Besides a brief window just after high school graduation, many adults never have the opportunity to pursue higher education. The responsibilities of life take over soon afterward, and bills, jobs and families leave little time for homework. The advent of online education, however, has provided willing students of all ages with another option. Armed with nothing more than a computer and the Internet, hundreds of thousands of people are learning the numerous advantages that come from a digital learning environment.
Online courses allow students to move at their own speed. They can go back to a section of that day\’s material as often as they need to, and practice problems offer a quick snapshot of what concepts they need to work on. This allows the faster learners to move ahead quickly and gives the rest of the class time to catch up with a little more work. Students can shape their own classroom experience, while still having access to any help they might need.
2. Greater Detail and Versatility
Most physical courses rely on a single, expensive textbook to supplement the lectures. Although these books are usually comprehensive, they may not be the best reading for a particular lesson. When this happens in an online course, it\’s very simple to post a link to a better selection. A digital class is able to draw from many resources, allowing a fully customized experience for each teacher\’s particular emphasis and style. Some courses do not even require a textbook.
Traditional schools and universities are bogged down by the costs associated with maintaining a building and accommodating the staff and students who attend it. Online courses are much more sleek and affordable, thanks to their relatively incorporeal natures. Of course, tuition is not the only saved expense. There\’s no need to waste gas commuting, no parking permit needed to leave the car, fewer school supplies, no charge for a babysitter and less time spent away from work. Taking a course online eliminates much of the inefficient spending that comes with going to school.
4. Increased Participation
Most classes end up with the same scenario. One or two enthusiastic students dominate the discussions, and everyone else becomes too intimidated to speak up. The Internet, thankfully, gives each student an equal voice. Most electronic learning software provide a forum for members to communicate, increasing their investment in the course content and helping to iron out any misunderstandings. Online classes also prevent the lazier students from skipping classes or skating by on minimal effort. These courses are just as difficult as traditional ones, and without active participation most students will fall behind quickly.
5. Time Management
The greatest advantage of online classes is that they can be attended at any time of the day. Whether individuals work a nine-to-five or the graveyard shift, their notes and assignments for the day will be waiting as soon as they come home. There are still deadlines to be met, but they are not constrained by a set schedule. The ability to study in between the chaos of everyday life is what sent online education rocketing to popularity over the last decade. As more and more people seek a degree or specialized training, opportunities will no doubt continue to expand, and electronic classes may someday become the preferred form of education across all age groups.
About the Author: Karen Falgore is an Online Ambassador for Liberty University, the largest online Christian college in the world. A native of Virginia, Karen revels in the state’s history and spends time exploring its many national and state parks.