Why Study Online? The Online Learning Trend

Why learning online is such a popular new path for Higher Education

Every day, people are hearing more and more about online learning opportunities. It seems as technology advances, so does the amount of successful graduates of online courses and training sessions. For someone who has never experienced online training, it can be overwhelming. Change and the unknown can be intimidating – knowing the benefits of online training is crucial in deciding whether or not online learning is right for you.

“Motivation is key to an online student’s success” Snyder, T. (2013, January 30)

Benefits of studying online.

Online courses are cost-efficient

First and most importantly, online training programs are generally very cost-efficient. Anyone who has taken a traditional college or university program has experienced the ‘sticker shock’ of purchasing a physical textbook – some of them can be over $250, and many classes require multiple textbooks per class. Most online programs include their textbook costs in the tuition, and newer editions can usually be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a hardcover. Studying at home also saves students a significant amount of money on travel expenses and registration costs.

Distance education is convenient

Staying in the comfort of your own home to gain an education allows you to put in the hours needed whenever and wherever you want. There is no need to change your schedule to accommodate on-site classes, there would be no need to find a babysitter or change the hours at work to entertain the hours needed in a classroom. Online courses can be completed in the comfort of your own home or at your favorite coffee shop down the street.

Learning on your own time teaches time management

Online learning teaches students how to manage time productively and beneficially. The convenience advantage that we discussed before can also be a challenge to people who can’t manage their time to fit an appropriate amount of time to study in a day. Although online courses are flexible, they can’t go on forever – you need to stick to a schedule that will get you graduated and working in a realistic amount of time. If you are training for a career that allows you to work from home, employers consider strong time-management skills an absolute must-have.

Grow your technological skills

Students who study online will gain a better understanding of the internet and the functions that accommodate computer use and navigation. During the course of an online training program they will usually experience many different types of software programs, web browsers, and operating systems, and most students hone their typing and editing skills.

Increased opportunity for student engagement and support

Today’s higher education technology advancements are giving instructors the tools to create new and exciting ways for their students to learn online. Rather than delivering content through long, one-sided lectures, educators are finding ways of engaging students and encouraging learning through more than pure memorization. Online training allows students to have more of a personal relationship with instructors, rather than being crowded in a classroom with hundreds of other students and not gaining the full benefit of the session.

The trend towards online learning is changing the landscape of higher education. It is crucial that people develop the online skills necessary to survive, let alone succeed, in the growing job market. Online training has a huge part in training the workforce of the future, and the flexibility of online education offers opportunities to people that just don’t have the time or money to dedicate to a schedule that campus learning might demand. It also allows someone who is already employed to gain new skills and choose a different career path. Social media and forums integrate seamlessly with online programs, creating open channels for communication and collaboration.

Overall, learning online is fully beneficial to students that want a change, to work from home and be allowed to work around their own schedule or to advance new skill sets while keeping employment. This is just the beginning for online courses and training; technological advancements in the years to come will empower our future education goals.

Take our Distance Learning Assessment to find out if online learning is right for you!