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The internet has opened up a host of opportunities for us all when it comes to learning something new. From learning a new recipe, to a new skill such as coding or even obtaining a Master's degree. Universities have shown a steady increase in the percentage of students who did some form of online learning, with the minimum being at least one online course.
Safe to say, there are a ton of perks and benefits to taking this learning route. Let's discuss some of the most significant ones:
This is perhaps the primary pull for many. It is simple factor but has major impact in setting an online education apart from traditional classroom learning. The flexibility that you can enjoy with an online class, from watching recordings of missed sessions to taking a class in the comfort of your bed, doesn't just allow you to factor in your schedule and comfort, but actually makes learning easier (next point).
2. Online Learning > Classroom Learning (The ACTUAL learning that is)
When compared to classroom learning, e-learning has been deemed more effective by several researchers.This is mostly because of the fact that students can learn faster. By being able to control the pace & comfort of your learning, you can be more focused. A focused learner is a better learner.
When we learn well, we retain better, and we retain more. Ultimately what good is any learning if we can't retain it? The online learning environment is like fertile soil for a learner, and retention is an indication of the deeper roots.
The cost of an online program or class will always be significantly less than a face-to-face one. This opens up a world of opportunity for so many, and allows learners to pursue learning in areas they previously may not have been able to. It also means that you can avoid going into debt just to get an education!
Some may wonder, all of this is great, but how do I know online learning is the right fit for me?
Well you don't know until you try it. That's the short answer. But I guess some of us don't want to learn the hard way. If that's the case, you could take this short quiz to find out:
What are key components of a good e-learning environment and learner?
Discipline is like a muscle, if you don't work it enough you will lose strength. If you exercise it regularly, then you will have a healthy working muscle. Online learning is self-paced and requires you to take full responsibility for ensuring you are keeping up with the classes.
It's the equivalent of a pen and a notebook for classroom learning. Kind of impossible to learn without it :)
Since you won't actually be attending a class, being able to communicate well is going to have an impact on your learning experience. If you feel you are someone who struggles with electronic forms of communication, it will be a challenging ride.
The majority of people who take an online course will either also be employed or preoccupied in some other way. It is essential to be clear of goals for your online course and then to do your own planning based on your schedule and other life responsibilities.
If you are someone who has the above skills but just needs some brushing up, then an online course will definitely help hone those skills for you. Start small and work your way up as that will allow you to get comfortable with that learning style.
An online learning experience is also looked on favorably by employers as they recognize that it takes skills to pursue it, so don't be afraid to give it a try because the benefits are immense!