Online college courses have distinct advantages over brick-and-mortar, traditional college courses. Some online college courses require that you visit the school to take tests and complete other course requirements. Online components to courses that are part of a regular course of study also may require you to interact in person with students from your class. Online courses provide convenience and flexibility, despite the emphasis on technology with the need to have a stable Internet connection and necessary hardware.
The convenience to create your own schedule and better manage your personal, work and school life provide a substantial benefit if you have a busy lifestyle. Online courses rarely have set times where you have to attend class. Many tests and quizzes are still timed, but the timer begins the moment you start the test. This means you can begin taking a test at 11 p.m. after you've put the kids to bed or finished a proposal for work if necessary.
Online courses can save you money over traditional courses. While the tuition generally stays the same whether you take classes online or in person, you can save a significant amount of money by avoiding transportation costs and textbooks if the online courses are self-contained. Students that take online courses at reputable universities also have access to federal funding to help pay for school. Aid may come in the form of grants and subsidized or unsubsidized loans. While these types of aid are available for traditional courses as well, the flexibility to keep a job while going to school may reduce your overall debt.
Keeping a regular work schedule while participating in online courses provides a sort of stability that allows you to continue to advance your career. Business trips and long meetings won't prevent you from missing class. In many cases, you can submit all work entirely online. Once you learn how to use the online course software, future courses should go more smoothly. Most universities use a single system for managing online courses. While getting used to an online course, you can take fewer credits to ensure that your work life continues to develop.
Online courses can be completed anywhere that you have access to the Internet. If you have a laptop, you can work on assignments and participate in discussion boards while traveling. Few online courses require students to meet for group chat sessions, and even fewer require the need to meet in person. If you want the benefits of both online and traditional courses, many universities have started offering hybrid courses. These courses provide the best of both worlds by enabling the ability to network with students while having flexible online assignments.
Online courses require you to develop discipline and time management skills. When given the freedom and structure to develop a manner of studying and learning that best suits them, many students have trouble. Online courses require you to properly and effectively manage time. Many students feel that online courses take less time. While it's true that there is more built-in flexibility, the extra management of independent learning and additional reading materials usually requires more time than most students expect. However, if you are good at managing your time, an online course can be a wonderful way to continue or complete your education.
- Peterson's: How Distance Learning Colleges Work ... and Why It's Good for You
- Peterson's: Financial Aid for Online College: Making Programs Accessible for All
- GetEducated.com: Distance Learning Courses Flex to Accommodate Military Students
- GetEducated.com: 4 Benefits of Online Learning in the Work World
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