The traditional on-campus college experience has long been held up as the gold standard for education. However, with technology advancements and students taking more ownership of their education, online learning has developed into a viable, and sometimes better, alternative for many students.
Online learning comes with a host of benefits that you just won’t find in the traditional classroom, and that allow the learner myriad opportunities that would otherwise not be available. Here are five reasons why online learning might be a better option for you.
In most cases, online learning is much more affordable than traditional college courses. There are a few reasons why. For instance, you don’t have to pay many of the fees that come with being on campus. Also, online courses allow you to live anywhere you want while in school, including cities with a lower cost of living than those hosting many universities.
Also, the courses, in general, are simply less expensive. For example, TEL Learning provides college accredited courses for $67 a credit hour, or $200 for a three-hour course. The average cost per credit hour for a traditional course is $559. You could save thousands of dollars per semester.
Traditional college courses require you to stick to a fairly rigid schedule. Courses are at set times on certain days, and professors can require you to meet outside of class if they deem it necessary for the course. Depending on the online course, you may be able to take the course asynchronously instead of meeting on a specific day and time. That gives you the flexibility to arrange your lessons around work and life.
In addition to a more flexible course schedule, you are less likely to deal with issues around course scheduling. With online courses, schools don’t have to worry about running out of chairs so many of them open the course to more students than they would be able to manage on campus. Or, on the flip side, a course might be canceled because not enough students signed up. Again, this isn’t an issue with many online options. This flexibility in course availability allows you to stay on track with your degree program regardless of the popularity of the courses.
Many students who choose the online route do so because it allows them to hold down a full-time job while also going to school. Not only are you choosing a more affordable route and possibly cash-flowing college, but you might also be applying what you’re learning on the job. Plus, if you’re taking courses to advance your career, this keeps you from having to step away from the career you’ve already worked hard to build.
Depending on where you live, commuting to and from university classes can easily take a great deal of time out of your day. And there is not only the time it takes to get to campus but also the stress of finding a parking spot and actually getting to class on time.
If you are taking online courses, you get the convenience of taking classes anywhere with Internet access, and you have the option to take them from the comfort of your own home. This also means you get to stay warm and dry instead of trudging around campus during rain and snow.
You won’t get the joy of an unexpected snow day, but with online classes, you can take a break and go build a snowman if you want to.
Sometimes an important idea or theory can take a little more time to understand. With self-paced online courses, you are able to take the time (and do more research if needed) to really grasp what you’re trying to learn.
If a course is something you are excited to learn about, you can also move through the course more quickly than if you were part of a traditional class. Most courses are paced for 12 to 16 weeks, but if you have an eight-week window (and good time management skills) and want to knock out a course, a self-paced online course is a great option.
Self-paced courses also allow for you to take the time for the trip you’ve been planning, attend the summer camp you’ve been looking forward to all year, or simply to help out with other family obligations. You can work through the material on your schedule and don’t have to worry about missing specific due dates or scheduled exams.
Your life is busy and school can be expensive, but there is no reason to put your education on hold. Online courses provide the perfect opportunity for you to achieve your goals. If you are looking for an affordable and flexible online course option for college credit, take a look at the TEL Learning course catalog.