ELearning / Distance Education is a formal learning format that is distinguished by the fact that students and instructors are separated by geographic distance or by time. eLearning uses modern technology to allow students the ability to pursue coursework anytime and anywhere. Coursework for the program is delivered to the student through web sites, podcasts, blogs, wikis, audio/video lecture recordings, and online discussion forums. Some of the current challenges that are facing traditional colleges and universities include increasing tuition costs, budget cuts, and course shortages and this has caused many students to search for other educational alternatives. There are nearly three million students that are currently enrolled in fully online degree programs and over six million students that are taking at least one online course as part of their degree program. eLearning/online education continues to be one of the more popular choices for masters education alternatives.
eLearning Educational Options
There are two different types of eLearning-Distance Education options:
- Fully Online Courses – The first type of eLearning option allows students to take classes totally online to allow for total flexibility in the learning style. Students enrolled in fully online courses have the ability to pursue their coursework in their homes, office, library or literally from anywhere in the world.
- Blended Courses: Courses in the blended master’s degree program allow students to take their classes in a traditional classroom format while also taking some of their courses in an online course delivery.
Advantages of Pursuing a Healthcare Management Degree via eLearning
Some of the major advantages for students pursuing an eLearning Degree include:
- The ability to learn at the student’s own pace is a major advantage. Not all students learn at the same pace; some students can pick up things quickly where others need additional time to understand a concept. The advantage of distance learning is the flexibility to study at a comfortable pace that best fits the student.
- Another advantage is the ability for students to interact with other students via technology. Students can access coursework online whenever you want while exchanging views and holding discussions with virtual classmates.
- The flexibility in learning style is probably the most significant advantage of distance learning. Many working professionals do not have the ability to take time off in order to pursue a master’s degree. Those who cannot stop working to pursue a degree can now pursue their education while continuing in their career.
- Distance learning saves time and energy due to minimizing the commuting aspect of on-campus learning. Some students may not find a variety of programs in healthcare management close to home. For these students, distance-learning courses eliminate these obstacles.
- Most students’ motivation for pursuing a master’s of healthcare degree through eLearning is to save money. eLearning can eliminate some of the costs that are incurred during commuting and attending classes on campus.
Disadvantages of Pursuing a Healthcare Management Degree via eLearning
Some of the disadvantages that have been reported by eLearners include:
- Not having direct contact with other students and professors can cause a lack of interaction for some students
- No direct contact with faculty can be a disadvantage for some students who need direct support
- Without a teacher specifically creating timelines for assignments, some students find it difficult to be mature and disciplined enough to complete assignments thoroughly and on time
- Not all courses are available in an online format
Various studies have indicated that distance-learning master’s programs can be as efficient and valuable as traditional classroom programs. It’s important to understand what type of program will best meet your specific needs. For many, the ability to pursue a master’s in healthcare management via eLearning best suits their individual personality and lifestyle requirement.