Online education is rapidly growing in this country. People are mixing online and traditional courses, earning their degrees entirely online, and taking part in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Here are just a few of the benefits an online education can offer.
Many Different Class Formats Available
Online classes are offered in as many different formats as there are subjects available to learn. Some online courses come from virtual schools that offer curricular software programs in different subjects. In others, the course instructor lectures to thousands of students at one time. Still other courses require online discussions with the teacher and in small groups.
Take Classes in Your Own Time
Many types of online courses can accommodate your schedule. Instead of arriving at a physical classroom every day at the same time for class, online classes allow students to study and learn according to their own schedules. If you’re taking classes at home, you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas to get to class. At the same time, if you have no form of transportation to and from class, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to find a way to the classroom. Your classroom is wherever you choose to learn.
Although online courses themselves may not cost less than traditional classroom courses, online education can reduce costs in other ways. Online courses eliminate the need for gas and parking. Many online courses offer lectures and reading materials for free online, meaning students sometimes do not have to purchase expensive books and course packs. Finally, the flexible scheduling of online courses means you won’t have to rearrange your work schedule and potentially lose hours of work in order to attend a class.
It’s Just as Challenging as the Traditional Classroom
Bad news for the slackers: an online course does not mean course you can blow off. Online courses require just as much work as traditional classroom courses. In fact, many online courses actually require more reading than classes taught in the traditional classrooms because an instructor’s lecture may be delivered via readings instead of spoken lectures.
You Get to Motivate Yourself to Learn
In an online setting, you have to be your own motivator. Don’t let the online aspect help you hide, though. You still can and must ask your professor for help and feedback, participate in discussions, and pull your weight in group activities.
Quick Homework and Test Feedback
With some types of homework assignments, tests, and other types of assessments, you don’t have to wait a week for the teacher to grade and return them. You complete online assignments, which are then scored immediately. You know right away how you did.
Use Formats, Platforms, and Programs You Already Know
Many online courses integrate social media into the education process, so you may end up tweeting, pinning, blogging, podcasting, and participating in discussion boards for your class, instead of as a means of procrastinating.
A Free Ivy League Education
Now that top-notch universities such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley are offering a number of free and open-access courses, learning any subject from Shakespeare to quantum mechanics has never been easier. When was the last time you could take an Ivy League college class for free?
Online courses are changing the way we view education. It may be that in the next few years we will see a growing wave of students with an online-only education graduating and entering the work force. Time will tell if this will be good news or bad.
This article was contributed by Mike Gordon, graduate student, aspiring entrepreneur, and early tech adopter. Mike recommends CNAClasses-Online.net if you are searching for convenient ways to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).