Online over Traditional

Discovering the Best Form of Learning for Higher Education

Looking Towards the Future of Higher Education: An Overview

As our technologically advancing world looks towards the future, online education appears to offer more benefits than that of traditional higher education. Online institutions provide equality, greater affordability, access to supreme content, and the possibility of personalizing courses. Most importantly, online education allows students to learn material at any time of day, anywhere in the world (Gandel). By providing a flexible schedule, the world's best information and professors, little to no fees, and equal opportunity, online education providers prove to be supreme.


Online education provides education not only to students all over the United States but all over the world. In one class you could be studying with students from Australia, India, Africa, and the UK. This benefits students by enriching their perceptions of the world by exposing them to different cultures (Li and Irby). In addition, as Erik Belcher, a superintendent of Fayette School District in Ohio, says, "'It is important to reach the needs of all of our learners, not just the ones who are able to show up at our school building every day'" ("Effective Online Courses"). This same idea is reflected in online education for higher education. Students with disabilities which prevent them from attending class in-person can expand their knowledge and understanding online. Also, online education allows for more opportunities to help students with different abilities and learning disabilities (Metz). Thus, online education serves as a learning environment that keeps the playing field level.


Online education definitely promises more affordability in comparison to in-person education. Colleges face energy costs, costs of upkeep in the dorms, remodeling costs, outdoor maintenance costs, and the cost of paying professors' salaries. College students must pay for food, housing, expensive classes, and textbooks. The cost of tuition at higher institutions rises between five and eight percent each year, further emptying students' pockets ("Student Loan"). Online education would reduce these costs, as all of the resources would be online, and students could study from wherever they please. In addition, the time spent in class listening to endless lectures could be reduced. The increasing demand for higher education and the dwindling supply of money for funding has caused institutions to change their form of delivery, and thus has limited the quality of the content at these institutions (Li and Irby). However, with online education, students would gain access to prime institutions untouched by financial difficulty, and students could save their own money in order to pursue their goals.

Access to Quality Information

Online education allows highly-educated professors to create quality content and the best lecturers. Teachers can focus on engaging students, bringing questions to light, diving into specific subjects, etc. Also, once a professor posts content online, students can return to that page and reread the information for maximum comprehension, unlike traditional lectures. While traditional institutions provide a one-of-a-kind experience, "technology has now made it possible -- and attractive -- for hundreds of highly regarded U.S. institutions to offer their postgraduate degrees to students around the world" (Gandel). The endless possibilities of online education prove to offer more quality content than that of traditional institutions, and therefore elevate online education above traditional education.

Ability to Personalize Courses

Ever fallen behind in a class? Ever excelled beyond your peers? The vast majority of students fall into one or both of these categories. With online education, struggling students can access information repeatedly and spend a longer time working on specific subjects. In contrast, students who excel in a class can speed through the class and save their time by finishing early. The majority of online education providers give students lectures that can be viewed multiple times, and at whatever time of day (Laudato and Lerner). In addition, in courses offered by Hillsdale College, students can start taking an online course at any time ("Hillsdale College"). Taking this evidence into account, students can fit an online class into their hectic schedules, proving that online education serves students better than traditional higher education. A busy entrepreneur, an overwhelmed soccer mom, and a stressed lawyer can all take an online course and learn the information at their own pace.

There are over 54,000 online courses available with 1.6 million students enrolled in 2000 (Li and Irby)

Works Cited

Laudato, Nicholas C., and K. Lee Lerner. "MOOC (Massive open online course)." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 5th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014. Student Resources in Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.

Li, Chi-Sing, and Beverly Irby. "An Overview of Online Education: Attractiveness, Benefits, Challenges, Concerns And Recommendations." College Student Journal 42.2 (2008): 449. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Gandel, Cathie. "THE Virtual Option." Best Graduate Schools (2015): 105. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Metz, Kimberly. "Benefits Of Online Courses In Career And Technical Education." Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers 85.6 (2010): 20. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

"Student Loan." Everyday Finance: Economics, Personal Money Management, and Entrepreneurship. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2008. 397-399. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

"Hillsdale College Online Course Enrollment Surpasses 1 Million." PR Newswire 6 Apr. 2015. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

"Effective online courses can meet the needs of every student: Ohio district uses Connections Learning by Pearson to increase flexibility and choice." District Administration Nov. 2015: 27. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.