The system of linking students, teachers and learning resources when they are not in the same location is called "distance learning". Earlier, distance learning made effective use of communication technologies like the postal service, and then television programs. However, a huge shift occurred after the advent of the Internet and "online education" was born. This transformed not only the methods of education but also the development and propagation of knowledge and communications between students and teachers. But how did all this effect older women? Technology gifted new opportunities for many older women to achieve educational goals and they successfully managed to balance home and education.
Universities now form partnerships with businesses and even each other to compete better, in a greatly expanded worldwide market for students. The growth of online education can be attributed primarily to these reasons –
• You get to choose the class hours according to your discretion.
• Instead of a typical classroom environment, you get to learn in the comfort of your home.
• Since the actual sessions are never crowded, more attention is focused on you.
• Zero delivery cost. Also you get to choose a class which fits your personal style and budget.
• Since there is to-and-fro involved, you save a lot of time.
According to a survey, more than 2 million students enrolled in online education courses in 2002 alone. If a recent US government document is to be believed, the average age of online students is 34 years old and they are mostly female.
So why do older women pursue continuing education? According to a survey, the main imputuses of women for returning to education are –
• Expansion of their current career
• Enhancement of current salary
• Changing or beginning careers
• Returning to staff position
• Pursuing personal advantages
Among the women surveyed, 20% belonged to the age group of 41 – 50.
The top online colleges offering scholarships in America are –
(i) Liberty University
(ii) Post University
(iii) Kaplan University
(iv) DeVry University
(v) American Inter Continental University
(vi) Grand Canyon University.
The number of older women currently working to complete courses and degrees online represents a social wonder. Awareness of women's problems and measures to help overcome the tribulations are required to raise the success of both older women and online programs.
Although women are the main users, they are grossly underrepresented in high-tech sectors and among university administrators who are currently influential to online learning. Many adult women returning to college classes have to tackle significant hurdles not usually experienced by men. Many women balance career, community and household tasks against their curricular work. They often have serious economic liabilities too. Customarily, they have grappled with these difficulties while while facing inflexible class schedules and educational policies, incompetent childcare, lack of appropriate lodging, and lack of dependable transport. Online education seeks to solve all this and more.