If you want to know the benefits of online classes, here are the top three. Good online courses exploit these fundamental advantages. Students are able to enjoy studying online on their terms.
1. Study Anywhere You Want To
For many people, the number one advantage of online classes is getting to choose where you study. You can get creative here but, let’s face it, a desk or the lounge are the most likely places to get some serious study done.
Personally, I prefer reclining on a chaise lounge, with all the roominess and comfort you could ask for. I know other people who prefer to sit at a desk, either at home or in an office at work.
You can study at these same places if you are taking a traditional face-to-face course. But you’ll also have to spend time in the classroom. You’ll be sitting a non-comfy chair for an hour or more at a time — no flexibility there. And the class could be noisy and full of distractions.
If you want physical comfort and the ideal atmosphere, online classes are the way to go. The place you study is a place you choose for yourself.
2. Escape the Limitations of Physical Travel
Online classes mean literally not travelling at all. That’s the second key advantage.
You can be browsing through social media for fun one moment and, within a second, switch to your online education portal. Everything you need to study online is contained on your internet-connected device.
Compare that to the alternative of having to physically get to classes. Start the timer from when you prepare for travel, which could involve showering and changing clothes. And you’re not done until you’re back inside your home or office. Total time consists of:
- preparing for the class in terms of dress and physical presentation
- commuting to the university, college, institute or school, whether by public transport, private vehicle, cycling, walking, etc
- getting to the actual classroom before it begins, including across-campus walk, stairs, lifts, etc
- waiting for the class to start since you arrived early
- actual teaching and learning
- return travel, which might include waiting for a bus or to be collected.
Physically getting to and from classes is a time-consuming business. And it’s also limiting. Your only study options are at places near to where you live or work.
In contrast, online learning allows you to easily study with education providers from all over the globe. Your “travel range” expands from your town and city to countries far, far away. Escaping the travel barrier should allow you to find a cheaper, better course than what’s available locally.
3. A Fully Flexible Weekly Schedule
The theme of studying on your terms continues with the third advantage on our list. A fully flexible weekly schedule is yours when you take online classes.
Course instructors are very aware that most people doing online courses want flexibility. Often, adult students work full-time and may even have family responsibilities on top of that. Instructors accommodate student wishes by, essentially, allowing them to study at whatever times students choose.
Recorded lectures, self-paced lessons and text-based communication all allow students to fit study into their weekly schedule. Rarely are you required to be online on at a specific time. Instead, you can squeeze study into the best times of the day for you, which could be first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, or late at night.
Further reading on the benefits of online study
For more discussion on the benefits of online learning, see this excellent article by Clare McLoghlin from the Learning Lab. She explains why “online learning is good” and why more students are taking up the online study option each year.