Whether you’ve tried it out or have never heard of it, one thing’s certain: online learning is here to stay. Online learning or E-learning is the use of electronic media and info/communication technology in education. Traditionally this has been used in companies and business to train their employees and has been ongoing for the past decade. In 2011, 77% of American corporations were using online/E-learning technology to train their employees. In 1995, this number was only 4%. It’s not surprising that more and more companies are utilizing online learning when a study by IBM shows that every $1 spent in e-learning has the potential to return $30 in increased profitability by increasing their productivity by 50% with a newly skilled and more agile workforce. E-learning cuts traditional training costs by 50% and instruction time by 60%, making online learning a valuable resource. However, this asset isn’t limited to businesses. More and more students and adult learners are seeing the value in taking online college courses through e-learning.
In 2012 there were 4.6 million college students taking at least one of their classes online. Throughout 2014, this number is expected to increase to 18.6 million. By 2019, it’s estimated that half of all classes will be online. The reasons for the dramatic increase become apparent when we look at the major benefits. These include increased efficiency, lower cost, and increased knowledge.
- Efficiency – Online learning classes are completed 25-60% faster than classroom training on the same subjects.
- Savings – It’s estimated that 85% of every dollar spent on classroom learning is spent on the delivery of it (instructors, physical classrooms, materials). By connecting learners with material through virtual environments and digital approaches, these convert to large savings for students, often hundreds or thousands of dollars less for the same courses in a traditional environment.
- Increased Knowledge – e-learning and online approaches to classes have proven to increase knowledge retention by 25-60%. By presenting information via visual and verbal channels, removing non-essential distractive content, and giving the learner control of the pace and amount of information they learn at one time, online learning has proven to reduce the cognitive load in e-learning. This allows the learner to retain more information.
One of the more surprising statistics is the demographic of the average online learner. These are adult students with an average age of 34 years old, with 82% being undergraduates. 81% of learners are currently employed. It’s easy to understand why this group is perfect for online classes. These are busy working adults that are trying to balance their education with their career, family, and life responsibilities and online learning provides the flexibility they need. To further save on time and money spent on education expenses, adult learners can take utilize testing out of college courses with credit-by-exam programs. The basis of credit-by-examination is the idea of awarding transferable college credit by examination. Students demonstrate an understanding of a subject matter by passing one standardized exam per subject and receive the full accredited credit for that exam. Over 3,800 colleges and universities across the country accept transfer credit from these exams, providing distance learners and even more flexible route to their degree and education goals.
One of the leaders of college-by-exam is DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests). DSST offers an extensive series of 38 exams in college subject areas that are similar to the final exam given in undergraduate courses. These exams are frequently used in conjunction with CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests by students pursuing college degrees in non-traditional formats. Whereas CLEP tests are almost exclusively used for lower level credit at regionally accredited institutions, DSST's are available for both upper and lower level credit. These subject areas include Social Sciences, Math, Applied Technology, Business, Physical Sciences and Humanities.
There are numerous ways to prepare for these exams and begin testing out. Of course, the best way to prepare for DSST exams is with study and prep material from DSST. The DSST Official Test Preparation Guide was created for students to include the Top 10 Subject Titles that students are most interested in testing out of. The Official Test Preparation Guide includes sample test questions, study resources, exam content outlines, and reviews of the subjects. These top 10 subjects include:
Introduction to World Religions
Here’s to Your Health
Principles of Statistics
Management Information Systems
Ethics in America
Principles of Supervision
Introduction to Business
Principles of Finance
To learn more about DSST and the Official Test Preparation Guide, visit www.collegetestprepguide.com.