The Value of an Online Course

Value of an Online CourseThe other weekend, my mother was happy to come and watch my son as I tackled a few things that had been on my list for a while.

My “To Do” list consisted of starting a mortgage application, purchasing some “the best way to get your baby to sleep through the night” products and printing nearly 1,000 adorable photos of my now 7 month old.

She immediately scooped up her grandson when she arrived (you would too, he’s so cute!) and took off into the other room so he could show her his new trick of “almost crawling.”

Two hours later, she came out into the kitchen and was startled to see that I was still sitting there.

She asked me if I ever planned to stop “Facebooking” and do my errands. I could only smile, as I knew we grew up in such different times. Me sitting there, “Facebooking,” was actually me live chatting with a mortgage specialist, filling out paperwork, ordering my baby products online to be delivered by end of day, and uploading all those pictures to have them printed and shipped to me.  All things she would never do this way.

I was in 5th grade when they installed a row of Macintosh computers at the back of the classroom. By high school, all of my assignments had to be typed and by college they had to be turned in online. Now, well into my career, my training is nearly all done online and I communicate with my colleagues via email, chat, and live video more than I do by phone or in person. That row of computers started to prepare me for my future. A future where I feel comfortable making the most important financial decision of my life without ever physically seeing or speaking to another human that I am entrusting with my information. A future where I have limitless possibilities of things to purchase and have at my door in less than 24 hours, without leaving my house. A future where just a few clicks promises to safeguard my most precious memories forever.

In Florida, students of every age have the opportunity to take an online course of their choosing.

Consider this:

  • A recent FLVS survey of past students showed that 91 percent agreed that taking an online course helped prepare them for college, careers, and life in general. Of course, the curriculum and subject matter is important, but they are learning so much more than that. They are learning how to function in their current and future lives and hands-on experience is the optimal way to learn this. These soft skills are crucial!
  • Students often learn better in an online environment. For example, FLVS out paces the state averages on AP and EOC results.
  • Online courses at both the Kindergarten-12 and university level are far more affordable to the state, sometimes by 50 percent. [1]
  • Florida offers online learning at all public universities, with 40 percent of undergraduate courses projected to be delivered online by 2025. [2]
    6 percent of all workforce training is delivered in a blended or online methodology. [3]

That makes online courses a win in my book.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to order my groceries online!

Post by Stefanie Steele, Governmental Affairs Administrator 

References:

[1] 2015-16 SUS Tuition and Fees
[2] http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2016/06/legislature-on-collision-course-with-university-systems-board-over-higher-education-priorities-103138 
[3] eLearningIndustry.com Statistics and Facts for 2015



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