Why Colleges Should Have More Online Enrollment Options

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Online enrollment on campuses is becoming increasingly more popular.  It brings in more students compared to on-campus course enrollment, and allows institutions to use technology to create more student learning opportunities.  It also provides more financial benefits to the institutions.  Online enrollment is a more effective way of attracting students and is a great way of being able to keep track of their progress.  Some platforms can even let faculty see results and determine if a certain student needs extra resources to succeed.

Blended learning programs use online technology to reach their students.  It allows for the students to see the lectures as recordings or sit in on it in real time.  Some blended learning programs even allow for the instructors to create interactive learning environments with the use of emerging technology. Jill Buban, a senior director of research and innovation at the Online Learning Consortium gives an example of this interactive learning environment, stating, “There are some interesting artificial intelligence and game design courseware offerings — training capabilities for criminal justice students looking at a crime scene and answering questions, or nursing students detecting what’s wrong with a patient.”  The use of teaching tools such as those can give students a huge jump start to their education, making classes more hands-on instead of mainly lecture based.  Human connection is also still very important when trying to create online courses at an institution.  Both the students and instructors must be engaged, and the instructors must be well-versed in the technology that they are using to teach the students.  If the instructors can master the technology, they can use it to create customizable experiences for each student, providing them with the resources they need to succeed.

The drawback to having online courses is the initial cost.  It can be very expensive to develop these courses, as schools tend to hire a third party to create and host their courses.  However, the use of online classes could end up saving years of wasted time, as well as save universities money in the long run.

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