For some students, online schools might simply be a better option than heading to a college campus every day or every few days to take courses. It isn’t that on-campus education is inferior or even less desirable, but that online schools simply offer options and flexibility that better suit the needs of a particular set of students. If you’re looking into online education as an option for getting your degree, make sure to consider some of these advantages online education can offer.
Online schools make it easier to work and go to school. While many traditional college campuses offer night courses for students who work, online courses offer an added degree of flexibility for those who are trying to work and go to school at the same time. Students can complete coursework and listen to lectures anytime, even on a lunch break, which can make balancing time between work, school and even family a little bit easier.
You won’t have to commute. Forget about spending time in the car or on the train getting two and from classes. With online courses students can take classes from the comfort of their own homes, at the library or anywhere that’s convenient for them.
Costs may be lower. Depending on the school, some online education programs may cost less than their brick and mortar counterparts. At the very least, students can save money on gas and transportation by not having to travel to a physical campus.
You’ll be working independently. For some students this might be a struggle, but for others it can be a dream. You won’t have to wait for other students to match your pace and can work ahead, learn faster and get more out of a class helping you better tailor your education to your own abilities. However, keep in mind that you may still work with other students in group assignments, and that your instructor may not make all of the term’s materials available at the beginning of class. Instead, your instructor may release new chapters and lectures gradually as the course progresses. However, independent work is definitely still a big component of online learning!
You’ll still have contact with professors and students. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you’ll have to work alone. Students will be expected to interact with their classmates and may even be able to get more one-on-one attention from professors through e-mail and online chats. A recent study by the Department of Education found that the online students in the study performed better than their in-class counterparts, showing that online learning is at least on par with traditional classroom learning.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that campus schools offer a number of benefits as well, and students will need to weigh the pros and cons of each before enrolling in order to figure out what choice is really best for them and their long term educational and career goals.