Online Classes Provide Convenience for the Independent Student
The way higher education is so often depicted in movies may be one of the best examples of the disparity between Hollywood and reality.
While some of us are lucky enough to attend the type of university often shown in movies and on television, many other prospective students cannot devote four years to traditional, brick-and-mortar-bound education that often takes place far from home. Whether because of work, family responsibilities, or limited means, attending classes during the typical 9 AM – 7 PM range is a near-impossibility for some.
Thankfully, an alternative exists. Online courses permit self-motivated students to work toward a degree on their own time and from the convenience of a home computer, or any place with an Internet connection.
And because students taking online courses aren’t exposed to class discussions and peer-to-peer critiques the way traditional students are, they must seek out online discussion forums and networking websites in order to receive the full benefit of their education.
Obviously, online education makes a smart alternative for students who are comfortable working independently. But on a broad scale, have they proven as effective as their traditional counterparts?
In May of 2009, the US Department of Education published an extensive study that said that online classes were just as effective as classroom study.
Analyzing data collected from over one thousand studies about online learning, experts from the department of education concluded that online classes are at least as effective as face-to-face learning, and that traditional students who supplemented their classroom studies with online courses experienced better results that those who relied exclusively on in-person instruction.
These encouraging findings enhance online education’s appeal even more. For busy but determined students, online courses offer a rare blend of convenience and excellence.