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Posted by cloveb   September 4, 2017   201 views

I hope I'm not interrupting your classroom with this blog, but it's quite possible.

A recent survey found that one out of every five students is enrolled in an online course.  While it's an impressive stat, I can't say I'm surprised.

This very blogger took three online courses during her college career, the first of which was mandatory for my major, and only offered online.  I have to admit, I felt slightly cheated.  No, I'm not against online learning, but I felt it should be an option, not a requirement.  I enjoyed going to class (mostly…) and felt that if I was expected to learn, I should be given adequate time and space, and not the virtual kind.

That was then.  This is now.

After being pushed into the online learning world, I quickly realized there were some major benefits.

Assignments were posted with deadlines, like any class.  The difference was that I never sat in a classroom thinking I could be making more progress on my own.  There was no busy work, because there was not an allotted time that educators had to fill with activities.  The virtual classroom was always open.

So, instead of sitting in a classroom and learning, I sat in my dorm room thinking about which channel to flip to or what the dining hall was serving for dinner.  And therein lies the tricky part of online learning—it can be easily neglected.

Although online classes may seem like the easier alternative, they can require more organization and time management for students.  They do provide freedom, but it's the freedom of when you will take the class, not freedom from class altogether.  Students must control the distractions.

It took me a while to learn that lesson, but other students seem to be catching on—quickly.   The Boston Globe predicts that the rapid growth of online learning will continue to increase, due to the economy.  When unemployment rates are high, continuing education is a natural alternative to joblessness.  And where better to continue education than from the comfort of your own computer.

How about you?  Have you benefitted from online courses?  Do you prefer a chalkboard to a computer monitor?  Do tell.  This message board, like the virtual classroom, is always open.
College know-how Student trends online courses college online
Posted in College know-how
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