Online learning has become very popular in the last decade and the number of schools offering this type of education has considerably increased. For many, this is a convenient way to obtain the desired degree, however, it’s not without flaws. You will still have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort to complete courses and other activities with flying colors.
So, if you are thinking about enrolling in an online learning school, here are the main advantages and disadvantages of having in mind before doing so.
One of the most attractive features of online learning is that it offers a considerable amount of flexibility, unlike traditional education. Here students decide when to take classes and do the homework by meeting the required deadlines at their own discretion and availability. This makes online education ideal for people who work full-time jobs, became parents or can’t otherwise be physically present for lectures.
Flexibility is the number one advantage students like about online courses, although it still requires responsibility and completion of tasks. Time management is imperative for online education and flexible learning curve allows students to successfully master it.
Unfortunately, there are certain things you can’t learn through an online course especially those that require practice under guidance. Some disciplines don’t require practice, while others hugely depend on it and even use it as an essential teaching tool. For example, you can’t learn how to be a surgeon through an online course, but you can become an excellent translator.
The best approach to online learning is to look for as many practical opportunities as you can to practice your knowledge and improve it. Check the ads for internships and volunteering jobs which is an ideal place to start looking for the experience.
Advantage: No commuting or moving to another place
While you will have to travel to physical school, online education offers to gain knowledge wherever you are. You can take online courses at the coffee shop while commuting to work or drinking your morning coffee in your pajamas. The school doesn’t care where you are when attending the online classes nor what you are wearing, as long as you fulfill obligations from your curriculum.
Disadvantage: Social interaction
Social interaction is a valuable asset for learning process since you can exchange notes, remarks and discuss various topics with other students. But online courses lack this opportunity for their students although you will be able to maintain a modicum of communication through messages and video chats. So, most of the time you will have to deal with the subject matter on your own which can be quite burdening and stressful.
The face-to-face contact with a lecturer is also what greatly affects the learning process although you will be able to consult them at certain hours. On one hand, you will have to accept the individuality of the learning process here which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are an introvert or shy, being less exposed to your peers and more focused on learning material may actually be a good thing.
Advantage: Different learning materials
There are a variety of materials at your disposal when attending online courses or schools which you can freely use. Education providers like Precision Group tend to include various methods and resources in order to provide the best sources for subject matters and expand your knowledge. CDs, virtual classrooms and webcams are some of the commonly used methods to teach.
Disadvantage: Financial aid may be unavailable
Scholarships are an important part of education and usually cover some or most of the costs. However, not all online courses offer financial aid to their students which is a big issue for some students. In order to find a course that is appropriate for you financially and educationally, do extensive research. Also, some online schools may offer discounts if you pay in full or to pay in installments which can be helpful.
In the end
People often think of online learning as something simple and easy, but in fact, it’s more than that. It offers benefits that traditional education lacks and allows for a broader range of people to obtain the desired degree. If you can handle the disadvantages, online learning can be a rewarding method to make yourself more qualified and expand your knowledge.