The future is online. In today’s wired global economy, it’s hard to imagine our lives without online booking gateways, e-commerce, web-based gaming apps, or music and movie streaming platforms. Over the last decade, businesses across multiple industries have moved their services to the digital realm, proving that the brick-and-mortar location of a company is no longer important.
In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, higher educational institutions were among those that had to swiftly move from the physical to the digital to suit the new reality. However, the universities that have long ago set their course for online transition appeared to be better prepared for the emerging challenges. We’ve collected five best schools from around the globe that have already made digital education one of their top priorities.
1. Arizona State University, USA
ASU is consistently ranked among the ten best distance learning providers in the U.S. With over 300 degree and certificate programs, it offers one of the largest selections of online courses in the country. Undergraduate students can choose from around 120 bachelor’s degree programs in the arts, engineering, sciences, education, sustainability, design, and public services. ASU Online also features a variety of business majors, which are among the top-rated choices of online degree seekers. Some other popular picks include psychology, liberal studies, nursing, organizational leadership, management, and marketing.
Online students follow the same accredited curriculum and can enjoy the same student support services as their on-campus peers, including 24/7 counseling, career center, time management coaching, and access to ASU libraries and research databases. Distance learners also receive instructions from the same top-tier lecturers who teach on site. The school can boast having world-class academic personnel, comprising 5 MacArthur fellows, 5 Nobel Prize laureates, 7 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 56 faculty elections to National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
2. University of Florida, USA
The University of Florida is one of the U.S. most forward-thinking research institutions. Throughout its history, the school was able to create a learning environment that is rich in depth and variety. Online students are encouraged to take advantage of the research opportunities to enhance their academic experience. They can start their own project in partnership with a faculty member who works in the same area or explore the existing research options available on campus. They can even find the R&D program outside the UF and participate in scientific study anywhere in the world.
The research-infused online programs that can lead to in-demand careers include telecommunication, microbiology and cell science, and environmental management. UF Online platform features 24 undergraduate majors and nearly 500 different courses. In addition to academic materials, distance students also get access to library resources, an online management system, and career opportunity services, such as resume critique and job interview preparation.
3. University of Edinburgh, UK
One of the UK’s leading higher education providers, The University of Edinburgh, made it to the top 30 universities in global league tables. The university has gained world-class recognition for its teaching quality, innovations, and research excellence. It has links with 19 Nobel Prize laureates, including physicists Peter Higgs and Max Born, a discoverer of the antibiotic penicillin Sir Alexander Fleming, and a pioneer of in vitro fertilization Robert Edwards.
The University of Edinburgh started treading its path to digital education back in 2005, by launching an M.Sc. program in Pain Management. Over the past 15 years, it has developed the largest portfolio of online postgraduate programs in the country, covering over 70 different fields of study, such as global e-health, neuroimaging, food safety, and international commercial law.
The university offers a highly participative e-learning environment. It stimulates students to express their opinions and ideas through debates, which take place on virtual discussion boards moderated by faculty members. As well as promoting collaboration with their peers, the online platform also enables learners to communicate with their professors and review the academic progress during the sessions with their personal tutor.
4. Colorado State University, USA
CSU’s online degree offerings include 12 different undergraduate programs in agricultural business, computer sciences, natural resources tourism, anthropology, horticulture, and human development. There are also 38 online master’s degree opportunities, some of which, like conducting, music therapy, and educational sciences, combine virtual classes with summer residency on school grounds.
Learning content at CSU Online is a well-balanced blend of recorded lectures from on-campus classes, podcasts, narrated presentations, as well as articles and journals from online sources. Students also get to participate in live sessions and discussion forums where they can interact with their instructors and/or fellow learners in person.
CSU is among several higher educational institutions in the US that implement alternative forms of assessments as the means to evaluate students’ progress and acquired skills. Those measures include portfolios, concept maps, infographics, reflective journals, and poster sessions. They are used in combination with more conventional assessments like tests, quizzes, project work, and video, audio, or written assignments. As the diversity of the tasks in such a format may be overwhelming, you might need some help from an experienced writer from domyessay to complete all your coursework on time.
5. Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands
Another front-line research entry, Wageningen University, is featured among the top 100 best universities in the world. It is the only higher educational institution in the Netherlands to focus on healthy food and the living environment. The university regularly organizes training and courses in this domain for professionals from government, businesses, and nonprofit sectors.
The WUR’s online offerings mainly relate to postgraduate learning and enhancement of professional skills. The university is partnering with the edX platform to deliver 40 online courses in such areas as nutrition, smart agriculture, circular economy, biobased production, sustainable tourism, and urban development. Over the 5 years’ time, 1 million edX users have participated in the MOOCs of Wageningen University & Research. The university also offers several distance learning programs for professionals — from MicroMasters course bundles to fully recognized online master’s degrees.
- How to Improve Your Professional Skills with Online Courses
- 4 Can’t-Miss Industries for The Careers of Tomorrow
- Top Online Real Estate Schools in Oregon
- 6 Best Free Online Courses for Entrepreneurs
- How to Choose the Best Platform for Your Online Course