According to a report published by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2008, nearly one in five college students experienced some sort of Web-based instruction. That’s a lot of students learning online! And, considering that college is no longer limited to advantaged 18- to 22-year-olds, that means a lot of those online students may be older and less familiar with the tools that come with the territory. That’s why we’ve written this book — for the many learners who find themselves in school, online, and confused.
The ups and downs of the global economy have sent more learners back to school to retool or add credentials to their resume. However, balancing work, family, civic commitments, and school is an arduous task at best. Online education allows learners to address their professional development needs at a time and in a manner that may be more flexible with their lifestyles. This may be part of the reason that online enrollments have mushroomed over the past few years.
Five years ago when we tried to explain to people that we taught college courses online, we were met with, “How does that work?” Today, we hear stories of family members or colleagues taking courses online, but many questions still remain. There’s a bit of controversy, too, in that students may not have a choice but to take a course online, and too often they are left to flounder with inadequate guidance from advisors and faculty.
Regardless of age or experience, students who know what they want and are willing to work hard are the ultimate winners in the world of education. Online Education For Dummies helps students become winners in the online classroom by explaining just how it works. We take you from the decisionmaking process of determining whether this venue is right for you, through applying and enrolling, to the skills you need to succeed.