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Online learning: How socioeconomic factors influence?

Attaining higher studies and developing essential knowledge and skill is substantial in the modern world. The standard of life and social security highly depends on the self- sufficiency of the individual. But taking higher education comes with the huge expense. And with George Osborne student debt repayment proposal, the cost of higher education in the UK will add further fiscal burden on the students. Hence, students can take affordable UK university degree courses online for further studies. Already, the course fee, learning resources, transportation etc. makes the higher study a costly affair. Parents invest lots of money to provide high education to their children. In the process, the student takes education loan which increases the financial burden. Once the learner completes the higher studies, he/she finds self under the heavy load of the loan. Besides, families spend much of their money to educate their children but still struggle to manage the cost of higher studies. Considering the different scenario online learning emerges to be the best fit platform to obtain valuable higher learning. A research was conducted to find the influence of the socio-economic factors impacting the online education. Read on.

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The research

The research of MIIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Harvard shows that there is the influence of socioeconomic on the online education. The study shows if e-learning is really is meeting the expectation. The research included the data of the academic year of 2012-14. The study included 68 free and edX learning programmes offered by MIIT and Harvard university. It was conducted by Justin Reich, Executive Director of MIT's PK-12 and John Hansen of Harvard. The research contains in-depth information on the students need backing. The study of Reich has devised three signs:

  • education of the parents
  • Neighbourhood average education
  • Neighbourhood median income

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About the impact of socio-economic impact on the online learning Reich said, “One way we might democratize education would be to provide more widespread access to academic experiences previously reserved for the elite, but historically, emerging learning technologies — even free ones — have often benefited people with the social, technical, and financial capital to take advantage of new innovations. As we try to bridge the digital divide, we need to carefully examine how new tools are used by learners from different walks of life.”

The finding

The finding of the study shows that the three indicators pointed out by Reich are corresponding to each other for students selecting and succeeding the online courses. According to the research students who took HarvardX course, whose parent have college education has almost double the chances of completing the course in contrast to the learners guardian have not. The study reveals that opulent learners have fair chances of enrolling and succeeding at affordable UK university degree courses online.

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Reich says, “MOOCs and other forms of online learning don’t yet live up to their promise to democratize education,” he says. “Closing this digital divide is exactly the kind of grand challenge that the world’s greatest universities should be tackling head on.”

Online low cost learning

In the midst of the debate of high cost of higher education and the economic inequality in the society, one has to explore the opportunity for the earning degree. Online course programmes are low cost and even free. Courses that will earn the degree for you comes with the nominal price tag. Although, the course are charged but is extremely low compared to the campus education. Though, online courses are affordable, but the quality of the education is never compromised. Instead, the learner gets new digital learning resources and tools to take education and interacts via the virtual classroom.

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what ahead?

It's clear from the research that although online learning has the new techs and advanced education pattern & technique, but socio-economic factors do have the impact on the learner. The gap of the digital inequality should be filled in to provide equal learning opportunity for all. Means an English student looking for online degree courses, should be allotted adequate information, electronic devices and internet accessibility.

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