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More Options for Learning Online



From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report. American colleges are facing many problems. College costs are rising and there are not enough jobs for the people who have finished study programs. But employers say they cannot find enough workers with technical skills. Now, online classes might offer solutions. Many top universities offer online classes.

Students can often take these classes at little or no cost. Lynda.com is one website with online classes. Lynda Weinman helped to launch the website. She says that colleges cannot teach technical skills easily because these skills change quickly. But it is easy for websites with online classes to keep up with new technology.

Online classes offer different ways to learn. At most colleges, a professor gives a lecture, and the students research and study alone. Students who take online classes listen to lectures at home. But they work with their professor on projects and homework. Experts say the growing number of online classes will have a major effect on colleges. Some say college classes in the future may be a mix of online lectures and professors helping students in person.

Georgetown University labor economist Tony Carnevale says he would welcome these changes. He says a college education must lead to skills that employers need. He also notes that the college system needs to become more efficient. Chris Cullen is a college marketing expert. He says competition from online schools and concerns about costs will change universities. He says top universities with strong public images may expand in an online world. But less famous schools may struggle to interest students.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.