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Institutions in the US and online education  

Know about how American institutions have dealt with the pandemic 

While the entire world has gone online, universities and colleges across the globe have also stepped up to help international students access the same quality education as on a physical campus, and so online delivery of education has become more prominent than ever. 

Thanks to the rising digital literacy, distance learning education programs have become far more accessible in today’s age. Elite international educational institutions around the world now offer open courseware, online degrees, and online classes that are both legitimising and popularising the idea of education from a computer.

Did You Know?

In 1953, the University of Houston made history when it began offering the first televised college classes on KUHT (today called HoustonPBS) – which was the first public television station in the United States. This was a major step towards distance education in those years.

Hybrid learning in US universities 

To enable international students still be able to attend lectures and build their careers, most US institutions have adopted the hybrid learning model, wherein students can commence their first semester/term online and attend classes on-campus when the travel restrictions are lifted by the governments of their host and parent country. You can say that this hybrid model is basically a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. 

Asynchronous learning environments are described as online spaces where work is supported through the use of digital platforms in a manner that participants are not required to be online at the same time. This gives meaning to the anywhere- anytime aspect of online learning. Whereas synchronous environments closely resemble face-to-face learning. For instance, the University of Arizona (Global campus) has maintained uniformity of syllabus across online and in-person classes and students can gain direct entry into the main campus once travel bans are lifted. Currently, the university’s online portfolio includes 32 undergraduate majors, along with 31 graduate-level majors, 32 graduate certificates and 9 doctoral degree programs.

Similarly, the University of North Texas is one of the largest providers of online credit courses among Texas public universities. It’s online course portfolio includes more than 80 online program options - including Bachelor's, Master's, and doctoral degrees and undergraduate and graduate certificates.

companies grow during covid-19

Why online education is worth it?

According to the Research Institute of America, on an average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is because students are able to learn faster online as e-learning requires 40 to 60% lesser time to learn than otherwise in a traditional classroom setting. Students can learn at their own pace, go back and revise through various concepts at will. The touchpoint between the students and faculty is much on the higher side where faculties are organising communication into pre-class, active class, and post-class phases and help students to identify a list of communication modes (email, announcements, discussion board posts, etc.). With such planning communication in an online course, faculty and students benefit with increased instructor-student engagement that can lead to increased learning.

Although 2020 took an unexpected turn but with institutions offering multi-dimensional online learning opportunities to reduce the density of students on-campus, deliver high-quality courses, and fulfil students’ experiential needs, we can say it is the creation of new college traditions in the new normal.  

It is the right time to enrol for a US degree. Here’s why!

  • If you are going for a two-year program, you would graduate at a time when the economy is in its post-recession revival mode. This means, recruitment would be in full swing by the time you graduate in 2022 or undergrad by 2024
  • High performing companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ have stepped up recruitment even during these uncertain times. Given how they’ve optimised the pandemic, the opportunities will only continue to grow
  • This is the perfect time to upskill and build a stronger portfolio along with your degree to be job market-ready in the next two years
  • With everything online, this gives you a great opportunity to be digitally mature and learn the new ways of working

If you have any queries or doubts about studying in the US, we have a team of experienced international educational experts ready to guide you. Connect with via our virtual offices and avail free study abroad counselling.  

Updated on September 11, 2020

Stay updated

Watch these interesting and informative videos to know how top American universities are adopting online mediums to deliver quality education to its international students.

Read more articles by our US experts

What is accreditation and how does it impact you

Financing your studies in the US

How to write an essay for MBA


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Dipannita Biswas

Dipannita is a part of IDP Education’s US client relations team at the South Asia headquarters in Gurgaon. In her current capacity, she’s responsible for ensuring that all IDP students and counsellors are up-to-date with policies, requirements and any process changes related to the US. She ensures that all our counsellors are well equipped with university trainings, application processes, admission requirements.

She has been associated with the education industry for over 10 years and spent a major part of her career in guiding students to pursue their dream of international education in the US. Dipannita has also delivered seminars on different aspects of studying in the US at various platforms including social media and many other events.



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