be sure of a few clear-cut benefits:

    • It adapts to your schedule—not the other way around.Let’s face it: far too many in-class lectures strain our schedule.If you’re expected to clock in from 9am to 5pm for your full-time job, how can you possibly attend a 10am lecture mandatory for your degree?Other than sending a clone of yourself, you’re faced with either sticking to night-time classes (which may or may not coincide with your degree requirements) or quit work.  Given the state of our economy, students with both full-time and part-time jobs need to contribute financially, so quitting is off the table.

      Therein lies the beauty of digital learning.  You can finish up a quiz at 3am or submit your homework in the middle of the night.  With an online course, you’re typically presented with the schedule of the entire course’s due dates and may complete assignments within the span of the week.

      In the words of Time Magazine, “By making it possible to break the course content into dozens of small conceptual modules of instruction and testing, digital learning allows students to engage the material anytime, any day, as often as they need to, anywhere in the world”.

      Instead of ripping your hair out trying to force your obligations to coalesce, you can complete coursework at your own pace.  Not to mention you aren’t forced to burn gas or add extra commute time.

    • It relays accurate content available for students to read and re-read.
      You may lose the face-to-face interaction of in-class discussions, but on the flip side, students are open to peruse notes to their heart’s desire and review lectures as many times as they like, rather than relying on their own set of often rushed written notes.A handful of professors may offer typed notes, although it’s an uncommon luxury.  Technical information like schematics and coding don’t require discussion, and therefore, online notes are extremely effective at communicating such material.
  • It harbors the potential of full online capability or “blended”/hybrid learning.
    Instead of 100% online, hybrid courses offer the best of both worlds.  You still receive face-to-face contact, but spend less time restricted to a classroom.These courses typically meet once a week and leave the remainder of the week up to the students in regards to when they’ll finish their work.Others list possible meeting dates and allow students to select a certain number that fits their schedule.  This type of attendance is gaining popularity and sits comfortably between the border of traditional meetings and online classes.

Will digital learning reign as the superior way to learn?  Well, it’s simply too early to tell.

Regardless, it’s important to discern what kind of learning will best benefit you.  Self-motivated students tend to favor digital learning, while others may feel the instructor direction is necessary for their success.

Neither is right or wrong.  The answer boils down to whatever option will positively influence your degree of absorbing the material and promote your educational success.

Westface College Planning can help you navigate the financial aid process from start to finish, including comparing the expense details of community versus four-year colleges. To learn how we can help you call us at 650-587-1559 or sign up for one of our Tackling the Runaway Costs of College Workshops or Webinars.

Photo Credit:

Ready for your own success story?

grad happy depositphotos_68262971-stock-photo-graduation-girl-poses-with-mom

If you’re a typical parent with college-bound students, you’re probably overwhelmed. You want to help your sons and daughters make the right choices and prevent overpaying for their education. You’re not alone! We’re here to help. Schedule your free consultation today – click below to get started!

Catch our free, on-demand webinar:

How to Survive Paying for College

graduation cap with Financial Aid text on assorted hundred dollar bills

Join Beatrice Schultz, CFP® for our on-demand webinar, where she provides parents with the exact steps that often greatly lower the cost of college, even if there’s little time to prepare.