One of the biggest changes to our lives is the fact that we are working and going to school online.
This post will be focusing specifically on learning online and the advantages of it.
Learning online is convenient
Most kids in America have been sent home from school due to the COVID-19 outbreak to limit exposure to other kids and teachers. This would have been a huge problem – taking everyone out of school for weeks or months. The collective stoppage of the education in the country and the world could have been fairly bad.
Except that we have the Internet. And everyone is connected. So, boom. We all just go online and keep on learning.
That is a huge advantage and is convenient in that aside from a few minor issues about how to do it, we are mostly all able to do it. We are already online every day.
Online learning is (most of the time) self paced
One of the worst drawbacks of classroom learning is that everyone gets taught at the same pace as the person who learns the slowest.
Sometimes this can be a good thing. If there is a topic where most people need to take it slow, then most people benefit. But if most are getting the concepts quickly, or you happen to get things more easily than most, it becomes the kind of problem that either causes people to get bored and check out, or get frustrated and act out.
Even if you are an adult and don’t have to worry about unruly kids in your classes, the pain of the group moving too fast or too slow for you is real.
Learning online takes care of that. You can learn at your own pace. If you get the concept, move on, learn the next thing. If you don’t quite get it yet, slow down, figure it out and build the foundation before you get hurried to the next one.
Online courses can be very cost effective
One of the reasons that we are seeing more online courses and programs being offered every day is that classrooms and campuses are getting filled up. If an institution of learning can offer you a great education (and take your money) without having to spend more money on bricks, mortar, and desks, we all win.
One of my daughters was a nurse and wanted to get her bachelors degree while she continued to work. Money and time were an issue for her as she was raising two kids at the same time.
She ended up getting into a program that allowed her to pay per semester and take as many classes as she could finish each semester for one flat fee.
Although that increased her time studying in the short term, trying to take a bunch of classes at once, it severely decreased her time in the long term and made it cost much much less.
She also took advantage of the above concept. She went slowly when she needed to gain a greater understanding of something and sped up when it was something she already knew.
Learning online is interactive
Many studies have shown that involvement in the learning process is critical to the student’s progress and assimilation of the ideas, skills, etc.
One interview in particular showed that in a typical on campus style learning environment, Eric Mazur, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard was forced to admit that his students “weren’t grasping the concepts he was presenting to them.”
He decided that he needed to make the lectures more interactive and engage the students.
As he made attempts to get them involved, he saw that the actual learning improved.
Professor Mazur says “What I was able to show is that I doubled the learning gains. In fact,
it tripled once I got better questions to ask in class and also much
longer retention. I’ve never looked back.”
This kind of engaging learning style is making it’s way, slowly but surely into the learning world.
But this is a concept that the online learning format was always based on.
Learning online is the optimal scenario for engaged, interactive learning.
Online learning is totally portable
One of the things like most about online learning is the fact that I do it almost anywhere. I do it on my laptop at home, my tablet on the train, and on my phone when I’m standing in line waiting. There are so many times that instead of just passing time, I open up one of my lessons and knock out a bit of study.
I can do it at home. I can do it at the park. I can do it in the car (although my wife almost always wants me to drive so she can utilize the travel time. But you get the point).
In a nutshell, online learning IS the future. It provides so many benefits to so many.
And to tell you the truth, now that so many people have been forced to try online learning due to COVID-19, I think you’re going to see a huge surge in people taking advantage of it.
I recently read an article about how universities could be suffering a mass exodus of traditional campus style students.
If you have never taken an online course, I recommend you try one. I think you’ll see all that they have to offer.
Online learning is good for so many reasons. Any one of those reasons could be yours.
Good luck and good learning.
P.S. To learn more about online programs that could take your career to new heights, check out this offer from Udacity: