Online classes, previously held in contempt by academia, have been growing rapidly in popularity. They save students and universities money and time, but they also offer other advantages. Due to these numerous advantages the number of online classes available has grown exponentially since early-2000. These classes allow students to work on their own time, with clear and stated goals that ensure they know exactly what they should expect out of classes as well as allowing professors and students to be continually engaged with one another through interactive learning systems. Top universities from Harvard University to University of California San Diego and all the way down to community colleges offer online courses.
The University of Phoenix was the first school to pioneer online education that was easy to navigate while being convenient for working adults. After a decade of development, the University of Phoenix is the largest school in the country with an expanded online presence that offers an opportunity for students of all ages to have suitable access to higher education. While the University of Phoenix is opportune, their reputation as an institution of higher learning is still misunderstood by many. The online courses they offer are clearly directed and detailed, and their continuous five week course cycle for online classes helps keep the pace of traditional full-time course work without the burden of a multiple class study load for an 18-week period.
Since the achievements of the University of Phoenix's successful development of the online learning environment have become widely recognized by other institutions, a majority of other universities and colleges have begun offering online distance learning. However, with the accessibility and convenience comes apprehension. Students are hesitant to trust their education to unknown schools offering online degrees. However, there was a record enrollment when one of the most famous universities in the country stepped forward to offer online education.
Stanford University launched a pioneering course in the study of artificial intelligence in early October of 2011, and the response was sudden and overwhelming. Not only were thousands of interested AI academics clamoring to enroll in this groundbreaking class, but the public was even more shocked to learn that Stanford would be offering it for free. The opportunity to attend a Stanford University course in the introduction to the study of artificial intelligence was launched on October 10th, 2011 with a record-breaking enrollment that dwarfed the capacity of a traditional classroom environment.
Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig are the two professors that agreed to undertake the facilitation of this monumental knowledge-sharing opportunity. The course is being offered at two simultaneously hosted levels of participation. Students may choose to complete the basic or advanced format, but all students that complete the course on December 18th, 2011 will receive a Stanford certificate.
CNA online classes allow you to train to become a nurse, a profession which is in extreme demand in the United States, for dirt cheap. These online courses are not just limited to colleges there are now high school online classes and GED online classes which allows teenagers and adults flexibility and availability in attaining their high school degrees to further themselves. As said before, online classes are much bemoaned by academia because they allege that such classes offer copy paste environments for assignments, and/or do not provide enough of the traditional learning benefits that come with a normal classroom setting. These generalizations are certainly not true of all online classes.
In regular classes, often discussion falls to a small cadre of students, who usually bounce questions of the teacher for the entirety of the course. In online courses this is not so; teachers often assign groups or require group discussion. Indeed it is not irregular for teacher participation to be minimal while students read, discuss and evolve their ideas with themselves while teachers stick to mediating and sometimes leading discussions.
Perhaps the biggest boon of this delivery system is that it permits the mass distribution of lectures which has given rise to a large amount of free online classes. These allow people who are both in and out of school to learn complex subjects by acclaimed professors for no cost. Students who are already in classes can use them as additional material to become more familiarized with their subjects while those out of school can utilize them to promote their intellectual growth. The popularity of online courses has provided a boon to all, because the only requirement is time, a computer and internet access which is increasingly a given in most western countries. They allow students from a wide variety of cultural and life experience to interact with each other and therefore to learn from each other. In short, online teaching has become the future of education.