Researchers conclude online learning is effective for both students and teachers.
How Is Online Learning More Beneficial Than Seated
By Kandi Wagner, Editing & Creative Services Associate for How To Run A Website
At best, online classes are a worthwhile investment, like a house on the lake or a pair of shoes. At worst, they’re more a luxury, and point to a financial trade-off for the more popular alternative of a campus education. Although off-campus courses may lack the thrill of real-life interaction and the coursework can be simply less exciting, there are a few perks that aren’t enough to warrant skipping the experience. Not only are off-campus courses offered with less expense, but online classes can be accessibly tailored to individual needs and preferences.
For some students, participating in an online class is a blessing from on high.
“I’ve been a student at Sky College since 2014, and we’ve seen a major increase in off-campus registrations,” said Sky College Marketing and Community Relations Specialist Libby Furino. “Although the remaining brick-and-mortar campuses are completely used throughout the academic year, we now see even a week’s worth of non-students on our campuses coming to take courses during those off-campus days.”
This off-campus trend is significant because it can equal more revenue than other avenues of higher education.
“Online enrollment is a significant portion of our student body, with over 75% of our Class of 2019 using the option,” Furino said. “Off-campus enrollment is a great opportunity for our students to start a degree without necessarily leaving the area that they live in. It can help to not only transition back to work and/or school after graduation, but it can help with earning the money needed to continue their education.”
Online classes give students access to a coursework library to research topics before majoring or launching a career.
Off-campus classes that aim to begin their learning schedule in the evening can also be extended into the early morning, assuming classes aren’t in session. This flexibility can be ideal for those students who are preoccupied with doing the dishes or who may not have time to start their day in a half-day class schedule.
“Off-campus options also provide a career-advancing alternative to pre-professional business options such as pre-med,” said Furino. “Some schools offer pre-med courses which, once completed, may lead to a medical degree. Now the cost of attending medical school ranges from $80,000 to $200,000—almost as much as a grad school degree on its own.”
Students can get a head start on the quality of their education.
Although off-campus courses may not offer an in-person classroom setting, they do provide an alternative learning setting.
“In-person classes are often expensive and inconvenient to attend or worse, students are required to get a financial aid or Pell Grant to pay for them,” said Furino. “On-campus classes often demand financial commitments from students that may leave other education options unproven, nor a realistic expectation for success. Online classes provide an alternative experience, as well as the opportunity to jump-start a degree level and gain some community involved.”
To attain that full-fledged college experience, students must attend an institution’s main campus, and first time off-campus students are unlikely to earn a full-time offer or renewal. Off-campus programs generally offer the chance to pursue all the major and coursework normally completed in a full-time course load.
“We noticed an increase in freshman undergraduate students who came to our campus to start their college education, but moved to off-campus locations from their existing campus,” said Corey Tyner, who is also the Program Specialist for the Online Education at Maine Community College. “Online enrollment is not just a transitional option. Off-campus students come to school knowing how to be successful, unlike the day-to-day demands of a traditional campus, but still want to participate in their studies while still being able to work part-time or be a full-time student at another educational site like campus or cyber.”
Off-campus students have the option to find their own space in a classroom that is ideally suited to their learning style. Some universities offer live courses at small, private, or classroom space, depending on the type of student who is interested in such classes. It’s important to note that if you decide to take courses through a completely online or online class, that class will typically require two to three online credit hours, so choosing a school that allows you to do that is recommended.