By Marty Chester, M.S.Ed. The advantages of online learning focuses on saving you time and money as you work toward your degree. Online learning provides flexibility for students who are working, parenting, or traveling. Online learning can give you the convenience you need to earn your degree while living your best life.
Fits into Your Schedule
Flexibility is the number one advantage of online learning. With courses available 24/7, adults can fine-tune their coursework to fit their schedules no matter what it looks like, at any time of day. Younger students can complete prerequisites and alternate admissions criteria quickly, making the ability to switch between course modalities an advantage in the modern higher ed environment.
Finish Your Degree Faster
Self-paced online classes, also called asynchronous learning, means the course doesn’t hold scheduled meetings. Rather, students complete work on their own schedule and times to meet assignment deadlines and take tests. The option to work ahead or take time with complex material is invaluable for busy students, as is the ability to log in anytime, anywhere.
Improve Your Time Management Skills
Online learning improves your time management skills as you plan your schedule. How well you use your time influences how well you do in school. Here are a few time management tips to help you out:
- Prioritize tasks to decide what is essential, what is important, and what can be delegated.
- Use a calendar for course deadlines, work, and family activities to see where you face challenges.
- Don’t wait for big chunks of time to get things done. Small things can be accomplished in the spaces between other commitments.
- Use available time-management apps to help keep you on track.
These time and task management skills are transferable to the workplace and will pay off in your career and personal life when you need to set and meet goals under pressure.
Increase Your Technical Skills
Online learning teaches technical skills along the way. Some of the benefits include:
- Using digital learning materials, including your learning management system (LMS), digital library and textbooks.
- Familiarity with new tools and software, like cloud-based storage/sharing platforms, project management tools, and communication tools like Zoom.
- Remote technology allows you to communicate in different ways, including email, messaging, file sharing, and content management.
Demonstrating your ability to troubleshoot technical problems and work with others to resolve issues will set you apart in the workplace.
Reduce Your Cost of College
Lowering your cost of college is another great reason to choose online courses. Online typically costs less and programs that pass on the savings to their students can make a big difference. You won’t incur travel costs, or wear and tear on your vehicle. StraighterLine classes start at $79 with a $99 monthly membership so you can earn college credit at less cost per credit. Since you can also learn at your own pace, and start or pause whenever you want, you reduce your risk of going back to school while accelerating the time it takes you to earn your degree. With advantages like these, it's easy to see how you can save time, save money, and improve time management and technical skills you’ll use long after you’ve finished your degree. Be sure to take advantage of the benefits of online learning.