Benefits of Distance Learning
Online learning offers many intangible benefits over a traditional college experience. From parking to back-to-back classes in buildings at opposite ends of campus, earning a degree at an online college or university lets students avoid many hassles of traditional campuses.
Online colleges also let you avoid the agony of being this close to finishing your degree, only to find out that the final class you need is at capacity and you’ll have to wait another semester to graduate.
Earning a degree at an online college can be a great option over and above those benefits as well. In fact, some education leaders believe that eventually online learning will be part of everyone’s education, from taking a class to fill in learning gaps, to capitalizing on a more affordable way to earn a degree. Online learning can also be a best fit for a number of people who fall under one of the categories below.
Military Personnel and Their Families
Until about a decade ago, a distant deployment or a disruptive PCS far from a college campus put degrees on hold for military personnel and their spouses. Educations would wind up delayed and at times forgotten, putting the solider or sailor at a disadvantage before the promotion board and hampering a spouse looking for civilian employment.
Fortunately, quality, accredited online universities have become common. Today’s military personnel and their spouses can work toward earning their degrees no matter where the next duty station might be. If their computers can go there, so can their college.
Juggling college classes and full-time employment is hard for anyone. Add family obligations to the mix and “hard” can become impossible.
Children get sick. Schools have snow days. After-school activities require daily shuttle runs. Family life doesn’t always combine well with a college schedule that says “be here when your class meets at X time.”
Online classes with flexible scheduling let students pursue their schooling around the hustle of their daily lives.
Do you find that you grasp concepts quickly and are held back by the pace of the instruction or the performance of your classmates? If so, the individual pace of an online class could be perfect. Spend only as much time as you need to understand a concept, then move on.
Students Who Need a Little More Support
On the flip side of the coin, online classes also can be a boon for students who need more time or guidance due to a language barrier, unfamiliar subject matter, etc. Online message boards and email let you reach out to instructors or classmates if you get stuck. Some students also say they feel less pressured in an online class because they’re not comparing their performance to that of peers who are physically present.
The Technologically Savvy
If your computer, tablet, or smart phone is a virtual extension of your brain, you’ll love the ability to integrate those tools into your education.
Ashford’s Constellation® platform puts everything online and on the cloud for easy access no matter where your schedule takes you. Create virtual notebooks and highlight virtual texts – no wasteful piles of paper or marked-up textbooks necessary.
Getting involved in class discussions can be as easy as logging onto Ashford Mobile from a smart phone. Pop in, ask a question, and come back later and read the responses. Check assignments and check on your financial aid. It’s all at your fingertips from anywhere with a data connection.
An online college is the obvious choice for students who need flexible scheduling and anywhere access. Increasingly, though, students who normally would turn first to a brick-and-mortar college are realizing the rich benefits that come with learning online.
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Written by Ashford University staff.