Choosing Online Learning
Choosing to go to school for an online education is a personal choice. Weighing the decision involves learning the benefits and the drawbacks of the online learning environment. Here we cover the benefits of online learning to the student in his or her personal and professional life.
Top 10 Benefits to the Student in Online Learning
1. Flexibility- learning online can give flexibility to the non-traditional student, professional student or the rural student, caused by saved travel time. Students will not need to plan for rush hour traffic. Also, harsh travel conditions call for students who go to a traditional class to prepare for extra travel time. Learning online saves valuable time and allows more flexibility in the learner’s life.
2. Diversity- students learn alongside people from all over the country and even world. This diversity causes the student to see different views, broadening their experience. This will teach students to speak better in their professional lives.
3. Technology- Student confidence will grow when he or she has better computer skill. Online students will also bring this knowledge to the work environment.
4. Deadlines- students must meet deadlines for reading, writing, and meeting online at set times. Meeting a deadline will be vital to work place success.
5. Support- students in an online learning environment share the experience and critique one another. Critique is meant to help; hence, students get more peer-guidance than in a traditional course.
6. Professional Growth- professional students will see the value of their education at work and motivated to continue. Transfer of learning from the classroom to work life will improve the student’s understanding of the subject matter and set him or her apart among other professionals.
7. Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Skills- Working in an online course will cause a student to read and respond critically and articulate well and intelligibly. This is a great benefit to a future employer. Employees who speak well with other professionals form strong relations and respect in the work place.
8. Prioritizing- Students in online learning create a balance of other daily life activities. They must learn to arrange time as there are deadlines to meet. Coordinating activities and prioritizing tasks are vital skills in the professional environment.
9. Choice- This will give the online learner the freedom to decide when and where learning is right for him or her. The student can decide if he or she is a morning person or night owl. Students have the choice to decide if they like to study in a quiet room or where the family is.
10. Discipline- Students in an online learning environment will learn to take responsibility for their learning. They will learn to follow written directions, think and reply critically, and research online, all of which will improve professional abilities.
From Challenges to Benefits
In researching whether to go for an online education or not, one will become well aware that there are some problems to face when studying in an online environment. More research needs to be conducted so the schools offering online programs can improve the learning experience.
Also, online learning is not for everyone. Some students are incapable of handling the time restraints to meet the deadlines, finishing the independent work in the course, or overcoming the lack of face-to-face instruction and feedback. Yet, these challenges can be the same benefits of online learning if they cause the learner to grow personally and professionally.