The benefits that come with online learning depend a lot on the individual. While some students simply enjoy the convenience of studying in their pajamas, others must choose online education in order to stay home with their children. Still, the biggest perk that comes with online degree programs has to do with location. Simply put, when you pursue online education, you don’t have to uproot your life to do it; you can just stay home.
“The primary benefit of an online program is flexibility,” notes Monroe. “In a well-designed online program, students are not limited to programs physically located near their home.”
Staying home to pursue a degree can not only make earning a degree possible, but also less time-consuming. For example, students who pursue online degrees may not have to:
- Quit their jobs to attend school
- Commute to and from their college campus
- Plan their day around their course schedule
- Spend money on parking or babysitting
At the same time, it allows them to study and take tests at a time and place that works best for them, learn at their own pace, and transition through their courses faster.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and while there are many benefits, online education does have one drawback — the lack of a personal connection.
“The primary benefit of a campus-based program, compared to an online program, is the opportunity it provides for personal interactions with your professors and your fellow students,” says Monroe. “For many, learning is fundamentally a social activity and these person-to-person interactions are a very important component of their education.”
To lessen the impact, many online schools have begun offering a wide range of services that connect students with their peers and instructors. Commonly, those features include online message boards and chat rooms, video conferences, and web-based forums.