If you’re considering doing an online course you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 30% of Americans are enrolled in at least one online course. What’s even more interesting is that 52% of graduates found their online college-level education to provide a better learning experience than their college-level classroom education. So is studying online a good idea?
According to the research, getting an education online can be an excellent way to go about furthering your education. The online education industry is seeing rapid growth and for good reasons too. From from lower cost to less time investment, online education has many benefits. In this post, we are going to look at some of the main reasons why studying online is a good idea.
Is studying online a good idea?
1 Good Work/study balance
One of the main reasons so many people do an online degree or a further education course is because they are working full-time and want to continue to do so. Completing a course online makes this so much easier. You can come and go to our course as you please. On your own schedule. This is super handy when your working fulltime and have to meet the demands of your job at the same time as the demands of your online course. You are more in control of where and when you study.
2 Less time investment
Taking a course online cuts out the need to physically attend classes. This allows more time for your other activities as well as more time to actually focus on the course itself. There’s no travelling to and from college. No waiting around for classes to begin. No struggling to find a seat. This is the time that you can’t get back. Whereas an online course takes away all these unnecessary activities giving you more time to spend on important things like learning or spending time with your family. When you’re ready to learn you can just turn on your laptop and begin.
3 You have more control
When you’re studying online you can decide when and where you log into your course. You have more control over how long you spend doing the course each day. You can decide to fly through sections that you understand or go back over and spend more time on other areas that you may be struggling with. You have more control over the pace at which you learn.
4 more focused learning
Studying online gives you a more focused learning experience. There are no distractions from other students. If you want to ask a question, you can directly contact the course leader or lecturer via a private message. This particularly suits those students who may not feel so comfortable speaking out in class and therefore may not fully understand what they are learning.
The information in front of you is the information that you need to learn. Provided that your study environment itself is free of distractions this should lead to more effective learning. Want to find out how to set up your perfect study environment check out our post on “how to study at home without getting distracted.”
5 Better interaction rates
Most online courses provide their students with a forum or group where they can interact with other students. This is great for having discussions about the course topics. Students can learn from other students here and if they have any issues they can find help here. Also, past students can share their experience with the exam and help new students through any areas of difficulty.
One of the major benefits of these groups is that more people are likely to engage. This can be very different than in the traditional classroom style of learning where only a portion of the class interacts and comments. Here, the direction of learning is dominated by those communicating and interacting.
6 More Flexibility
Online courses have the potential to offer their students greater flexibility than traditional classroom-style courses. Students may decide only to do a certain number of modules each semester so that they can successfully balance it with their work and family life.
7 Cost saving
While the cost of online education will vary depending on the course provider and college, it does tend to be cheaper than the traditional classroom-style education. The average student will typically spend anywhere between $100 to $400 per credit hour.
Online courses also have the benefit of having no commute and transport costs. However, both styles of education will have books and course material fees. Many of these books and course notes can be download or obtained in an online format to make them cheaper.
Is studying online a good idea for you?
Studying online is a good idea for many reasons. For those looking to gain a college degree or further their education online courses provide a great opportunity in terms of cost, time investment, more focused learning, engagement levels and retention rates. Also, online courses can make it much easier for people looking to pursue further education while working full-time.
When it comes to whether or not online education is right for you, you need to consider a few things. Do you have the self-discipline to commit to the work that is needed to successfully complete this course? Some people believe because it is an online degree it will be easier. This is not the case. You will still have strict deadlines and the same amount of work that you would if you were physically attending the college.
Are you good with time-management? To do well in an online course you need good time management skills. While there is a significant time saving achieved by not having to commute to and from college every day and wait around for classes to begin, there still is a lot of work to be done. This work needs to be completed alongside your other commitments.
Getting an online education can be a great idea. It has so many benefits. The learning and course format are more focused which can increase retention rates and lead to better grades. But at the end of the day, you are the one doing the course so you need to ask yourself what works best for you. Do you like being in around others while learning? Are you self-disciplined and motivated to do the work at home?