Tag Archives | online courses

Image by Aliis Sinisalu, unsplash.com

Image by Aliis Sinisalu, unsplash.com

Pursuing an online degree gets negative feedback from the traditional folks who prefer the old-fashioned way of spending every minute of their day in a brick-and-mortar institution. Yes, you may miss out on the campus experience including meeting new people and cutting classes. But getting a degree online has a variety of benefits you may not be aware of.

Immersive Class Discussions

An online degree, be it a bachelor’s degree in computer science or an online masters degree in education, offers access to discussion forums that give you a chance to gain an in-depth understanding of how your classmates are processing the materials you are learning from the coursework. With a traditional classroom setting, the chance to discuss the materials learned on a daily basis is minimal since students typically shy away from the opportunity to ask their professors and fellow classmates.

Enhanced Virtual Communication

When interacting online, it’s easier for students to loosen up their tone and topics. This encourages honest and constructive feedback. Of course, online educators and staff should see to it that communication between students does not come across as arrogant, confusing, or critical. In addition, online degrees provide the opportunity to become introduced to and later on, effective in, using new and upcoming communication technologies.

Broadened Information Retention

If students cannot retain the majority of what they learn in school, education would be pointless and the future would look dim. Information retention from a robust online program capitalizes on the power of multimedia by way of live or recorded lectures, webinars, and detailed infographics. Multimedia tools have been scientifically tested and proven to increase information retention by embedding sensory signals that can later be tapped into in order to recall a particular subject or topic.

Flexible Schedule

The vast majority of people who are pursuing online degrees are stay-at-home parents, full-time employees, or self-employed businesspersons. Regardless, the common denominator in these demographics is time – or the lack thereof. An online degree gives students the power to plan their lectures and assignments around the rest of their day or week. This allows them to continue working and saving money or care for their growing children or disabled loved ones.

There are many more long-term benefits to pursuing a degree through the web, such as lower tuition costs and greater ability to focus. And thanks to a growing number of schools providing advanced courses, it’s now possible to work towards higher education that will increase your job prospects and earning potential.

This article was contributed by guest author Meghan Belnap.

Image by Jazmin Quaynor, unsplash.com

Image by Jazmin Quaynor, unsplash.com

Whether you are finishing up high school, going back to school after a break, or looking into a master’s, choosing the right school for you is tough. It’s a difficult enough decision when there’s only location for your degree program to consider, but with online schooling becoming more and more common, you now have online choices to add to the mix. There are several things to consider when you are looking at schools, and deciding what kind of education experience you want is the first decision to make. What are the pros and cons to traditional and online schooling?

Traditional School

The familiar choice of a traditional brick and mortar school is one that most people end up making. There are plenty of upsides to physically attending school. Sitting in a classroom allows you to interact face to face with your professor and fellow classmates, as well as take advantage of study groups and office hours. Getting to know your professors and classmates also makes for great networking opportunities, which is known to be important for finding work after college. You get the benefits of using on-campus facilities like the library, recreation center, and career center (among others) which are awesome resources for students. Being on campus also gives you plenty of socializing opportunities like joining clubs and participating in campus events.

Of course, with the positives come negative aspects. Having to choose from and attend classes on campus makes your schedule pretty inflexible, which can be difficult if you need to work. With all of the expenses of attending school, it’s necessary for many people to be employed while going to school, and not all jobs are willing to work with school schedules. Another demerit for brick and mortar schools is location. If your local school doesn’t have the degree you want to pursue, then you have to consider either changing your choice of major or moving to another city or state. That adds the extra expense of living on your own, whether on or off campus. While some students intend to do that anyway, the option to stay at home is a comforting one as the cost of school and the cost of living continue to rise.

Online School

While there used to be a negative stigma associated with getting a degree online, these days, millions of students actually prefer online school. Online school is becoming available with several accredited and established Universities, and the online option is an extension of the same degrees offered on campus. This is incredibly convenient for people who work full time or have families and need their school life to work around their schedule, and not the other way around. Online school is also a great option for people with anxiety, or people who don’t care about the social aspects of campus life. Nothing is worse than having to go all the way to campus during homecoming week when you could care less about football. Many people worry about not getting as good of an education taking classes online, but as long as you follow these tips for maintaining focus as an online student, there’s no reason why you can’t get a full and successful education. Learning to focus and succeed in online classes can develop your self-sufficiency skills, which are important in the working world.

Negatives to online education are probably covered by the positives of on campus learning. You miss out on live interaction with classmates and the professor during class. You won’t have all of the networking opportunities you may have gotten by being on campus and participating in academic and social activities, as well as clubs. The lack of face-to-face interaction with professors can hinder students who aren’t quite college ready and need more direction. Unless you are a part of an online program with a local university, you don’t have access to the various campus facilities that other students get. Also, you don’t get the chance to make school your main focus like those who study on campus and surround themselves by like-minded individuals in an academic environment.

Choosing whether on-campus schooling or online schooling is better for you can be a difficult decision to make, but when you take a look at your life situation and your personality, it can help lead you to a decision. As long as you put in the hard work that earning any degree takes, you can get a great education with either choice. Find what’s right for you, and do your best.

This article was contributed by guest author Mila Sanchez.

Image by Pat Quinn on Flickr

Image by Pat Quinn, Flickr

When you have entered the workforce, you may feel at first that you’ve “arrived” at your career destination. However, further education can provide you with skills and knowledge to take your career to another level. Sometimes skills will be directly tied to the work you do, while at other times they may be more general. For whatever reasons you decide to further your education, here are 3 ways you can actually do it.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is a catch-all phrase that may include the kinds of online coursework just mentioned, but could also include other types of classes. Many universities and community colleges offer real-time continuing education classes for adult learners. Some may be tied to degree programs, while others are stand-alone classes for personal enrichment or to provide skill “upgrades.” For example, you might take a course in computer skills to stay updated on the latest operating systems or programs that will help you at work.

Take an Online Class or Complete an Online Degree

Online education is opening new doors for adult workers, whether you want to complete your bachelor’s, pursue a civil engineering master’s degree, or take a few courses to increase skills in a given area. Online learning platforms provide flexibility. You don’t need to leave your job to pursue a degree, though if you take courses at an accelerated pace, you may want to step your work hours down to accommodate your commitment. The choice of pacing is up to you, which is the main attraction to online courses. Since many online programs allow you to pay one course at a time, you can make this option fit your budget. Some employers encourage workers in online degree programs by offering forms of tuition reimbursement for classes tied directly to skills needed for the job.

Certificate or Diploma Programs

Whether you go with an online or “brick and mortar” option, you might find yourself wanting to pursue a certificate or diploma in addition to the associate’s or bachelor’s degree you have. This can be especially helpful if you work in a field that has areas of specialization. For instance, a nurse might decide to pursue a certificate in pediatric nursing or an accountant might want to become an expert in tax accounting skills. There are different certificates of various degrees of authority within almost every vocation. Make sure you are selecting one that is recognized by your company as valuable.

Whether you decide to take courses for personal enrichment, to learn a specific job-related skill or just to gain further knowledge or skills to advance your career, there are many paths you can take. Consider following these paths as it can help you better yourself and your station.

This article was contributed by guest author Meghan Belnap.

Accredited Schools Online

Accredited Schools Online

Students are used to being online, and these days, we’re not just open to online education – some of us even prefer it. But are we doing it right? It’s such a new phenomenon that there is still learning to be done about learning online. Accredited Schools Online created a guide to help students learn more effectively in these courses. The guide looks at Khan Academy, Coursera and MIT OpenCourseware specifically, and includes advice and keys to success from a panel of experts. Check out The Online Learning Guidebook here.

The guidebook talks about the benefits of online learning, such as convenience, cost effectiveness, and improved technology and learning skills. It guides students through what to expect when taking an online course, and even identifies which students are best suited for this type of learning based on the student’s qualities.

As online education continues to grow, many schools are making it a major part of their curriculum. To help students understand this trend, the guide also includes a detailed breakdown of online learning methods and technologies, as well as information on how to identify quality online schools or programs.

Leave your thoughts on the guidebook in the comments below.

This was contributed by guest Angela Hanners.

Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr

Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr

Online classes, or massive open online courses (MOOCs), have opened up opportunities for millions of students looking to take courses in their spare time. Especially with tuition at brick-and-mortar colleges spiralling out of control, the chance to affordably take only the classes you need from home is truly unprecedented. Let’s explore some of the reasons that online schooling is here to stay and why it could be right for your goals.

Variety, Affordability and Comfort

In all fairness, e-learning isn’t mutually exclusive with today’s university education: many top universities around the country host MOOCs of their own. It’s pretty amazing to think that you can audit a course from Harvard for free or earn a resume-bolstering credential for a few hundred dollars by taking an online class in your field.

Online education has truly been streamlined over the last decade and now is almost synonymous with flexibility. You can get a four-year bachelor’s degree entirely online or get licensure to enter the workplace. With thousands of courses ranging from engineering to nursing, you’ll never run out of subjects to take on as well. Taking an online course can also be a supplement to your education at a brick-and-mortar college or university. You might, for instance, take a summer course online to avoid a long commute to university while you have a part-time summer job or other responsibilities to handle first.

Practicality of an Online Degree

When a lot of people think about taking an online course, their first thought is brushing up on some esoteric topic (e.g., physics) or learning a second language. In fact, you can take online courses on practical topics (e.g., criminal law) in your spare time and earn a bachelor’s degree that actually pays off in the real world. An online bachelor in criminology offers you the option of taking the experience into graduate school or using the degree to land a job in an increasingly competitive working world.

Online Degree: Best Option?

Some people want to know if auditing an online course is intrinsically a better option than getting a four-year diploma at a brick-and-mortar institution. The answer is, it depends. While an online course can allow you to save a ton of money and time, there’s still a time and place for face-to-face personalized instruction. Fortunately, though, online courses are catching up in this area as well since many professors and teaching assistants are willing to respond to emails and Skype calls to address course-related questions.

With new innovations making online course more and more accessible, you can be sure that a university will have the course you are looking for. The gap is truly closing and beginning to favor online education.

This article was contributed by guest author Meghan Belnap.


Here’s an infographic you might find interesting. It compares the statistics of online vs. traditional courses. Pay special attention to the pros and cons to see if online learning is right for you. Send us a tweet @StudentsDotOrg and let us know which you prefer.

Remember, there is no pressure to take an online course if you’re not comfortable with it. Some may think that because you can work on your own schedule, that the courses may be easier – and this isn’t the case. You will need to be a motivated, independent worker in order to succeed in online courses. But, they are becoming more prevalent…do you think they will wipe out traditional courses in the future?

Computers or Campuses
Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org