It goes by many names: online education, distance learning or asynchronous learning platforms. All these, of course, refer to educational programs usually delivered through digital methods. Depending on the school and its chosen pedagogical approach, students are exposed to a variety of learning activities in these programs. For lifestyle hackers, online education is a perfect way to return to school without sacrificing the benefits they’ve come to enjoy from retooling their lives.
Quality Education With Sound Instructional Methods
You might be surprised to discover that online education is over 50 years old. Wikipedia documents that the first computer-aided course delivery system was the University of Illinois’ Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations network. Initially developed in 1960, PLATO was in use on several thousand graphical terminals around the world by the 1970s. Furthermore, the Online Learning journal (originally named the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks) has been publishing academic research and developments in the field since the mid-1990s. With over several decades of development, it’s no surprise that distance education is a powerful instructional platform.
Many Programs Feature Flexible Schedules
Typically, content in most distance education programs is accessed asynchronously. Because of this, you’re pretty much free to log in at any time to complete coursework. When interacting with instructors and other classmates, students participate in threaded discussions located in specific areas of the online platform hosting their courses. If you’re familiar with websites that use threaded conversations, such as Reddit, you’ll probably be comfortable with this activity. Depending on guidelines set by the school or your individual professors, you may be required to log on and post by a certain day each week so that you adhere to participation guidelines.
Most Coursework Is Submitted Electronically
In nearly every single online course, completed assignments are sent to your professors via digital methods. Your instructors may request that these be emailed directly to them, or there may be a capability to turn in assignments in the online platform itself. For some master’s or doctoral programs that require a written thesis, you may be instructed to mail a printed version of your manuscript. However, you’ll be made aware of such requirements when you receive the handbook for your degree program or within syllabi for individual classes.
More Curricula Are Moving to Online Delivery
It’s possible to offer nearly any educational program entirely through a digital distance learning system. This is partially due to rapid leveraging of the medium by for-profit schools in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, public universities and colleges are now charging ahead, developing these methods and innovating into the future. For example, George Washington University (GW) offers several curricula, including master’s degrees in Political Management and in Strategic Public Relations, through its GW Online system.
The Freedom of Studying From Virtually Anywhere
Most kinds of lifestyle hackers and designers, including freelance workers and location independent individuals, appreciate the versatility and flexibility afforded with online education. With asynchronous study schedules and access to courses from nearly anywhere, returning to school can be better incorporated into one’s lifestyle. These benefits of distance learning, along with proven instructional design methods, mean that obtaining a quality education is within easier reach for many people.