Ever wished you had a degree? With the recent trend of increasing online learning options, you’re probably wondering where you can even start to pursue one.
What Are Some Benefits Of Learning Online
When you download a book on an e-reader or subscribe to an app, you can hand your device to someone else to enjoy it with. In the past several years, we’ve been downloading books like crazy—with February set to set a new record—and Netflix has seen a tremendous success in the streaming television market. So why not the studying space?
One 2016 study by Weber Shandwick and the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that 89 percent of college students viewed the Internet as a positive or neutral influence on their education. That said, only 36 percent reported using the Internet to learn at least some of their material from home. “They continue to be resistant to a primarily online learning environment because they struggle with convenience and cost, as well as the level of focus required to accommodate online educational opportunities,” they concluded.
If you use the Internet to study online—and the use of subscription-based applications like Textbook Hub has helped me do so successfully—you can see for yourself that it isn’t all about convenience, it’s about finding time to create study habits that work for you. Here are a few of the pros of online learning, but just like online services, it requires a little bit of planning.
Fun to study
Just like textbooks you’re bound to have so many different kinds that they all look different from each other, so do online courses. Which your favorite online platform may feature depends on the interest of your instructors—or your own personal preference. Ideally, you will find a balance that’s conducive to your academics. Whether you do face-to-face or study online, learning allows you to mentally switch off. If you’re going to study online, this option is especially important since you’ll be working in different systems throughout the day.
When you try to take all the books you’ve already taken to class offline, the print version will be gone. In short, online courses are limitless in the types of content they allow you to study, even if there are just a few books and a few websites to choose from. The sheer variety of activities available can mean one thing for you or a completely different experience depending on your training, genre, field and/or interest.
The things you say are especially limiting online. Even the most detailed assessments can be limited to the number of words you can fit into 10 or 15 words. In the distance-learning context, that’s just not the same, because sometimes you will only be able to get 20 or 30 words into each statement. Online courses make sure you get the proper reading and writing even when you have no time.
Universities and schools use electronic materials, because they’re convenient, cheap, and less likely to alter your grades. But one disadvantage is that the learning process doesn’t help you master facts. Online learning might inspire an idea but won’t allow you to hone in on what it is that you want to be better at, or make mental connections that reach beyond superficial links. Your professor may consider you ready for new courses, but studying in-person has helped me in overcoming my test anxiety. Like most online classes, it requires you to imagine and plan your mind-set and apply that all through the unit of your study—even if that’s just remembering a saying or working through a repetition.
Overall, studying online is better than nothing. You’ll continue to develop the tools necessary to be successful in your chosen field, but will have the good fortune of using resources like Wikipedia that can help you in the immediate future. In fact, as much as we in the classroom recognize how to use test prep materials, there is no replacement for experimenting with them to find the best answer for each unit you take. In some cases, an entire lecture will better prepare you for a subject than a specific, prefabricated course book.
Ready and learning
All in all, it’s kind of like having unlimited learning materials. Whether you’re pursuing a different career or just taking courses to make yourself better at what you already do, the ability to access all that you need online will give you a good chance to master your current skills and train new ones.