We’ll get to the drawbacks of online learning after discussing the phenomenal advantages. If you want to know what’s great about studying online, here are the facts. I discovered these benefits for myself by taking some online courses.
1. Study Anywhere You Want To
You can get creative here but, let’s face it, a desk or the lounge are the most likely places where you can get some serious study done online. Personally, I prefer reclining on a chaise lounge, with all the roominess and comfort you could ask for. I know other people who prefer to sit at a desk, either at home or in an office at work.
You can study at these same places if you are taking a traditional face-to-face course. But you’ll also have to spend time in the classroom. You’ll be sitting a non-comfy chair for an hour or more at a time — no flexibility there. And the class could be noisy and full of distractions.
If you want physical comfort and the ideal atmosphere, online learning is the way to go. The place you study is a place you choose for yourself.
2. No Wasting Time and Money on Travel
Online learning means literally not travelling at all. You can be browsing through social media for fun one moment and, within a second, switch to your online education portal. Everything you need to study online is contained on your internet-connected device.
Compare that to the alternative of having to physically get to classes. Start the timer from when you prepare for travel, which could involve showering and changing clothes. And you’re not done until you’re back inside your home or office. Total time consists of:
- preparing for the class in terms of dress and physical presentation
- commuting to the university, college, institute or school, whether by public transport, private vehicle, cycling, walking, etc
- getting to the actual classroom before it begins, including across-campus walk, stairs, lifts, etc
- waiting for the class to start since you arrived early
- actual teaching and learning
- return travel, which might include waiting for a bus or to be collected.
Getting to and from classes is a time-consuming business. And it’s also limiting. Your only study options are at places near to where you live or work.
In contrast, online learning allows you to easily study with education providers from all over the globe. Your “travel range” expands from your town and city to countries far, far away.
3. A Fully Flexible Weekly Schedule
The theme of studying on your terms continues with the third benefit on our list. A fully flexible weekly schedule is yours when you study online.
Course instructors are fully aware that most people doing online courses want flexibility. Often, students work full-time and may even have family responsibilities on top of that. So instructors accommodate student wishes by, essentially, allowing them to study at whatever times students choose.
Recorded lectures, self-paced lessons and text-based communication all allow students to fit study into their weekly schedule. Rarely are you required to be online on at a specific time. Instead, you can squeeze study into the best times of the day for you, which would be first thing in the morning, at lunchtime or late at night.
Further reading: Pros and cons of online study
For more discussion on the advantages of online learning, see this excellent article by Clare McLoghlin from the Learning Lab. She explains why “online learning is good” and why more students are taking up the online study option each year.