Online courses are the biggest and perhaps most well-known alternative to conventional education. Online education is an educational and training system that relies almost entirely on the internet, and as such offers features and benefits which are very different from the ones offered by real world educational courses.
So if you’re wondering how online courses can help you and your professional career then here are five things that you should know.
1. Remote Learning
The most obvious benefit of online courses is that it allows people to learn remotely. It allows them to attend class regardless of where they are, which means that they can continue studying while at home, on their noon-break or even in the middle of the evening. As long as they can synchronize their schedule with the course and have access to the internet, they can attend their online classes. Remote learning is friendly for those who want to study on a budget. There is no more long commutes, paper-based supplies, or facility-fees. If you are really frugal, you can sign up for free Udemy courses to test the waters. Remote learning has grown in leaps and bounds. Anyone can find a lesson worth taking online.
2. Flexible Schedules
Another benefit offered by online courses is that they offer flexible scheduling options. Students who have full time jobs can attend classes at periods which are convenient for them, and the same is true for students who are in different time zones.
Online courses are often structured in such a way as to provide morning, afternoon and evening versions of the same class or coursework. This way, all the students will have access to the same materials without having to worry about their schedules. Some courses may also be taken at specific months or weeks, which means that students can set aside special month or week long periods where they can complete their courses uninterrupted.
3. Reduced Costs
One of the biggest challenges of education is cost. It costs money to buy text books, to ride to school each morning, to pay tuition fees, to pay for school lunches, to perform school activities and various other expenses. Online courses do not eliminate any of these expenses, but they can make them cheaper.
For example, the vast majority of online courses do not require students to study text books, but they will still have to pay for a particular online service or access to some online materials. Unlike text books, however, these online materials are generally cheaper and in some cases, more exhaustive.
It’s also worth mentioning that a standard online course, for example, only costs a few hundred dollars, including subscription fees. In contrast, a college degree costs thousands of dollars. So although online education cannot eliminate educational costs entirely, they are certainly more affordable than traditional course work.
4. Live and Archived Courses
Another major benefit of online education is that it offers students the option to either get a live course or an archived course. Live courses are courses where classes are live, and participants can interact with the instructors via the internet.
Live courses also allow students to ask questions, pose scenarios and interact with the class in general. Take online engineering courses for example. Some of them include discussions on hypothetical engineering projects, like bridges or factories for example. Live courses allow students to discuss such hypothetical situations in depth with their fellow classmates. There are many resources for engineering courses on the internet or you can take a live course like this one from Sem-Train.com.
The second option are archived courses, which feature pre-recorded videos and materials that students can view and study at their leisure. For example, many math classes are offered as archived courses. In these courses, the students are tasked with figuring out various math equations based on the instructions offered by each video. The greatest advantage behind this approach is that students can study their lessons whenever they want, without regard for deadlines.
5. Access/Membership to Online Resources
Many online courses come with various other online resources, like PDFs, learning tools, research data, powerpoint presentations and many others. These extra resources function as the online versions of textbooks and learning materials, but most of them are free, so there’s no need to worry about additional costs. You can purchase additional materials, but that’s your call.
Online courses offer a lot of benefits to students and educators, which is why they are widely used by businesses and training organizes. They are flexible, affordable and they make learning easier.
Although online education cannot be used for major training courses, like medicine and law (both of which require classrooms and real world interaction), they are very useful for everything else. They can also be used for minor subjects, and many children’s schools use them already for certain students. So if you want to improve your professional and academic qualifications then getting an online education may be the best and most practical option for you.