Online Learning Overview
Some of the advantages to online learning include course material accessibility, flexible scheduling, more academic options, and the opportunity to build valuable skills. Online schooling is a popular alternative to attending a brick-and-mortar college or university. While not every program or school has an online option, a large number of them do, and many programs are nationally or regionally accredited. Though online students don't get the face-to-face experiences of a typical on-campus student, there are many benefits and advantages to online learning, also known as distance learning or e-learning.
Many adults who want to return to school might be working full time, or they might also have a family to care for. For those people, taking the time to drive out to class in the evenings while working during the day is not feasible. Online education allows for the attendance of class wherever the student has access to the Internet. Online learning is, in many cases, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so the student can participate in class whenever it's most convenient.
Online students can choose between a variety of scheduling options. While some courses are conducted synchronously, requiring students to attend online sessions at specific hours, others are self-paced, allowing students to complete assignments on their own time. In addition, in online programs that require students to fulfill in-person lab or internship requirements, students can set them up with local facilities for times that meet their needs.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Sciences
- Culinary Arts and Personal Services
- Liberal Arts and Humanities
- Mechanic and Repair Technologies
- Medical and Health Professions
- Physical Sciences
- Transportation and Distribution
- Visual and Performing Arts
More Study Options
Individuals who do not live near schools that offer programs in their area of interest or at the degree level that they desire can take advantage of online educational opportunities. Online degree programs are available in a wide range of subjects at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional certificates can also be found in online formats. Professionals who are certified in their fields can also find online continuing education courses that they need for licensure renewal.
Students also save money, since some online programs cost less per credit hour and there are no transportation expenses. Individuals who have children may save on the cost of childcare by studying at home. They may also be able to reduce the total course time if they can devote more time in single sittings.
Online learning provides the opportunity for individuals to build valuable life and professional skills. For instance, the independent study aspects of distance learning can help students improve their time management skills. In addition, with online learning, a student may develop the technological skills needed in their future careers. Knowledge of the functions of the Internet, typing, and software programs are necessary to be considered digitally literate, and online learning helps strengthen these skills.
Individuals who are thinking about enrolling in an online course or program can benefit from the conveniences and opportunities provided through online learning options.