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Advantages of Online Learning

Jan 17, 2008
Based on my 20+ years experience in distance education as a student, administrator, recruiter, and faculty member, I know firsthand that there are numerous advantages to online learning.

Listed below are my Top Ten advantages of earning an accredited online degree. Check them out and see if an online education makes sense for you.

1. Accredited Online Schools Are Gaining Popularity and Acceptance.

During the past few years, the availability and variety of online degrees has exploded. The reason for this explosive growth has been the increased acceptance of this type of education and method of delivery. As demand for online education has increased, it has required many major colleges and universities to institute Internet based learning programs. There are even some of the very elite schools that are promoting online learning through YouTube, ITunesU, and Second Life.

2. Online Schools are Convenient.

There is nothing more convenient than attending college classes from the comfort of your own home, while on break at work, or at your local coffee shop. An online school gives more options as far as when you have to complete your course work, and the schedule of when you do this work is strictly in your hands. This convenience factor is motivating many people who never got their college education to finally pursue a degree.

3. Many Online Schools are Affordable.

Saving money is one of the primary advantages of attending an online college. The ever-rising tuition cost in this country has been a problem for many years. Even earning a degree at your hometown school is not the bargain it once was. Consistent and continuous hikes in tuition have caused many local colleges to fall on hard times. Online universities are less expensive and an increasingly good bargain.

Online degrees usually are less expensive per credit hour than traditional degrees. But there are additional savings such as not having to relocate, commuting to classes, room and board, activity fees, parking or numerous other costs associated with attending a traditional brick and mortar university.

4. Flexible Schedule.

Life is busy. This busyness has made it impossible for many people to attend a full time college. This has changed with the option of attending school online and doing it at your own pace. With most online programs you are not required to attend classes on a specific time and day. Online courses are set up in such a way that allows students to work within their own schedule.

Most online programs offer what I call compressed terms. These terms range in length of 5 to 8 weeks. Because of this flexibility a student can complete a degree requirement faster than at a traditional university.

5. Learn While You Earn.

Jim, for example, is a 35 year old. He has graduated from high school, and he always wanted to attend college, but with a family to support he can't afford to be without his job. Jim has a really good paying full time job at a local printing company. Jim made the decision to attend an online university. That way he can continue his job and earn that degree that he knows he will need for future employment opportunities.

6. Acceptance.

Employers have learned from experience that online degrees that are earned at reputable, accredited universities, such as Liberty University, are very creditable and employees who attend such programs are usually self-starters, motivated, and good employees. Not only that, but these types of students gain practical and relevant knowledge that will directly benefit their work and employer.

7. Learn Self-Discipline.

As an online student you will learn to develop the techniques of self-discipline, self-motivation and time management. Every one of these disciplines is of immeasurable value when you get into the working world.

If you work well alone, have computer sense, and have access to the Internet you are an excellent online student candidate. Research has shown that the number one ability that successful online students possess is time management.

8. Networking.

As an online student, you will have the ability to communicate with people from all over the world. Working in partnership with people from different cultures is a benefit that can enhance your learning experience.

9. Superior Faculty.

Online schools have some of the best faculty in the country. Accredited online schools recruit the best professors in their fields, most of whom are currently working in the their respective field. This firsthand experience enhances the learning experience and makes the virtual classroom a launching pad to practical and applicable knowledge.

10. Effective Learning.

Studying through the Internet is actually a very rewarding experience. Most online programs have very robust Learning Management Systems (LMS) that allow students a single interface to the virtual classroom. An LMS can contain class modules, streaming video, e-books, tests, calendars and much more. It is also the portal that allows communication through discussion boards and email.
About the Author
Shaun Redgate is a Senior Associate at Liberty University and an Adjunct Faculty. With over 22,000 distance learning students at Liberty, it has given Shaun a unique insight into the world of online education. Contract him at - http://www.LibertyUniversityOnline.com/ or Shaun@shaunredgate.com
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