Online Learning

Comparing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning

Whether you're fresh out of high school, seeking a higher position within your career, changing your career path or simply wish to reach a higher level of edification in your life, you've got plenty of education opportunities available to you. One of the fastest growing avenues for higher education is online learning. But before you jump in head first, you should know a little more about this type of opportunity. When comparing the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, you'll see they are similar to those for most schools. You have to first figure out what is best for you based on your own personal priorities. For instance, if you really value face-to-face time with instructors, you might not want to attend a larger school. Similarly, online learning may not be for you, as the most contact you have with instructors and classmates is via e-mail or discussion boards.

On the other hand, this lack of interaction might be appealing to you, as you might be wary of biases or first impressions. Instructors are humans just like the rest of us, and we all have an inherent flaw that causes us to unintentionally create biases towards people within the first few moments of meeting them. Because physical interaction is limited in an online learning environment, many of these biases are limited or don’t exist. This makes the flow of information you come by while learning online more sterile, obviously, but uninhibited by a boring lecture or a teacher you don’t like.

The flexibility of online learning is obvious; you can learn at your own pace, at whatever time of day is best for you. You can take breaks as needed, take calls or run to pick up the kids in the middle of your reading if need be; something that traditional learning by its very nature does not allow.

However, the flip side of learning outside of the classroom and its flexibility is that you have to manage your time on your own. To make sure you are getting the most out of your online learning experience, you might have to budget a set amount of time each day or week to get your work done, and force yourself to stick to that schedule. Additionally, there might be unwanted interruptions if you are trying to work at home that might not exist in a traditional setting. If you feel you cannot be quite so disciplined, the flexibility of online learning might become a disadvantage instead of an advantage.

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Online Learning