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The Pros & Cons Of Online Education

The Pros & Cons Of Online Education


With so many credible universities and learning institutions offering college classes online, there's never been a better time to take advantage of a distance-learning program. Internet-based learning is more popular, more accessible, and more financially viable than ever before, but before you rush to sign up, you should know there's a flipside to the online learning coin. Like everything else in life, learning on the internet has advantages and disadvantages. If you're wondering about the pros and cons of virtual schools, read on.

First, let's look at some of the advantages.

The courses are flexible. It doesn't matter where you live, what your day-to-day responsibilities are, or if you're differently abled. There's flexibility to learn and succeed. That means individuals who might not have otherwise been able to complete a college degree course can now do so.

Practically every type of degree is available: associate, bachelors, masters, certificates, even doctorates, and you can quickly search all the available courses that meet your requirements in a matter of seconds.

You'll have tons of options. Online education may not have quite as wide a range of course offerings as the brick-and-mortar schools, but there are still many choices available. Practically every type of degree is available: associate, bachelors, masters, certificates, even doctorates, and you can quickly search all the available courses that meet your requirements in a matter of seconds.

You'll probably pay less. Internet-based college courses tend to be cheaper than their in-person counterparts are. That's because you don't have to pay transport costs to attend class each day and there's no room/board requirements. You also don't need to purchase all the items associated with a traditional college course, such as new clothes, materials, etc. Some classes have lower tuition fees because the educational establishment has less overhead to cover.

Be aware, though, that many courses also involve a face-to-face component, so you may need to come up with travel and lodging costs at some point.


You can finish faster. Because you can often learn at your own pace, there is a good chance you can complete the program you're enrolled on in less time than if you were studying a traditional course. Finishing the course faster allows you to potentially enter the workforce sooner and start reaping the rewards associated with the successful completion of your course.

Your classmates will be motivated. Studying at home requires a lot of dedication, determination, and drive. Most of your virtual classmates will be great assets to you as your educational journey unfolds. They'll also be valuable contacts once you have graduated and are seeking opportunities.

You'll boost your communication skills. Most of your interactions with your lecturer and peers will take place over the internet, which cultivates written communication skills. You'll be primarily judged on your writing skills, so a clear and precise style is necessary. This can also be a disadvantage if you're not a particularly strong writer, but it's an opportunity and incentive to develop this critical skill.

Discussions are harder to dominate. One of the problems with traditional class discussions is that the more confident, outspoken students tend to take up most of the discussion space. With internet-based class discussions, everyone (in theory) has an equal opportunity to speak or write, which creates an opening for less aggressive voices.

You'll learn advanced technologies. Communication solutions and online learning platforms are more advanced than ever, providing a seamless, reliable approach to studying a college course and ultimately improving your quality of learning and overall experience.

Build increased self-discipline. You need self-discipline to complete an internet-based learning course. You will have to keep up with course material and stay on top of the work on your own schedule. These demands will naturally improve your self-discipline, but they can also be a challenge if you're not a natural self-starter.

The Disadvantages

Like everything else, online education also has disadvantages. You'll have to assess them carefully to see if they outweigh the plus points for you.

It can be hard to stay focused. If you regularly suffer from procrastination, online learning might not be the best option. As we said in the final point of the previous section, self-discipline and motivation are crucial when you want to complete an internet-based course. If you don't naturally possess these traits, a traditional learning approach might be more appropriate for you.

Time management skills are necessary. In the same way that self-discipline and motivation skills are crucial when undertaking an online course, so too are time management skills. That's because it can be hard to focus on your course work when you have other things to do during the day. That can be a problem because failure to give your coursework the time it requires will inevitably lead to you falling behind and possibly failing your course.