All of us at Science Interactive strongly believe in the value of online classes: more and more students are searching for online options every year, and we simply seek to make online science classes engaging and more approachable for the average student.
But there’s still a small societal stigma against online education, and a lot of students and instructors have concerns that their education might have same quality or rigor. While many agree that online courses can be less expensive than traditional options, some believe that students might miss out on critical experiences that they might get through an in-person education.
Despite that, enrollment at brick-and-mortar institutions has been dropping since 2020 and enrollment in online schools has nearly doubled. This trend has continued post-pandemic. Clearly, these students believe that there is a higher return on their investment—or ROI—by attending online classes. But why?
1 – Flexibility
An online education allows for a dynamic schedule where students take charge of their own education and pursue other opportunities while still working hard towards their degrees. When you study online, you have the extra time to take a job to pay the bills—something many students are worried about in this modern economy. Some universities even partner with employers to offer discounted education opportunities!
This is beneficial for instructors, too, who have more time to grade, research, or interact with their students without needing to worry about dedicated lectures.
2 – Quality of Education
In the past, an online education had to sacrifice hands-on experiences and face-to-face interactions with instructors (and networking opportunities) for a lower cost. Nowadays, that gap in quality is rapidly shrinking.
This includes STEM, which has historically been shaky about adopting an online education. While math might be easy to adopt online as proven by various innovators like Pearson, many of the sciences rely heavily on labs to teach, and a chemistry degree from an online institution might not have held the same gravitas as one that provided that kinesthetic experience.
However, we here at Science Interactive have spent 30 years proving that even at-home students can get that quality lab time to further their education. Hands on experiences are no longer exclusive to brick-and-mortar institutions!
3 – Cost
One of the main draws towards an online education is the low overhead cost. For students, in many cases, fees are cut in half compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar education: not paying for room and board means students need only cover the cost of tuition and materials. Considering the rising costs of higher education and cost of living increases around the country, many students find this attractive.
Ultimately this becomes less expensive for schools as well. When adopting an online curriculum, many schools might seek to keep the benefits of kinesthetic learning—but lab equipment and logistics are expensive. Science Interactive has worked hard to ensure that we have stable supply chains and an affordable cost: schools can now save on lab space and overhead costs while we handle the rest!
There is an undeniable momentum towards online education, and we here at Science Interactive are proud to be a leader of this movement. Low costs drive students towards online education, and we are here to ensure students get the same experience as their on-campus peers.
Education is expensive, and students are trying to be savvy with their futures by saving on tuition costs. Online education is affordable, approachable, and does not change the student experience or their success both in the classroom and after graduation. We here at Science Interactive are proud to support this innovative new way to pursue an education!