The Benefits of Online Education in a Virtual Classroom
Drexel University School of Education
Similar to attending a physical campus and learning in person, there are advantages and disadvantages of attending a virtual classroom and learning online. Among the many benefits of online learning, you’ll find that virtual education allows you to enjoy a more flexible schedule, can reduce the cost of your degree, and can allow you to more easily develop your career alongside furthering your education.
While there are many pros to online learning, there are cons to consider. Staying on task and being self-motivated can be challenging in its own way; which is part of the reason why online learning isn’t right for everyone. By understanding more about the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, you can get a better idea of whether it might be suitable for you and your educational and career goals.
If you’re interested in learning more about online education with Drexel School of Education, request more information.
Advantages of Online Learning
Among the many benefits of an online learning, you’ll find virtual classrooms are great for people who are advancing their education while working. In a traditional classroom, lectures will be scheduled at a specific time of day and your schedule will be formed around the availability of classes. If you’re currently employed and courses aren’t available after your working hours, it can be difficult to juggle a course load in addition to your work duties.
When attending a virtual campus, online learning allows for far more autonomy in deciding your own schedule. That means you can study whenever it’s convenient for you. Live with some noisy roommates? Having more control over your schedule also means you can avoid distractions easier.
2. Reduced Costs
Education can be expensive, but virtual learning can provide a number of ways for students to save. Not having to commute to campus can help you save on transportation costs.
Every year, the average student spends more than a thousand dollars on textbooks and course materials. Virtual coursework often takes advantage of virtual resources, which translates into less money spent on textbooks.
Tuition costs can also vary between online and on-campus programs. For instance, at Drexel University, students enrolled in online programs in the School of Education receive a 25% discount off the price of regular tuition. Most online programs offered by the school are also financial aid eligible.
Between all these sources of savings, cost-cutting can be an enormous benefit of online classes.
3. More Free Time
Because your schedule isn’t dictated by classes, you can spend more time doing the things you want. Plus, in addition to saving money, not having to commute also means saving time because you don’t need to travel to-and-from campus.
That extra time can be used in any way you want, such as focusing on your career or spending time with your family. All you need is a digital device and an internet connection, and you have access to the necessary tools to further your education and earn your degree on your own time.
4. Increased Course Variety
Another reason why online school is better for some is the increased variety of education options. Since students are not required to travel to campus for courses schedule on specific days and times, students can enroll in the courses they are most interested in. There’s no need to rearrange schedules, students in an online program can take the course they want and complete the coursework at a time that is most convenient for them. Through online courses, students can gain the knowledge they need to earn their degree or grow in their profession.
Online courses allow you to earn essentially the same range of different degrees that can be earned from a traditional educational environment. That includes learning certificates and professional certifications to master’s degrees or doctoral degrees.
5. Career Advancement Opportunities
Just like courses taken in a traditional classroom setting, virtual learning can provide you with a number of career advancement opportunities.
Because you’re the master of your own schedule, students of virtual learning are better prepared to continue working while pursuing academic credentials. And for students who aren’t employed, academic work can serve to explain any discontinuity or gaps in a resume. In either case, the advantages of virtual learning can be clearly seen on a resume.
6. Increased Collaboration
Online students have better opportunities to collaborate with classmates through virtual group work and meetings. One of the benefits of online courses are the message boards and grouping tools that allow students to post their feedback on readings and other assignments and respond to their classmates.
Students may also receive more one-on-one time with their professor with virtual learning, which is beneficial for both learning and networking. Students can communicate director with their professor and upload assignments for review.
7. Personalized Education
Students who find their focus suffers from classroom activity may benefit from online classes. Students who aren’t as assertive may have better opportunities to participate in class discussions when communicating online. Working from your own choice of environment, with self-paced learning, the result can be a more personalized learning experience.
In online courses, students to choose the time that works best for them to complete readings and assignments. Since the coursework is online, courses can be completed anywhere there is an internet connection.
8. Enhanced Time Management Skills
While the benefits of online learning include the flexibility to complete assignments at a time that is most convenient to the student, the student still needs to manage their time wisely to ensure they complete their assignments by the deadlines set by the professor. Online courses teach students how to manage their time better since the student bears the responsibility of engaging with the course instead of simply showing up to class on an assigned day and time. As a result, students not only gain knowledge from the coursework, but they also sharpen their time management skills.
9. Immediate Feedback
Integrating coursework with technology provides a number of advantages. Rather than waiting days or weeks after exams, you can often get immediate feedback. In online courses, students upload assignments digitally for review by their professor. Professors review student work online and submit feedback electronically. As a result, students receive feedback right away. In a traditional classroom setting, students may need to wait a week or two to receive feedback on their assignments. By receiving feedback sooner, students can learn faster and make adjustments for future assignments.
10. Repeated Access to Course Materials
Where a traditional lecturing leaves you at the mercy of your best note-taking skills, video presentations can be watched and revisited as necessary. If a student didn’t quite understand some of the content covered in a video lecture, they can go back and listen to it again. Students can use lecture videos as a supplemental tool to help with competing assignments.
Deciding if an Online Degree is Right for You
In order to decide if an online degree is right for you, it would be best to evaluate the pros and cons of online learning. Students who don’t mind setting their own schedule for learning and completing assignments and are okay collaborating with their classmates remotely, will likely do well in an online program. What students should understand most is that the same content covered in an in-person class is also covered in an online course and there is no difference between a degree earned online and a degree earned in-person.
If you are intrigued by the benefits of online learning and feel that an online degree is a good fit for you, we encourage you to browse our graduate programs to learn more about how Drexel's online programs can help you.