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  • Online Learning is On the Rise - The Benefits Prove It's Here to Stay


    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

      Criminal Justice

      Personal Finance

      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.




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  • Distance Learning for Nurses

    There’s a nursing shortage in America – and your hospital will start losing if you’re not prepared. Studies show that educational benefits are a major component in the recruitment and retention of great nurses. iStudySmart.com has the key to maximizing your potential in this tight labor market. We can help your nurses obtain a degree through distance learning or fast track their degree at local college campus.  How? Over 3,800 colleges allow students to by pass the classroom and test out of college courses using CLEP (College Level Examination Program), DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Exam) and ECE (Exceslior College Exam) exams.

    1. Reduce Your Education Budget
      Because we can offer courses online and offline, we’re able to pass along cost savings that will expand your educational options and stretch your benefits dollar.
    2. Solve Scheduling Problems
      iStudySmart.com gives the student the power to control the schedule and pace of studying. No scheduling problems, no missed work.
    3. Attract and Retain Employees
      iStudySmart.com offers RN and BSN courses that have helped thousands of nurses working toward their degrees and improved the quality of care at hundreds of hospitals. Attract nurses when they’re in short supply – and keep the ones you’ve got.
    4. Custom Solutions
      We’re so convinced that iStudySmart.com will benefit your hospital that we’ll design a custom solution just for your business. We’ll conduct a free on-site seminar for your employees and help you make the most of their education.

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  • Why do more than 70 million adults want to head back to school?

    A recent study of adult Americans regarding continuing education found this:

    Nine out of 10 (89%) said the benefits of higher education are equal to or greater than the time, money, and energy invested.

    That is impressive considering the rising costs of education.

    "One of the big surprises was the mix of reasons why people thought it would be beneficial to get more education," said Lyungai Mbilinyi, PhD, author of the study report. "Although 71 percent did think additional education would help them earn more, several intangibles were rated even higher. Eighty-one percent associated higher education with a personal sense of accomplishment and 78 percent believed education would help them better develop their talents or pursue their interests."

    What is the greatest barrier to pursuing higher education? Time management. More than 73 percent of those surveyed rated time management as an issue of concern. The need for flexibility in managing schedules may be the impetus for the increase in non-traditional enrollments. The National Center for Education Statistics says that online education is growing at a rate that is 10 time faster than that of traditional postsecondary options.

    An additional concern is how to pay for college. While many colleges do a good job of helping high school students find resources for financial aid, the options for adults is not so obvious. Many do not realize that some of the same resources available to high school students are also available to them. Many working adults may also have access to tuition reimbursement through their jobs, an option few high school students have.

    Eighty-four percent of higher education enrollments are non-traditional students, such as working adults and students enrolled in distance learning. Despite whatever barriers may have existed for these working adults, more than half surveyed said they wish they had done it sooner. The overwhelming majority believe the resulting benefits have made the struggle worthwhile.

    This study was conducted for Capella University by the independent research firm TNS NFO and may be found at www.degreesofopportunity

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