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What Are the Pros and Cons of Online School

Published: September 6, 2016 | Updated: December 13, 2019
 

If you think online learning is the answer to your career advancement dreams, you could be right! On the other hand, if you believe online programs are some kind of magic and you only have to snap your fingers to succeed, you’re wrong. Anything worthwhile is going to take some effort and dedication. Isn’t your education worthwhile? Check out the pros and cons of online classes and decide if they are right for you.

Pros of Online School

Flexible Class Schedule

If you work, have a family life or just a busy life, it can be difficult to fit traditional classroom time in. Online courses are convenient and flexible. You’ll still have due dates but you can choose when to post to discussion boards and access assignments. Listen to a lecture at 4 PM or 4 AM. Take a break from your job and get online and in “class,” or do coursework from home in your pajamas. You don’t have to worry about your clothes or your commute.

Learn at Your Own Pace

Because there is so much independent work in an online program, you set the pace. You can work as quickly as you want. Many programs also offer degree completion if you already have a certificate or significant coursework under your belt. Apply the credits you’ve already earned and you could move toward an advanced degree in less time than it would take in a traditional classroom setting.

Plenty of Learning Opportunities

Online offerings are more diverse and complete than ever, and they grow every year. More than 5 million people take online courses today.1  At Charter College, you can choose from online programs in business, healthcare, information technology, paralegal studies, and more. And we offer on-campus support to our online programs. You can learn what you need to know, in a way that fits your life.

Cons of Online School

Not All Programs Are Available Online

Some content isn’t offered in an online format. For example, you can watch a hundred videos on welding, but until you have that welder in your hand, you’re never going to master your technique. The same goes for training for some medical programs. While you can learn the theories and principles behind patient care from lectures and books, eventually you need to work with actual people.

Hands-On Learners Need to Adapt

Today’s online instruction is often geared toward a variety of learners. Whether you like to listen to lectures or watch videos, you can find an online resource. On the other hand, if you’re a hands-on learner who benefits most from face-to-face contact with instructors and classmates, you may want to limit the amount of online courses you include in your program. If you choose a blended learning format, you can learn online and then try out what you learn, under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

You Must Be an Independent Worker and Learner

Online programs require you to take charge of your education. No one will make you sign into the online portal, complete assignments and upload them on time. If you have difficulty working independently, staying organized and meeting deadlines, you might struggle in an online program.

 

If you do decide to try online education, plan for success. Be sure to get in touch with your instructor at the very beginning of the course and stay connected. Even in an online course, you can get some personalized attention and assistance. Remember, there’s an actual person behind that technology who really wants you to succeed.

Online programs could be perfect for you, but if you have doubts, check out the blended learning programs at Charter College. We’ve selected programs that are well-suited to an online format, but also offer on-campus support.

 

1 https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/03/us-releases-data-distance-education-enrollments