What Is Online Learning and How Does It Work? | When something has an online component, it may feel a bit off-putting at first, but what really happens online?
What Does Online Learning Mean
You might think that these days, educational programming and the mindset behind it is all tied to screens. I’m the newbie to this whole thing. I’ve taken various college courses through online enrollment and some specialty training like off-line technology courses. I just learned that online education really isn’t that different than classroom learning, but you’ll get a much more educated and learned more in a more diverse educational experience.
I was really surprised by the subject matter for some of the degree programs. My biggest fear when I originally looked into this was that if the classes were so technical or so intense, I wouldn’t understand how they could be that effective if I wasn’t in front of the teacher. Luckily for me, I did my research. It was a great experience and I learned so much! So, did this ever affect my college experience negatively?
You asked a question that many people could relate to:
What does online learning mean? Is it different from the old school style of classes?
Personally, I think online learning is just a tool that provides a wider choice to students. Think about it: Online courses do require the same concepts and activities as their classroom counterparts, but they do require students to log onto a website and complete a few assignments at a time. So, this doesn’t allow for classroom like conversation and student interactions. It’s just a whole different tool for students who are content with it, but it’s not for everybody.
The main difference between online learning and classroom education is that it’s more focused on education through the use of technology and a greater diversity of disciplines. But that’s just the theory. The fact is, you’ll meet the same people through both modes of education; the instructors, and the peers and students. You’ll learn the same stuff, just with a greater variety of subject matter to try. In fact, I think that’s one of the main draw of online learning: the variety.
So, you might be wondering, “Why is this the best way to learn?”
I think the main draw of online learning is how it lets you be open-minded and prepare for different opportunities and career paths. With online learning, you’re not restricted to studying specific topics, because you can pursue a variety of academic courses and electives at the same time. And, when studying and working online, you can be flexible with your work and your assignments, because you’re not focused on something and have to complete a certain amount of hours to get into the next class.
I’m going to even go as far as saying that now is one of the best times to study in an open atmosphere. With technology having advanced to the point where it’s more than easy to connect with an instructor, on-line courses are designed to facilitate that open environment. And, with over 400,000 online courses, there’s bound to be something that caters to your individual interests.
So what’s the big question that many students ask: Can online learning affect my college experience?
For me, the answer is a resounding yes.
I went to college for four years. My major was business administration, but I’m considering maybe going back into education when I’m done with the Lanyard Program at UW-Eau Claire. For me, online learning helped a lot. I really gained so much experience from learning so many things from so many perspectives, like how to communicate with different classes and organize myself into class work flow. I can understand how valuable and important this is for the education of today. You can experience many of these “outside the box” courses in online settings, and you don’t have to join different organizations, be involved in club activities, or take out classes from off-line entities to boost your scores.
Even though you can do this any time of the day or night, I think it’s important to remember that it takes a certain caliber of human being to balance online classes with a real life routine. So, whether you’re going back to school and needing to catch up, or you’re ready to make a change in your career or life, this is the best way to figure it out.
Make sure to schedule online courses into your weekly schedule. Follow my blog and website for some tips and tricks for making them fun!