Nowadays, when the largest and most famous universities and colleges of higher education have adopted online education it is evident that networked learning brings many benefits in the area of higher education.
It encompasses a variety of technologies and ways of using them, thereby creating more opportunities for a wider group. It complements conventional teaching and can provide various resources that may not be available in a traditional classroom environment. Networked learning has widened the reach of education by nullifying the relevance of cultural barriers and geographical boundaries. The ever increasing demand for specialized higher courses offered by different universities vouches for the popularity of networked learning. Furthermore, it affords unmatched interactivity amongst learners, tutors and online resources. This promotes social interaction and generates new opportunities for them to work together in groups. Networked learning makes learning relationships more democratic, and there is more flexibility to the learner in terms of time and place.
Because anyone can access the resources from anywhere in the world, it promotes higher education even in under-developed or developing countries. Thus a person in a remote location, where there are no facilities for quality education, can avail the resources provided by a university in a large city.
Any advantage of networked learning will serve its purpose only when supportive teaching accompanies it. Otherwise, it may pose some challenges. Due to the absence of personal interaction, it leaves less scope for spontaneous expression of ideas. Similarly, there is a feeling that because of flexibility and lack of supervisionFeature Articles, learners may not adhere to time schedule as opposed to a conventional classroom where students have to follow strict rules of attendance. This may not be true in the case of students pursuing higher degrees because they will be more responsible and motivated in accomplishing their objectives.