You probably know that online learning is popular. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of all American higher-education students are enrolled in online courses. But maybe you haven’t considered whether online classes might be right for you. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of online learning so that you can decide for yourself whether it’s a good fit for your future education goals.
Pro: You can learn at your own pace.
While it may seem like a learning opportunity is only as good as the time you have to dedicate to it, that’s not always true. Online courses give students the freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own way, which means they don’t have to cram for exams or stay up all night studying for tests. The same goes for taking an online course during your lunch break: if you want to take some time off from work and learn something new, your company probably won’t mind!
Pro: You have access to all the information you need in one place.
One of the biggest advantages to online learning is that you can find all the information you need in one place. There’s no need to scour through books or spend hours searching for what you’re looking for when it’s all right there on your screen. You also won’t have to worry about buying textbooks, since everything is available through an online portal, and if you’re paying tuition, that money can go straight into your bank account instead of being spent on textbooks. Finally, online courses allow students to learn at their own pace by completing coursework as quickly or slowly as they’d like—so even if someone needs more time than others, they won’t fall behind!
Pro: Your instructor is never “too busy” to talk to you
As a student, you have access to your instructor 24/7. You can email them or message them at any time of day or night and they will respond quickly.
You don’t have to worry about their schedule or if they’re busy with another class. The fact that they are always available is one of the biggest advantages of online learning over traditional education because it allows you to get help from your instructor whenever you need it—even if it’s a simple question about an assignment or something more complex like how to fix an error in your code.
Con: Self-discipline is key.
An obvious downside to online learning is the lack of discipline you’ll have to develop. While some people are naturally self-disciplined, others need an external motivator. If you’re not used to being responsible for your own education, you may struggle at first. You won’t be able to turn in a paper after class because your teacher will be at home with her family and no longer exists as a human being. You’ll have to make yourself accountable, so if your assignments aren’t due until Monday night but they’re due tomorrow morning and it’s 11:00 p.m., then there’s only one person who deserves all of the blame: YOURSELF!
It’s important that students establish good study habits now and practice them throughout their lives—especially when working towards professional success later on in life. After all, no one ever said that college should be easy!
Con: You might have less access to teachers and tutors.
If you’re the type of student who requires a lot of one-on-one tutoring, online learning might not be for you. While some schools offer dedicated tutoring hours and instructors with years of experience in their subject area, many others don’t have any such resources available. The best way to find help is through the school’s website or via email with your instructor or dean.
Con: It still takes time and effort.
- Con: It still takes time and effort.
No matter how much you learn from a video or an article, you’ll still need to put in the work to apply that knowledge. If you’re hoping for a quick fix, online learning isn’t it. Just as with traditional classroom learning, it takes time and effort to be effective at online classes—and even longer if your schedule is particularly busy.
- Con: It’s not free.
Just because something can be accessed online doesn’t mean it’s free! It might seem like an obvious point, but just because something is accessible online doesn’t mean it’s free (for example: most universities charge tuition fees). While there may be some exceptions depending on who offers the course and their funding sources (e.g., MOOCs are typically free), there are many other services that cost money even though they provide content digitally (e.g., Udemy). Just keep in mind before signing up!
Online learning is different, but that doesn’t always mean worse.
Online learning is different, but that doesn’t always mean worse. The main idea here is that if you’re a highly motivated and disciplined person who can set aside your self-imposed limitations, you’ll come out of an online program with results that are every bit as good as those of someone who attends traditional classes. You do have to put in the work—and don’t expect it to be easy at first; it takes time to get used to doing things differently—but there are many benefits for students who choose this path (and aren’t afraid of change).
For one thing, online programs tend to be less expensive than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Since they don’t require students to pay for a dedicated space or hire instructors on staff year round, they save money on overhead costs and pass those savings along in lower tuition fees and smaller class sizes (which means more individualized attention). They also provide access worldwide through video lectures and digital textbooks rather than limiting themselves only within their geographic boundaries; this means you can take courses from wherever your internet connection takes you!
With online learning, you can learn at your own pace. You don’t have to wait for anyone else or sit in the same classroom with other students listening to a lecture. Instead, you can access all of the information you need in one place and work on your own schedule. This means that you can fit learning into your life—even if it’s only for a few minutes each day—without disrupting anything else that is going on.
More information resources
You can access all the information you need in one place. You can learn at your own pace. You have access to all the information you need in one place. You can learn from anywhere, anytime!
In most cases, you will be able to communicate with your teacher and other students on a regular basis. You’ll be able to ask questions and receive feedback from your instructors during class time, or make appointments with them outside of it. This is especially convenient if you have a question about a particular subject or assignment; instead of waiting until the next day for office hours (or even after class), you can hop online right away and get an answer. The same goes for submitting assignments: If a deadline is coming up in two days but you aren’t ready yet, then it’s probably better not to wait until midnight tonight when everyone else has turned off their computers anyway—but if there’s no reason why anyone else needs access to your workstation during those 24 hours except yourself, then go ahead!
In addition to communicating directly with teachers and peers via email threads or chat rooms (or even things like Slack channels), there may also be additional resources available for communicating with other students who are taking similar courses at different schools around the world.
Discipline is required. You can’t let yourself get distracted, or you’ll never get anything done!
You need to set aside time each day for your studies. This might mean waking up early or staying up late, depending on what works best for your schedule.
You need to make sure that you’re using the right resources and tools for online learning. If you’re doing it wrong, it’s going to be much harder than if you’re doing it right! You should also be careful not to waste time on things that aren’t really helpful (or even harmful) in the long run—like spending too much time reading articles or watching videos without being able to retain any of them because they weren’t designed specifically for students like us!
You should also make sure that when we do have free time during breaks such as holidays or weekends (depending on where they fall), we don’t spend all our energy after getting home from school instead of studying beforehand so we can stay focused throughout class sessions later on down the road.”
online learning can be very rewarding, but without discipline and dedication, your results might not be as great.
Online learning can be very rewarding, but without discipline and dedication, your results might not be as great.
When you’re learning online, it’s important to set aside time each day to work through your coursework. If you don’t have a lot of free time, think about how much time you will spend doing the coursework, then add an additional 30 minutes or so on top of that for extra practice.
Make sure you find out what tools are available to help with your studies before starting classes so that you’ll know if there are any programs that could help make studying easier for you. For example:
- Are there pre-made tests?
- Is there an option for tutoring sessions? (The more options available can help make online classes even more rewarding.)
We hope you enjoyed this look at the pros and cons of online learning. There are a lot of great reasons to take an online course, and it can be very rewarding. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below!