Reviewed by Julie Vandekreke
The move to online learning has been dramatic for college students during the pandemic. Fortunately, the benefits of online learning can't be beat when it comes to earning your college degree. If you're on the fence about online classes vs. traditional classes -- or don't have an in-person option this year -- then read on about the (lucky) 13 benefits of taking college courses online!
- A large variety of courses to choose from - did you know you can earn college course credits for almost any course you can think of? Whether it's algebra, English composition or even biology lab work, there's a course you can take online. You can even study humanities, sociology and business administration. Check out this list of popular course that StraighterLine students often complete in a month or less, ideal for students looking fit courses into their schedule.
- ANTH101: Cultural Anthropology
This course provides a fantastic introduction to cultural anthropology. This course is commonly taken for humanities and/or social science general education credits.
- USHIST101: United States History I
This course focuses on the US prior to 1861. Students learn about European exploration and colonization of the New World and examine the impact on Europe, Africa, and the young United States.
- MEDTERM101: Medical Terminology
A popular course for students planning to pursue a nursing or other health science degree, this course introduces elements of medical terminology, including the etymology of terms.
- REL101: Introduction to Religion
This is a popular course for students who needs a humanities credit and provides students with a comprehensive overview of cultural religious phenomena in a global world, including commonalities and differences among religious traditions and contexts.
- PHIL101: Introduction to Philosophy
This course is a critical introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry. It examines the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to cutting-edge intellectuals of today.
- ANTH101: Cultural Anthropology
- English courses are among the most important college courses you can take, and will help set the stage for college success – though you might need to budget a little more time to complete.
- ENG101: English Composition I
This course provides an excellent in-depth approach to various writing genres, and enables students to write a selection of essays including a comprehensive research paper.
- BUS105: Business Communication
A very popular course, BUS105 helps students learn how to write in a professional tone for a cross section of business-style documents, extremely practical for your academic and professional career
- ENG101: English Composition I
- And don't forget your math options, because if you are considering any healthcare or STEM related field, you are going to have to complete math prerequisites.
- College Algebra A required course or prerequisite for most STEM majors, enrolling in this math course over the summer when there is less pressure can really allow you to overcome a fear of math and succeed on your terms.
- Multiple ways to communicate with your professor - the great thing about online classes vs. traditional classes is the flexibility you have to communicate with your professor. It's not always convenient to see your college course instructor face to face, so between email, live chat and telephone conversations, you should have more opportunities to get feedback or have a great Q&A session with your college professor.
- It doesn't cost as much - you can save hundreds of dollars to get your degree when you're learning online. The traditional costs associated with using classroom space and equipment don't apply. As long as you have the right hardware and software to log on and complete course assignments, as well as study the material, there are big savings you realize right away.
- You have better opportunities to concentrate - you can choose to study anyplace that helps you learn the material to gain a greater understanding of the overall body of knowledge you need to earn your degree.
- You can customize your learning environment - Whether you're at home, on the road or at a friend's house, you can create your own perfect room to study class materials and do homework assignments. You don't have to put up with anymore disruptive environments like crowded libraries. Online learning offers better opportunities to concentrate by not being around other people. You can dedicate one room for quiet study, or if you're shy, you don't have to worry about interacting with other students.
The Benefits Of Online Classes Vs. Traditional Classes
- Enjoy a flexible schedule - one of the great benefits of getting an online degree is you can still work full time and manage time to earn a degree in your off hours. If you work non-traditional hours, you don't have to lose sleep, arrange for childcare or waste time commuting to physical classrooms.
- Boost your career advancement opportunities - if advancing your career is dictated by your higher education accomplishments, then you take only the courses you need to get a promotion by upgrading knowledge and skills. This means no more waiting years to complete a traditional degree to get an opportunity to earn a promotion or a raise. Instead, the time you invest could only be months.
- It's eco-friendly - in the debate of online classes vs. traditional courses, you don't have to commute to a college or university to take the courses you need to complete a degree. You'll save money on gas and vehicle maintenance, but most importantly, earning an online degree saves you time that you can use to study and take exams in the comfort of your home.
- Your online college credits can transfer - by carefully researching colleges and universities you are interested in earning a degree from, you can arrange credit transfer to get your degree. Contact the admissions office of the colleges you're interested in and get a list of the online courses they'll accept for credit transfer to get your degree faster.
Even More Benefits of Online Learning
- Boost your opportunities for classroom subject discussions - Online college courses give you the chance to talk about classroom assignments using chat forums or live online discussion sites. You can still exchange ideas and dialog with other students without having to travel to a common meeting place that might not be convenient for you.
- Join virtual study groups - it's possible to form study groups online using free online software like Google Hangout or Join Me to study remotely with others. All you need is your computer, a headset to listen and talk in, and the time to join others virtually to swap ideas about classroom assignments, get questions answered about things you're stuck on. You can share screens, present documents, use virtual whiteboards to brainstorm ideas and organize your study projects.
- You can review course materials repeatedly - even it it's 3AM, you have access to online course materials such as videos, podcasts, written materials to reinforce course concepts and theory you might be stuck on. It's so much easier to flip through screens, use the "find" function to quickly zero in on relevant paragraphs quickly and take online notes to help you understand the class materials.
- You can learn at your own pace - the pressure to keep up with other students in a face to face environment is removed. You might knock out some courses in record time because the concepts and material are easy for you to understand, or you may need extra time to make some of the more abstract concepts stick with you. The point is, you are in control of your progress through any online college course you take.
Two Bonus Benefits Of Learning Online
- Take online quizzes and exams and get your score immediately - let's face it, waiting to learn your test score can be nerve-racking. Online learning systems have immediate scoring systems to let you know how well you passed the test.
- You'll develop great self-discipline - without the commitment to attending physical classes at a brick and mortar location, you'll be forced to learn self-discipline by managing your time and tasks. If you need to use time management tools like scheduling time and tasks in an online calendar, this is a life-long skill that will help you beyond getting your college degree.
While there are many more benefits of online learning, these are the top ones for figuring out if taking college courses online is right for you -- and for appreciating all the college options you have during this new normal.