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Is Online Education For You?

E-Learning Is Becoming Increasingly Popular

Gone are the days of sitting in a large lecture hall among a sea of bored faces; at least this is the case for online students. Online education is growing rapidly in popularity both for its affordability and flexibility. Online courses and degrees often cost a fraction of traditional education, an important consideration for many as the cost of traditional education continues to skyrocket. However, there are pros and cons of online education.

Positive Aspects

Students who complete their studies online – whether for an undergraduate degree, master’s degree, or even high school diploma – are open to a new way of learning. These students learn, communicate, study, and participate all online through a number of forums. Online education offers busy students the flexibility not usually available with a traditional education. Students can decide how to best manage their curriculum and course work, and can spend more or less time on certain subjects depending on their needs and desires.

As traditional education focuses more and more on e-learning, online students often have many of the same resources available to them as their traditional counterparts. Reports, studying, homework, and research (to name a few examples) are completed either fully or partially online by both traditional and online students. Furthermore, online and traditional students alike use e-mail as their main form of communication with their peers and educators, which has reflected the general move towards electronic communication over the last several years.

Be Prepared for Challenges

While the benefits are plenty, online students do face unique challenges related to learning online. Dedication and time management to such a flexible and fluid environment are necessities to succeed, and some students have a difficult time developing these traits. Those who are motivated by deadlines set by others often do not find online education ideal. While many working professionals benefit from online education, some are not able to prioritize well and fall behind in their studies.

Other students find that they lack commitment as a result of both the lower cost and fluid structure; they are less invested in an online education. Finally, students sometimes feel alone in their educational journey due to its solitary nature. Online educational programs that feature virtual classrooms, though, can be a positive remedy to this feeling.