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September 05, 2012
SKYPE News - Defending Your Thesis on Skype - Has Online Learning Come of Age?
By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer
With the introduction of real broadband in many regions of the world, things are bound to change; this wave of change is not sparing the way we learn and receive academic certificates, though. Online university education is rapidly growing in many regions of the world, with the driving factors being the flexibility and convenience of online classes coupled with the increased desire to learn in people.
Michael Nkwenti Ndongfack, a doctoral student and government employee in Cameroon, discovered a solution in online learning after he failed to get a local tutor on the course of his choice. He says, “I choose e-learning because it is flexible.” What he means is e-learning allows him to get what geographical location denies him at the time convenient for him.
Unlike the past when online learning was only actualized through long and boring tutorials, classes are conducted in a more conventional way. Students can attend the class and actively interact with their teacher and colleagues either through chat services or video conferencing applications such as Skype (News - Alert).
Lee Hock Guan, a senior fellow at the institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, admits that “with the improvement in technology, the number of institutions offering online education has increased both in terms of numbers and the kind of classes offered.”
Even though some aspects of learning, such as student-teacher interaction, are improving, we have to admit that the direct face-to-face interaction which helps keep students stay motivated and personally engaged is lost. Ndongfack admitted that online studies were not easy citing freedom and lack of physical company is a major setback. “There is no one there to give you instant support,” he said.
Ansary Ahmed, an eUniversity student in Asia, was confident that such issues will be addressed in time, and as the window opens, students will be able to attend more than one university at a go and pick from a variety of online offerings.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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