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On an international scale, the average online student tests in the 59th percentile, whereas the average classroom student tests lower – in the 50th percentile.

E-Learning, or Online study as it is preferably called, refers to technology driven learning, especially through the internet. It can be defined as instructional content or learning experiences delivered or enabled by electronic technology. Currently, online training in India focuses equally on school and college-based courses as well as mid-level professional courses. With nearly half the population of India below the age of 25 and increasing penetration of Internet and mobile devices in this demographic, the growth of online education market in India is indubitable too. In the year 2014, a total of over 10.2 lakh students took the class XII CBSE exams in India. Another 1.5 lakh students took the ICSE exam in the country and abroad, and over 66,000 students took the ICE examination in India and abroad. According to Global Information Inc., the Global Market for e-Learning is set to reach $169 billion by 2018.

But to what extent is online learning preferred by the generation engrossed in the education process? The country being very conservative towards its roots prefers the traditional face-to-face method of learning, on the outside. Above that, the lack of world-class level internet facilities throughout the country bars several students from such facilities. We look into some statistics about the matter:

On an international scale, the average online student tests in the 59th percentile, whereas the average classroom student tests lower – in the 50th percentile. Aside from test scores, online students also save in the financial realm: The average total cost of a traditional qualification is a whopping $85,000, whereas the average total cost of an online qualification is only about $30,000!

While 59% of students at traditional institutions claim that their lectures are becoming increasingly unengaging, 55% of students who skip class just can’t be bothered to drag themselves out of bed, which is not an issue in online learning!

Research suggests that online learning also provides a high level of simulation that can be tailored to the learner’s level of proficiency. Students can learn at their own pace and whenever they desire to. Since they can customize the learning material to their own needs, students have more control over their learning process and can better understand the material, leading to a 60% faster learning curve, compared to instructor-led training. Whereas the average content retention rate for an instructor-led class is only 58%, the more intensive eLearning experience enhances the retention rate by 25 – 60%.

Another study found that online students had more peer contact with others in the class, enjoyed it more, understood the material better, and performed, on average, 20% better than students who were taught in the traditional classroom.

But in darker realms, open online courses are not asserted effective if measured in terms of completion rates. A wild success is 20 percent of students finishing an online course, whereas lower than 10 percent is considered standard. It would then appear that online courses are still more of a hobby than a viable alternative to traditional classroom education. Still, if 100,000 students take a free online course and only 5,000 complete it, it’s still a significant number.

On the other hand, students taking an online course enter a comfort zone wherein they can try new things and make mistakes without fearing of being judged. A good learning program shows the consequences of students’ actions and where or why they went wrong.

While there are parents who prefer sending off their children to tuitions, some prefer monitoring their progress on an online portal wherein they can make sure that their child is actually making improvement. Overall, online medium is a highly revised and efficient method of learning and all of these factors are lost in offline studying which is solely rested on the shoulders of faculty. 

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