It’s time for the next installment in our series on The Top 10 Benefits of Online Education. So far, we’ve covered choice and savings, flexibility and convenience, and instructor interaction and networking. Today we’re talking about how online education makes it possible to graduate faster (or even slower if that’s what the student needs) and the opportunity for more effective learning.
Online programs often allow students to graduate sooner than they would have been able to otherwise because they can study and progress without the constraints of waiting on an instructor or classmates.
One of the biggest benefits of online education is the opportunity it provides to graduate at your own pace. Every student is different, with different demands on their time that can greatly affect the time they can dedicate to studying. Online courses allow students to learn when it’s convenient for them, which makes it possible for students to graduate faster than they would in a more traditional education system.
Consider this situation as an example. For a busy mom with a toddler and an elementary-school-aged child, attending an early morning class would be nearly impossible because that’s when she’s trying to get her older child off to school while also getting the toddler fed and ready for the day. But she can pack in the studying when the toddler’s napping before her older child gets home or when they’re both in bed. If she was limited to only learning when she could attend class, it could take years to finish, but online education allows her to maximize her available time so she can graduate quicker.
Students learn more effectively online. A study by the Department of Education found that, on average, students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better than peers who learned entirely through face-to-face instruction.
There’s no question that the education system in our country is changing. Higher education is on a path that just can’t be sustained—costs are rising while return for the investment is falling. Online education is one of the ways that the system is evolving to better meet the needs of students, and a 2009 study from the Department of Education found that students using online education actually learned better.
The study noted that online learning was often more effective because students had more opportunities to interact with the curriculum and they were more involved in their own learning. It was also noted that online students could easily spend more time with the material if needed, whereas in-class students were limited by the constraints of their class time. Overall, online education will play an important role in the future of higher education because it helps students improve their learning experiences.
We hope that this series is helpful for you as you’re referring others to Career Step. Do you feel you better understand why students consider and choose online learning?