ONLINE STUDY AS A SOLUTION
Online study is a vital learning model of our times that should be nurtured and engrained in the education system. Accordingly, it is the solution to many of the challenges encountered in the conventional, traditional classroom learning practice. Its benefits outdo physical class studies.
Through the internet, leaning is open to all wishing to indulge in it. Even those in countries faced with education problems have an opportunity to pursue the course they desire without as much as an effort. It is incredible how the internet works. Mostly, it brings equality in education.
Universal access to education
Firstly, everyone gets access to education. Usually, when people want to pursue a bachelor degree, they have to physically move from one place to another sometimes across cities and countries. By doing so, they leave their friends and families behind and end up staying in strange places.
Also, there are places where cultures bar young women from going to school as men do. Online studying eliminates border, social and physical barriers in access to education. It provides everyone with an opportunity to escape these obstacles and get a high-quality education at their convenience.
Studying whatever one desires
Another importance of online studying is the freedom of choice with which it comes. More often, high school leavers miss out on admission into courses and universities of their preference for some reasons.
However, online studying allows them to study whatever they want freely. Moreover, some prestigious universities offer free online courses. Open access is in line with the goal of free education to all.
Comfort and flexibility
The natural learning environment is highly competitive and overwhelming for most young students joining universities and colleges. As a result, failure among others is intolerable. A student is under pressure into always succeeding or being better than others. It is easier to accept defeat from studying online as there is just the student.
The fact that online programs are cheaper when compared to the ones held in a traditional campus setting is enough reason to consider them. The average tuition for online courses depends on multiple factors, so it varies from one program to another.
Additionally, studying online saves one the torture of enduring long uncomfortable and boring lectures. Sitting on a couch or bed at home is comfier. Moreover, studying at home saves the student the costs of commuting from home/ hostel to campus as well as the expense of having to rent an apartment for accommodation and the extra cost of buying books as information is on the internet.
It is a human trait to want to share new things learnt. Importantly so, this is one goal of education, information sharing. Where the course has many students online, the system provides for information sharing where they share with others what they have learnt. The ability to share is encouraging and motivational to others in the same study field.
Also, a student can benefit from the information provided by those who went through the online study program and learn entrepreneurial skills. The skills can are essential in setting up businesses and take advantage of opportunities in life.
When one starts browsing through interesting online courses and programs, they notice the Self-Paced label on most of them. Self-paced education means that the students can begin completing the targets at any time, and can arrange a learning schedule that meets their individual needs.
However, if one enrols in a traditional college program, they will have to forget about work, hobbies, and even family. In such setting, studying has to be a priority. That’s why many single parents and people who work decide to forget all about their dreams to get a higher degree. The solution lies with online studying.
It doesn’t matter where one’s career stands at this moment; an online program will always look good on their resume. It will show potential employers that you’re committed to learning and eager to obtain more knowledge and new skills. Hiring managers don’t see online degrees as inferior to traditional ones.
If you obtain an online degree from a prestigious university, you’ll boost your career with the speed of light. You will undoubtedly become a better candidate for a job promotion, and your resume will look much better when you apply for new positions.
Online graduation knowledge among high school graduates
Unfortunately, not many high school graduates in Kenya know about online studies. Even so, the few are aware of it tend to ignore and are sceptical of its ingenuity and application in the 21st-century commercial world. Kenyan high school graduates are focused on joining their dream physical universities like the University of Nairobi.
Although online studies have been introduced in Kenya by both public and private universities, the enrolment is quite low. Even with increased internet usage among the youth, reception of online studies remains quite small. In most cases, those enrolled for online studies live in towns leaving rural folks at a disadvantage for their lack of computers, smartphones and internet.
The poor coverage of online studies in Kenya is credible for some reasons. Ranging from computer illiteracy to unaffordability of the facilities, the challenges are innumerable. The discussion below expands on the causes.
A lack of computer literacy is a significant issue among students in Kenya today. Many of them cannot operate necessary programs such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and therefore are not able to handle their files. Furthermore, many students find fixing fundamental computer problems troublesome.
However, technological proficiency is compulsory for online courses, as it enables students to manage their assignments and courseware in an organised manner without struggling. Basic courses in computer literacy enhance students’ knowledge in the field would help them participate in online classes without interruptions and hindrances.
Many high school graduates lack the stable internet connection that online courses require, and thus fail to catch up with their virtual classmates. Some of them don’t even own computers and seek help in Learning Resource Centres for technical assistance. Computers and internet are expensive for most students.
The solution to this problem lies in knowing exactly the kind of technical support are needed for a particular course before enrolling in it, as well as adequately equipping students well for the successful completion of the course.
The shift from traditional classroom and face to face instructor training to computer-based training in a virtual classroom makes the learning experience entirely different for students. Online discussions require swift action from students.
Students, therefore, find it difficult to adapt. However, they need to accept the new learning circumstances with an open mind and heart. Understanding the benefits of online studies and even discussing them with their peers may change their views and better, prepare for online classes.
Less social interactions
Online studies are of the implication that students stay at home and study from there. They hardly meet their classmates/ course mates with whom they can form social relations. Upon leaving high school, most Kenyan youths are excited about the worldly pomp waiting for them in universities and colleges. The choice is already clear for them.
WILLINGNESS TO STUDY ONLINE
Introduction of online classes
There is a significant willingness among high school graduates to study online in Kenya as seen through universities and colleges introducing online course programs that are well facilitated. Higher learning institutions have set up Digital access learning campuses that allow students access from all over the world. The online programs are similar to traditional classroom except that they provide learners with unlimited information access.
Affordable support services and systems
The number of online students is increasing by the day, especially in key towns where internet bandwidth is reliable and readily available. Technical aspects of access to computers and other internet supporting devices have improved allowing for higher internet access across the nation. Their costs are way lower through the introduction of multiple suppliers.
Increased computer literacy
Unlike in the past, computer literacy is high as a result of computer packages taught in high schools and middle-level colleges. The cost of computer literacy is lower as colleges charge an average of US $30 for twelve packages. Consequently, more high school graduates are getting to know about the existence of online studies.
The government of Kenya through the Ministry of ICT has introduced digital centres across the nation to train youths on issues to do with internet studies. Through the success of such programs, high school graduates who are the key targets learn about the application of internet in life, even in learning.
Additionally, the government has rolled out the laptops programs in the lower primary for all standard one kid. In this initiative, every child gets a laptop for learning from an early age. The program seeks to digitise education. As a consequence, the children will embrace online learning even in their higher levels such as the university and college.