Advantages of Learning Online


With modern life being so busy, sometimes it can feel impossible to fit in everything we want to do. Sometimes, there are other issues too like finance or accessibility. But, not with the internet being in almost every home around the globe, it has never been easier to order a midnight pizza, to track down a long-lost relative or sign up for a course.

There are many reasons why a person might want to join a class, such as improving your standing in your current job position. Or, perhaps you want to swap careers and can fit in some e-learning to your daily routine. It might be that you have a keen interest in a field like Literature, Languages or even Robotics. Maybe what you really want is to learn The Art of Saying No, or Closing a Sale – which can help you with.  

Whatever it is, we have some great reasons that learning online is the absolute best.

You can work when it suits you. Although most courses will have an overall due date, and no doubt a few deadlines in between, for the most part, it is all on you. If you have a course that doesn’t have live lectures or face-to-face modules or requirements, then you are free to study at any time that you like. The upside is that you can plan your life however you wish, the downside is that if you aren’t great with self-motivation or you struggle to stay well organised this might be a challenge for you. However, just bear in mind that anything you truly want you will work for.

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”Nelson Mandela

You don’t have to leave the house ever again – unless you want to. IF you’re the type of person who’s only tan is one from their computer screen, then online learning just makes sense to you and your lifestyle. For people who heavy commutes and just aren’t in the mood to sit in a group of people studying, then it is utterly ideal. You can open your laptop in the silence and peace of your own company. One of the significant costs of going to college or university campuses is travel. You’re saving time and money by learning online.

Very often, the lecturers have had time to prepare something that not only teaches you what you need to know but inspires you too. Most online courses have been written in unison by some of the most learned people in their field, and the course will reflect that. In fact, if you find that you appreciate the works of individual professors, you can search for a class that they have written.

You can be a little bit more creative. When you are guided in a classroom situation, quite often we don’t look any further than the materials provided and a few hours googling and procrastinating. However, when you have complete autonomy over your learning process, you will find that you will dig that little bit deeper for the answers that you are looking for. The natural curiosity that leads you to sign up for the course will also be the reason your research skill multiple overnight.

There are many opportunities to network with your online learning buddies. Though you might not see this as a perk, you can never be sure that you aren’t in a class with Bill Gates or a Fortune 500 CEO. You should make the most of those networking opportunities, by either arrange or attending any meetups. You can start email threads, WhatsApp groups, facebook groups or just simply meet face to face if the distance isn’t an issue. Your co-learners might be a great source of information and future opportunities. You might even meet someone work in the field that you want to get into – and develop some excellent references and connections.

Online courses tend to be cheaper than tradition courses in so many ways. The course itself will often have a significant saving. Why? Well, most schools that offer online courses only have a lot fewer expenses and overheads to cover than a traditional brick and mortar school. There is no land to maintain or hoards of staff to manage. Those savings are passed on to the students who enrol in the course. As well as not needing to travel to a campus, you won’t be caught short and need to buy an overpriced lunch from the canteen, or a coffee to keep you awake through the afternoon.

You can choose anything in the world. Yes, if you’ve ever dreamed of heading off to somewhere exotic to study for a while, but never had the cash to do it, how about just settling for the course from that university? Where once upon a time a degree from an online course wasn’t seen as being as good as attending a brick and mortar course, that is no longer the case. There are more accredited online courses than ever from top universities and establishments. Some great colleges actually post courses for free here are a couple of great ones:

MIT – Microeconomics, Launching Innovation in Schools, and Quantitative Biology

Oxford – From Poverty to Prosperity

Harvard – Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics

Surprising eh? So if you thought that online courses did offer the same as in a classroom with a desk and chairs, you are very much mistaken. Online courses are expansive, you can learn how to develop a business model to editing in Lightroom.

But what if you aren’t sure you have picked the right course for you? Most classes come with a money back guarantee if you aren’t enjoying it or you find that you don’t have time to commit to it really. Usually, that window will close in around 30 days, so make sure you use those 30 days to full effect. There is often the option of talking to someone and arrange to swap you credits from one course to another depending on what online facility you have chosen to study with. The take away from this? Even if you signed up spur of the moment and aren’t sure it’s for you, there is no harm in trying.

You can read it over and over again. Often times when you are in a class, trying feverishly to make notes, you miss vital information. Regardless of what the printout or take home sheets say, you usually get more from a person talking. Here, however, the professors have taken great care to include everything in the written text. If you have a video of them giving the lecture, there will be little pieces of information that you can soak in by watching it a couple of times. Think of it as your favourite TED talk – you’ve viewed it a few times and each time you take away something more, something different – this is the very same thing.

It looks great for your CV. We mentioned above that you might be looking to take on a course to improved your current job standing within the same company, or maybe you want to make a complete career jump to another field. Either way, employers are going to love how disciplined you are. In order to complete an online study, you need to be focused, driven and dedicated. All of which they would be happy to have in their workplace.

You’re going to come out on top. It might seem difficult to believe but students who choose to study online get higher grades than those who go into school to study. Research that was done by the US Department of Education has found that students in online education outperform those in traditional education for the expansion of learning.

The whole world is online. The support network you can build online might not be able to give you a hug, but that network will be able to provide you with so much more. While many students fill up a classroom, very often there are reports of loneliness amongst students. In an online environment, you start the course knowing you will be ‘going it alone’ only to find that there are millions of others doing the very same thing. Online journals, social networking, university-specific message boards, past exam papers, you tutors and those on the course are all working in the 24/7 digital space. You might say, you’ve never been as connected to your learning process as you will be if you enrol online.

Whatever you choose to do, you should be safe in the knowledge, that seeking knowledge is never a bad thing. Start with some free online taster courses and find out what it is you truly love, then pursue it.


About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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