Dr. Nissar Ahmad Yatoo

Scenario of the world education sector has changed due to latest technological trends and developments. During the last few decades, technology has improved and revolutionized the world education system in countless ways. One of the most important contributions of technology towards the changing scenario of world education sector is in terms of online system of teaching and learning.

Online education has gained momentum in terms of increasing number of students enrolling and increasing number of institutions offering their courses online. Course offered by such institutions range from a blend of in-person and online teaching to pure online teaching. But unlike any other online affairs, some of the students enrolling as well as some educationists are not very positive towards the concept of online learning. The misperception about the online courses is that they are not at par with their traditional class rooms and only part time, distance or correspondence courses can be taken.

However the truth is Outcome of any learning program, whether in-person or online is mainly based on factors like; environment, contents, delivery, methodology, understanding and participation. I would suggest that quality and effectiveness of learning are not tied to “mode” of instruction.Ondelivery side of any learning program, effectiveness depends upon relevance and qualityof contents we have. Effectiveness of a learning program also depends on kind of methodology we use to deliver and learning environment we provide to learners. Ultimate success of any learning program depends upon Learners’ active participation and their abilities to understand the contents they receive. As per relevance and quality of contents needed for a learning program, it is illogical to grade any online course inferior to its conventional alternatives. Also the methodology used for an online course isno way different from the conventional learning except the mode of communication. Likewise extent of participation, abilities and skills of participants in online learning program have same role as have in any other conventional mode of learning.

Like any other education system, online education system does have certain advantages and disadvantages. Cost effectiveness, efficient utilization of time, diversity of concepts, flexible learning environment,diverse group interactions and choice of programs are the main advantages of online education system. Lack of in person interactions and relationships are the only main disadvantages of online education system.Adverse outcomes of the flexible learning environment also add towards the disadvantages of online education learning. Assuming sincerity, passion, dedications and right intentions of a learner, online education system is a right way and healthy option to seek and spread knowledge.

So let we make our minds to explore this healthy option to learn and enrich ourselves with more knowledge.

The author is Head of department (Islamic finance) at Islamic online university ( *