Indians of contemporary times like to believe that they have a modern outlook towards life, particularly youngsters who are sharp to term adults as old-fashioned and orthodox. I, as a member of the current generation would also like to believe that I
have a progressive attitude. However, be it adults or youngsters, there's one fact which is undeniable, which is, that we all continue to be traditional in one aspect of life or the other and not necessarily in a prejudiced way. Because sometimes, in this fast-paced life, it is important to hold on to century long continuing traditional values.
One such aspect in which we still continue to be traditional is in matters of education. Institutionalized learning continues to top our priority list and stand-alone online learning modules are looked down upon by us. Only when online tools are used to supplement the normal learning process that majority of us approve of it. The majority believes that students pursuing an online degree are buying a degree or are simply not smart enough for ‘traditional’ education. Clearly, online learning continues to be surrounded by myths and carries a stigma in the Indian society.
However, online courses aren't as redundant as one might think. Moreover, it is important for us, keeping the growing population and space crunch in mind, to break the myths associated with online learning and look at them from a fresh perspective.
One of the most important stereotypes regarding online courses is that it is for those, who can't cut it in real academia. While this may be partially true in the present scenario, this is not always the case either. In fact, online education is just as good, if not better than traditional education and becomes all the more useful for those, who're employed, and would still want to enhance their qualifications while working. Though it is true that such a course can take less time as compared to a traditional degree, there's no compromise on the level of hard work. Some of the other commonly associated beliefs about students who've been trained through online education includes the myth that online learners are slackers, who are too lazy to attend college. Also, they are scared of social interactions, which is why they prefer to pursue an online degree.
It is disappointing that despite our claims of being progressive, we tend to fall into such regressive stereotypes. But the community is not at fault either. For a community in which the World Wide Web and Internet connection is yet to reach every household, till the grass root level of the country, this acceptance of the integration of advent of online modes of education as equivalent to the traditional modes will be a slow process. The best we can do is try and keep our minds open to such flourishing options and not dismiss them entirely.