Is Online Learning the Right Fit for You?
Online learning is not new to education or business. Actually, according to the 2015 National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 5.5 million people participated in some form of a class that was offered online.
This number continues to grow, according to the Online College Student Survey. There’s been an increase in online interest and a steady growth of 1% every year since 2012 (Clinefelter & Aslanian, 2015). The research by Moore and Kearsley (2005), states that online learning is the chosen platform for learning for adults between the ages of 25-50, due to perks that include, scheduling flexibility, increased access to courses on unique topics, and lower costs.
However, when a person thinks of online learning, depending on their learning style or prior learning experiences their outlook may be one of dread or excitement. As for me, I jump at the opportunity to not being committed to attend a class at a designated day, during a designated time. I enjoy the freedom to learn new information when my brain tells me it’s a good time to retain the information I am learning. Not everyone learns in an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. block.
Many who dread online learning think, “I’m not computer savvy enough,” but did you know, research shows that you don’t have to be a computer expert to take an online course? Actually, those who are not computer experts tend to perform better in online courses than those who are computer “savvy”.
When surveyed, people who said they preferred a traditional classroom setting stated that they valued the interaction with other students and could learn more through that interaction than through an online course. However, if your learning style is one of visual or auditory, you may actually prefer taking a course online rather than in a traditional classroom. During a well-designed online course, videos can be played multiple times, audio recordings reinforce what’s being taught, and you are given opportunities to practice new skills. Research conducted by Heather Kauffman (2015) showed that individuals who took a class online had an as high or higher success rate, than those who attended a traditional classroom course.
Do you think online learning could be for you? If you haven’t given it a try, I hope you will consider taking one of GaMEP’s online courses soon. GaMEP considers each course’s content carefully and determines the best way (or ways) to deliver the material to students. Several of our traditional courses are now available online, but we have developed some new online only subjects as well. Here’s a list of some of our newest online offerings:
- Introduction to ISO 50001 + Basic Energy – Gain knowledge of foundational energy management terminology and concepts as well as basic elements of ISO 50001.
- Introduction to ISO 50001 – Learn about ISO 50001 and how it relates to management responsibility, energy policy and planning, implementation and operations, and management review.
- SEP Update Course – Receive updates to the SEP suite of documents and be able to help organizations meet or audit the new requirements.
- Integrating Additive Manufacturing with Traditional Manufacturing – Understand which factors to consider, including cost and logistics, when incorporating additive manufacturing into a traditional manufacturing operation.
- Additive Manufacturing as a Secondary Process – Find out how manufacturers use additive manufacturing as a secondary or indirect process, including its advantages and disadvantages.
- Industrial Network Integration – Discover common ways networks are used for manufacturing as well as practical network concerns and technology that allow industrial networks to function correctly.
- Introduction to Composites – Learn about the basic materials used to make composites, how composites are processed, and the applications of composites in various markets.
- Automated Systems and Control – Identify the common methods of industrial automation, describe the available technologies, and explain how they are applied in manufacturing.
- Applications for Robots – Acquire an understanding of industrial robots, the pros and cons of using robots, and learn about their basic capabilities.
If you have any questions about the format of a course you are interested in, just send me a message. I am happy to help in any way that I can and make sure that you find the right course for you!
Written by Jennifer Stone, GaMEP Instructional Designer. Jennifer works with GaMEP project managers and region managers to develop effective traditional and on-line training course materials. She holds an Ed. S. in Instructional Design from the University of West Georgia, an M.S. in Educational Computing Technologies, and a B.S. in Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Clayton, Blumberg, & Anthony. (2018). Linkages between course status, perceived course value, and students’ preference for traditional versus non-traditional learning environments. Computers & Education, 125, 175-181.
Clinefelter, D. (2015). Data from Survey of Online College Students Helps Institutions Thrive. ELearn, 2015(12), ELearn, 01 December 2015, Vol.2015(12).
Kauffman, H. (2015). A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning. Research in Learning Technology,23(1), 1-13.
Thorpe, M. (1997). Distance education: A system view: MICHAEL G. MOORE and GREG KEARSLEY, Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1996. 290 pp ISBN 0-534-6496-4. Computers & Education, 29(4), 209-211.
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center Releases Fall 2016 Current Term Enrollment Estimates Report. (2016, December 22). Professional Services Close – Up, pp. Professional Services Close – Up, Dec 22, 2016.