Online learning, a type of disruptive innovation

Online learning is a type of disruptive innovation.
Online learning is a type of disruptive innovation.

State budget cuts are forcing many legislatures to re-evaluate their approach to education and the pitfalls of the current teaching process, according to the Deseret News. In the current "batch system," instructors move on from topics and concepts regardless of whether all students have mastered them. As a result, many may be left behind.

Online learning may prove an effective alternative to traditional methods, as it helps students with varied learning needs. Moreover, it is considered a type of disruptive innovation, or a change that causes positive transformation in a sector, the news source reports.

Web-based platforms personalize and customize classes for individual students. The Deseret News notes that they "modularize" the learning process. Students progress at their own pace, along individuated paths.

Many states, like Utah, have embraced this completely student-centric model. According to the paper, the state has used online platforms to deliver education in areas where there is no other learning outlet.

Out of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide, nearly 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2009, according to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning.