Although “the new normal” has revealed the benefits of online learning in all their glory, students were already reaping the rewards of distance learning for quite some time.
But it wasn’t until the recent crisis that online education gained mainstream acceptance. People began taking courses in various subjects, from computer science to cooking, whether to boost their career prospects or simply exercise their brain muscles. For a while, it seemed like there were no reasons not to take online classes. And, according to all statistics available, the trend is here to stay.
So, stay with us while we deep dive into the 11 pros of online education.
What are the advantages of online learning?
While it’s safe to say that students benefit from online learning in so many ways, we’ll classify the related advantages into two significant groups. First, the value of online education primarily resides in the ease of transferring knowledge via modern technology. It is so simple to learn in the online environment. The second set of assets relates to benefits that come in the aftermath of online courses, i.e., their use in career advancement.
Let’s now explain them one by one.
#1 Scheduling Flexibility
If you asked students, this is probably the most significant advantage of online learning over education in brick-and-mortar institutions.
The majority of learners today have busy schedules as it is. In some cases, it would be virtually impossible to fit in an extra class or two, let alone an entire course. When perceived from such a perspective, online courses are better because they offer greater flexibility in scheduling and complete control over pacing options.
In essence, online learning makes it a lot easier to achieve life balance without sacrificing your commitments.
#2 Lower Costs
The second reason why learners choose online settings is cost-effectiveness.
Not only do online courses tend to be more affordable, but they also don’t entail any additional costs – such as commuting, meal plans, or on-campus housing.
And that’s not the whole financial story. According to the 2021 report by BestCollages, a whopping 93% of students said they have had (or expect to have) a positive return on their online education investment.
In a word, online learning simply pays off.
#3 More Comfortable Learning Environment
Although people absorb knowledge in different ways, online learning is generally perceived as providing a more comfortable, and thus more effective studying environment. But, of course, not everyone will focus better in their living room. Still, virtual classrooms tend to impose less pressure on students and circumvent over-competitiveness, that’s often a hallmark of traditional education.
In a nutshell, because distance learning provides you the freedom to shape your studying surroundings, it enables you to participate in class more effectively.
#4 Variety of Subjects
According to a 2019 Harris Poll Survey, a “DIY mindset is reshaping education.” Namely, the shifts in the global economy are imposing a need to “patch together” your education, either by modifying the existing degrees or obtaining an entirely new skill set.
With so many specializations available at the click of a button, it seems that online training is the only possible way to rise up to the life-long learning challenge.
#5 Efficient Lesson Delivery
Unlike face-to-face setups, virtual classrooms enable educators to use instructional technology more efficiently, meaning that students can grasp information in so many engaging ways. And the way digital literacy is starting to gain relevance, this benefit of online learning will probably become even more critical in the future.
Online learning comes in so many different shapes and sizes. Students can subspecialize in, for example, Italian sauces preparation or take an entire master’s program in law. Likewise, they can choose to take synchronous or asynchronous courses, self-pace their learning advancement, and tailor their own learning curves. This amount of versatility is simply impossible to implement in traditional education, which is, by its definition, a system an individual has to adapt to.
In many ways, the digital era has made our education more egalitarian. The doors of online learning are now open for everyone – no matter their geographic location, potential disabilities, or cultural background. It’s the perfect democratization of knowledge all are invited to, with some of the significant course providers even offering financial aid to the less fortunate.
#8 Obtain Essential Skills
We’ll now turn our attention to the second set of online learning benefits – those that relate to the career-fueling potential or that can serve as important stepping stones in making important changes in your life.
For starters, obtaining an online certificate or completing an entire degree means that you’ll have to master a few skills that are considered essential these days. For example, tech-savviness, self-discipline, and self-motivation most evidently stem from distance learning education. But there are quite a few of those not apparent at first sight, including communication, time-management, and decision-making.
#9 Greater Access to Expertise
Aside from the chance to attain “soft skills,” online training can get you a pass into the depths of your expertise. Distance learning education entails the possibility to handpick the experts you’d like to learn from and dig deep into the areas that raise your intellectual butterflies. In pragmatic terms, this means that you can absorb knowledge from the best of the best.
#10 Expand Your Professional Network
The ability of virtual classrooms to become community nursing spots is often underrated, even though colleagues can play a vital part in online learning. Through an exchange of information, peer reviews, or “plain old” human helping hand – you could be making meaningful professional connections.
#11 Build Your Resume
Each benefit we’ve just discussed tackles the matter of career advancement somewhat indirectly. But even when it comes to more immediate resume building, online training can be the ultimate and indispensable career booster.
Not only can you “decorate” your professional ID with soft skills or showcase your determination to self-development, but you can also add a valuable degree to crown your expertise.
Rise up to The Challenges of Modern Education
At the very end, it’s worth noting that all educational participants benefit from online learning, even though students are usually emphasized as the biggest winners.
Employers get a skillful workforce fitted to the modern-day market.
Educators get engaging tools and a vast student body eager to learn.
And schools get a chance to reconceptualize and accommodate the needs of modern learners.
At Astria Learning, we provide comprehensive OPM solutions and make online learning happen, allowing all sides to extract their benefits. Contact us today for more information on how we can grow together.