How Is Online Learning More Beneficial Than Seated

According to researchers at MIT Sloan, holding classes in an open classroom could actually be less efficient than a small group discussion.

By Michael Rackley

Online educational solutions such as Lynda.com and Khan Academy, which have come to dominate the private equity and venture capital industries, provide a fascinating juxtaposition. These sophisticated, entrepreneurial types have discovered a way to monetize a myriad of online businesses that address a range of industries, and a powerful way of learning directly from the experts. But learning online is not always the most beneficial option.

Simply sitting and learning from the comfort of your own home or hotel room has some benefits, but perhaps it takes away from the sense of community as well. Engaging community members during the online courses or workshops can be an effective way to boost attendance and make your course or workshop more enjoyable. Online educators who make the class social can often increase enrollment by over 50 percent. That number goes up even more when online speakers offer long-ranging, personalized advice.

Learning new skills, typically learned by sitting in a classroom or lecture hall, can often be divided into three modes – interactive, conventional or experiential. Your experience is what makes it engaging or disappointing, depending on how you perceive it.

With the increasingly popular online learning solutions, you can learn more, faster, from the comfort of your own home – hence the name. That’s why online education always seems to be popular. But the value of online learning can vary a lot depending on the combination of the content, presentation and a social element.

In some online courses or classes, the classroom experience can reduce the value of the lessons and content, and reduce the effectiveness of the lectures. If you’re low-income, perhaps studying online is not the solution for you. Many colleges do not offer courses online, even for non-residentuates.

As an academic, it can be hard to get a good quality education in an online environment. Online education is typically done by distance learners. A typical average distance learner earns about 3 years less in salary than a standard attending a typical educational institution.

But if your mission is to learn or study, an online environment gives you the opportunity to enjoy a variety of learning styles. Online learning presents an opportunity to meet with other people that might be interested in a particular topic. You can have real conversation, with real answers, because you have your own questions. You get the benefit of asking and answering questions directly from experts. Online learning also allows you to access multimedia, real time interactive elements such as high-speed web cams, smart boards, hands-on educational stations and learning modules.

Knowledge is power. Your knowledge makes you who you are. Most successful business people started with little or no skills and became big business success stories due to their knowledge and how they apply it to their businesses.

You know that you have a great idea because you heard someone else say or write about it. You heard someone else say about a new product or service that was too good to pass up. You heard someone else say that your business idea was an amazing and innovative idea. Your business vision has surfaced, you can identify the problem and you can show how you have the solution.

As you begin learning about a specific subject, you see how it relates to other areas, or outside interests. You develop a better understanding of this topic, and how it relates to your business. This is an important aspect of the learning process that even online learning experts do not always touch on. Your online course or workshop shows how you become a better student or business person, learning how to solve problems and make improvements.

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