Online Classes Aren’t As Bad As You Think

online classesA recent survey found that students who have not taken an online course are increasingly interested in the opportunity to do so. These students cited a desire to have more control over their learning and believing that they will get more support from an online teacher. Those surveyed felt that math and foreign language were their top choices for online class taking. There are tons of benefits that come with online courses.

The current challenges facing traditional colleges and universities, including higher tuition, budget cuts, and course shortages, have caused many students to search for alternatives.

Some reasons for opting for online courses are:

Larger variety of courses

With so many resources available online, it only makes sense that there would be a greater variety of courses to take. These courses are able to accommodate more students, making it easier to take the classes you want when you want to.

Lower total costs

Online classes can cost less than traditional classes. If you are taking a class at an out-of-state college, for example, online students are charged the same rate (usually an in-state rate) regardless of location. Some major universities offer free courses for anyone with Internet access. Online classes can save you (online textbooks often cost much less, no travel expenses, etc.) and save the institutions as well (no physical classroom and associated utility costs, less printing, etc.).

Comfortable learning environment

With an online course, you can do your studying and learning wherever is best for you. If you learn best in a library, go there. If a Starbucks is more your speed, that works too. If learning in your pajamas underneath your covers in your bed is the best place for your knowledge to grow, more power to you. As long as you have Internet access, you can make any space your classroom.

Convenience & flexibility

A difficulty for many students is when their schedules do not work with their natural awake time. Some are more productive in the morning, while others are able to get more done in the evening hours. Online classes give students the ability to work whenever is best for them. Other factors, such as jobs or family obligations, can be worked around easier with online classes. Many of these classes are deadline-based. Sample assignments could be to have a draft finished by this day or finish reading a book by this day. This allows students to write the draft or finish the reading at a time that works best for them. If a student has a job during business hours, he or she can keep up by doing schoolwork at night. If a homemaker is taking a class, he or she can complete assignments while the kids are at school or in between errands.

Time saving

We all work at different paces. This can be dependent upon the topic of discussion or a person’s natural work and comprehension speed. Online courses cater to working at your own pace. No matter if a student needs to devote more time to the class or doesn’t need to work 6 hours a week on a subject, an online class can work to his or her benefit.

Improve your technical skills

Online classes help students improve more than just their knowledge of course material. These students continue to develop their technical skills as well. Courses are often instructed through online educational portals and/or email messages. This allows students to become more tech-savvy and learn to navigate through webpages and online portals. This can also help improve typing skills, enhance their knowledge of software applications such as Word or PowerPoint, and learn to utilize online features such as email, cloud storage, cloud collaboration tools (think Google Drive), and more.

Transfer credits

Credits earned from online classes may be transferred to community colleges, four-year institutions, and more. If you’re trying to get classes out of the way while still having optimal freedom and flexibility, online classes may be the route for you. If you are wanting to ease back into a school setting, online courses may also be the best gateway into school.  Online classes are regarded as the equivalent of a traditional class, making them ideal for nontraditional students to make the transition or for traditional students wanting to get ahead.

Overall, online classes, despite a sometimes negative perception, can be the best solution for certain students. Their many features can benefit students, helping them grow in their knowledge of course material and technical skills.

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