Category Archives: Benefits

Additional Benefits of Online Education

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In case the Top 9 Benefits weren’t enough to satisfy your curiosity, the following is a list of some additional benefits of online education.  These happen to be the less well known or less impacting benefits, but they are still powerful enough that you should consider them when making your decisions.

  1. 24/7 access. In an online course, as long as you have access to the internet, you have access to the course materials.  In traditional classes, you have limited access to course materials based on what you have with you and whether or not the instructor’s office is open–although this is fading out rapidly, due to online applications such as Blackboard and Joule. [1]
  2. Increased communication skills.  In essence, over the course of your degree/courses, you will get better at effective communication through technology, and this is a highly valued skill by employers. [2]  Communication is one of the most important ‘soft’ skills you can have as an employee. [5] It is required in some form in every single job you will ever have.  While some positions require less human interaction, employers need to know that their instructions will be heard, understood, and carried out effectively.  On a more obvious note, many jobs require face-to-face interaction with customers; in which case it is absolutely crucial to have good communication skills, so as to give the customer the best experience possible.

    Studying Online
    Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  3. Acting as a team player…virtually.  Virtual team participation on projects and online research is a regular part of online classes, much like with traditional schooling. Since the internet is becoming consistently more integrated into the working environment, the ability to efficiently work with others over long distances is increasingly more valued by employers.  This is one skill that you will want under your belt in the coming years. [3]
  4. Work & school.  A main reason online education is becoming popular at such a rapid rate is the ease at which you can take classes.  It allows you to keep your job while attending school.  Since you can stay at home while ‘attending’ class, it frees up time that would regularly have been spent driving to college.  When combined with the flexibility of online classes, as well as freedom to take as few classes as you wish, it leaves plenty of room for a full-time job.  This also is extremely helpful for people with families such as stay-at-home-moms. [4]
  5. No snow days.  Don’t worry about bad weather with online learning because you don’t have to go anywhere.  If you are ever concerned about hazardous driving conditions, then this benefit will be of great interest to you.  You won’t have to worry about fog, sleet, snow, ice, or simply going to your car in the cold (that last one is a ‘biggy’). [4]
  6. No fear. Online education also removes the fear of asking questions in front of the class because you have direct communication with the instructor. There is no need to announce your assumed ignorance to the class when you can ask the professor in private.  This way, you can have all of your questions answered, instead of avoiding speaking aloud and then not understanding the subject.  As a bonus, it builds a relationship with your instructor, and that is something that can be very beneficial on many points. [6]

Still wondering if you belong online or in a classroom?  Take this quick quiz to find out!  Otherwise, you can head straight over to start picking out a degree!

Sources:
[1]seacstudentweb.org
[2]Franklin University
[3]Diverse Education
[4]Open Education Database
[5]About.com
[6]Montgomery College

Why Choose Online Education: The World At Your Fingertips

Note: This site has been archived and is no longer being updated, as of September, 2014.

If you are wondering why you should choose online education, the following article will give you an excellent example of one of the benefits.

In traditional schools, everything tends to shut down at the end of the workday, just about the time students start to study.  In online schools, you have a much greater access to all your resources.  Professors can be reached much easier after hours.  You also can schedule appointments online, quickly and easily.  Email, chat, and group discussions are all efficient ways to communicate with other classmates, as well as the instructors.  Tutoring is easy to set up.  Tech support is available much more often because of the nature of online education. [1]  Last, but definitely not least, you have access to infinite repetitions of the primary source (not your chicken-scratch notes). [2]

Image credit: thiagofest
Image courtesy of thiagofest / stock.xchng

Colleges everywhere are becoming more and more integrated with the world wide web.  However, there are still those professors who refuse to use anything related to a computer, so all your assignments, papers, syllabi, etc. are transferred via hard-copy alone.  What happens if you can’t seem to locate your copy of the instructions for a major paper, the night before it is due?  In online education, this is never a problem.  Everything is online, so provided you have internet, you have your instructions (but if you’d stop procrastinating until the night before, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem in the first place).

In addition, because online classes are available from virtually anywhere, you can choose to only take classes that are relevant to your degree or field of interest.  Furthermore, you can pick and choose each class.  Of course, you would have to apply to multiple schools and worry about all the admissions trouble, but once you’re in, it is very easy to take online courses from multiple schools.  [3]

If you are interested in learning more about the whole process of taking online courses, check out the resource, How Do Online Classes Work?, for an in-depth look at the ins and outs of these online classes.

Sources:
[1]seacstudentweb.org
[2]Diverse Education
[3]Open Education Database

Why Choose Online Education: It’s Cheaper

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Bottom line: college is expensive. Especially if you attend a traditional college or university. A good reason for why to choose online education is it can potentially be much cheaper. First off, tuition for online universities is often cheaper than traditional universities’ tuition. To make things sweeter, if you take all your classes online, there is virtually no gas, no additional parking or auto expenses, and cheaper meals (if handled correctly). [1]

To break it down a bit, let us begin with tuition.  For the 2012-2013 school year, average cost of tuition for a public college/university was around $22,000/year, while private schools averaged at $43,000/year. [2]  On the other side of things, an average online school year could cost around $15,000 in tuition. [3]

Image courtesy of Michael Elliott / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Michael Elliott / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Taking class online eliminates auto expenses associated with higher education, provided you have internet access in your home.  A commuter can spend as much as $400/month on gas alone.  We could stop right there, that sounds like reason enough.  However, there can also be additional parking fees, not to mention the general day-to-day abuse your vehicle undergoes when driving to, from, and around the campus.

Food can be a very large expense regardless of your situation, but if you handle it properly, you can cut it down to a manageable size.  This process is much more difficult if you are eating every single meal in the university cafeteria, as many people do.  Those meals can cost upwards of $7 a piece.  If, instead you buy your own groceries and prepare your own meals, like in an internet schooling situation, you can cut that cost down far below that.

Needless to say, choosing to study online can be quite a bit cheaper.  Consider this while making your decision, but don’t make it the only factor.  There are many things that go into something as serious as a degree, and you should be aware of as many as possible.  For the other side of the coin, check out some of the Disadvantages of Online Education.

Sources:
[1]seacstudentweb.org
[2]College Data
[3]eHow

Why Choose Online Education: Flexible Scheduling

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Another main reason why people choose online education is that your schedule can be infinitely flexible.   Rather than scheduling your classes for specific times each day, you “attend” the class when it’s convenient for you (provided you get all the work done on time).  [1]

Let’s go into a little more detail on how this works.  In many online classes, the instructor will post the assignments, due dates, and resources online.  They will also have regular lessons which may or may not be required for you view.  These lessons can take the form of videos, presentations, or audio, as well as other, less common options.  It is your job to complete the assignments on time.  You rarely have to check in at a specific time like in a traditional classroom.  Sometimes attendance is taken through participation in group discussions [1], based on topics covered in class, but as long as you complete it on time, you can do that whenever is most convenient for you.

Something can be said for the ability to learn at your own pace.  If you take courses the traditional way, you had better be able to either absorb everything the first time it’s spewed at you or take notes well enough to help you understand everything later.  However, online, you can wait until an opportune time when you are mentally ready to learn, and then go through the lesson as fast or slow as you desire.  This control of the tempo of learning can greatly decrease anxiety, while increasing understanding and in the end, your grades. [2]

Because almost everything is always available for your viewing, it is often possible to work at your own schedule, meaning you can work ahead if you desire.  This can be particularly desirable if there is a vacation or business trip coming up, and you want to get all work out of the way beforehand.  Many instructors will even allow you to turn in the assignments early, leaving you schoolwork-free for those days. [3]

Online education as a whole is all about flexibility from every aspect, and it is most evident in the way that you can plan your schooling around your pre-existing schedule and not the other way around.  Take a look at How Do Online Classes Work? for a more detailed look at how these processes pan out.

Sources:
[1]seacstudentweb.org
[2]Franklin University
[3]Open Education Database