Science has swept the different fields of study and it included education. It has its workings at improving the technology, science, and virtual reality that can be incorporated into every class to make it as globally competitive as possible. According to McPherson and Schapiro (2002), college attendance has reached its highest levels in decades and individuals and nations are looking to increase their investments in higher education. In a recent survey conducted by Kim and Bonk (2002) of higher education in the United States, results revealed that more than 2. 35 million students were enrolled in online courses in the fall of 2004.
This number shows the increasing attention and importance given by higher education institutions, and the students as well, to online education. This gives the higher education institutions a chance to increase their enrollment levels and university profits by offering more courses online without hiring additional full-time faculty or building classrooms and parking garages. For the students, they benefit from these online programs because of its accessibility and convenience (Borgeson, 2001; Baxter 2001).
With this, it has also become an important factor for the higher academic institutions to continually improve or enhance the quality of online education. Artists have been a part of the workforce for hundreds of years (Shusterman 2007). However, during the past decade, artists have altered industry and public perceptions in regard to the use of technology (Shusterman 2007). Blumenthal (2007) reported that public and industry perceptions changed in the late 1990s when the demand for creative workers became important due to the Internet expansion.
In addition to this, Florida (2002) predicted that the need for creativity and technology in a wide area of work related fields will become necessary for economic growth. According to Borgeson (2001) and Baxter (2001), online learning becomes advantageous for artists who want to pursue their educational achievements a step further. There is the convenience of being able to work at home, flexibility in working, and desired working environment, among others. Borgeson (2001) believed that the ability of online programs to combine the classroom setting with individual tutoring makes it a favourable place of learning.
With the benefits provided by online learning, more and more adults are joining the virtual classrooms to be able to continue learning. Pallof and Pratt (2003) predicted that technology will continue to play a vital role in teaching and learning in higher education. Online education will need to continually improve in order to meet the needs of adult learners, which means that higher education must continuously explore how best to deliver knowledge beyond duplicating the traditional classroom setting.
Moore and Kearsley (2005) emphasized that online education programs and software programs must be understood as well as the effects these have upon the student population. Identifying how these new virtual environments influence learning could have a strong impact on how well students perform. O’Neil (2006) predicted that because of the increase in adult student mobility and the growing exchange of knowledge across the nations, higher education institutions should strive to meet the educational needs of all adult students across the world. In order to meet these needs, he believes one has to understand what motivates adults to learn.