Why Hasn’t Online Learning Made Higher Education More Affordable?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Online learning provides various benefits to students, including the ability to save time and money. Although students really can save costs for transportation, housing, and physical books, the tuition fee for online education does not differ from the traditional courses significantly, unlike the price they pay for essay writing to some service like EssayShark – the pricing at these services is quite customer-friendly. The expenses that are included in the fee should be observed to make the students understand why higher education institutions charge the same money for online learning as for campus-based education.

  1. Computer hardware and software costs.

Although online education saves money for housing, books, and maintenance of buildings, it still requires the use of materials and specific equipment. More modern computers might be needed to guarantee that they can cope with the increased load. The internal memory of the computers is also important because the courses should contain multiple forms of information and different functions.

  1. Teaching the faculty to work with online programs and students’ costs.

This non-traditional form of education requires specific attention because it is different from the conventional method of interaction with students. Mainly, the instructors of online education should know how to use new technology to establish a network connection with online students. The specific instructions should be created to guarantee that the teachers new to the technology adapt to the new form of communicating with the learners. They should also be informed about the methods of monitoring the progress of students, grading them online, and sharing the materials with them.

  1. Faculty salaries.

Although online learning is distant and more flexible in time, it still needs people that instruct the students, monitor their progress, and evaluate their advancement. The teachers still need payment because they spend the same amount of time on work with the online students as with the traditional learners. The instructors have to respond to the questions of students, choose and provide necessary materials, monitor the process of completion of the projects, grade assignments, and present tests. It means that they have to spend their working hours on these tasks and have to be paid.

  1. Technology fee.

This form of payment includes the price of access to the systems that are responsible for the ability of students to study online. All the digital materials and programs are created with the application of technology, which needs programming outsourcing and additional funding. Certain people have to work to create an online program, which signifies that someone has to pay for it. The universities have to cover the costs they spend on these courses. Ashford University is one of the examples of schools that charge the additional technology fee. It explains that this payment allows accessing the online classes.

  1. Payments for maintenance and technology improvements.

Online programs require permanent maintenance and care. Although students and faculty members may believe that online classes need no improvements and intervention after their launching, the truth is that online courses need attention and investment. It is connected with the necessity to update the services and information. The new functions and adjustments play an essential role in the value and quality of the courses. Therefore, program administrators present this additional payment as a significant element of online education.

  1. Content changes expenses.

Not only the technology improvements are necessary. The alterations of the material presented online are also important. When an instructor has to change the content of the lecture, add some new information, or modify the sequence of lectures in the conventional form of teaching, this process requires only the resources of the professor. However, in the case of online learning, the involvement of the additional staff is necessary because the teacher has to work with the technology. It means that not only the intellectual work of the professor should be remunerated but also the efforts of all the additional staff.

  1. Costs of recording the videos.

Although the class lectures can be used for the purpose of recording the information for the online students, the process of recording still requires additional investment. Mainly, the specific equipment is needed to record the lecture of good quality. Then, it is necessary to edit the material, which requires the use of the equipment and the professionalism of the people that have to edit the videos. In addition, facilities and people are needed to upload the materials and manage them during all the process of providing the services.

  1. The adaptation of courses fee.

The process of making online education interactive requires the professional intervention of specialists in different fields. Mainly, the team of designers is needed for the Indiana University Bloomington online courses that provide the chance to make the students interact with each other during the group work online. Such functions as the specific web-pages, forums, chats, navigation structure of the website, and editing are necessary to guarantee the successful interaction between all the members of the group during the session.

Thus, the observation of all the additional hidden costs that students do not usually consider provides the chance to understand why online education costs the same sums of money as traditional learning. The students have to choose whether the other benefits of online courses outweigh the characteristics of campus-based learning to define what method of learning to choose.

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