Recent statistics show that nearly 6 million students are enrolled in online courses across the U.S.1 That’s approximately one out of four students enrolled in higher education! And there is no sign of online learning slowing down in the near future. The reputation of online classes is improving and studies show clear evidence2 supporting the notion that online learning can be just as effective as face-to-face education.
Let’s explore a few of the many advantages to learning in this format.
Seven Advantages of Taking Online Classes
- Explore a variety of interests. Online learning offers a depth and breadth of programs and concentrations so that you can really focus on how you want to improve your professional growth or advancement.
- Avoid rush hour. Your commute is a quick walk to your laptop. Online classes come with the luxury of no driving time, no canceled classes due to weather or sickness, and no time wasted trying to find a parking spot. You have the ability to participate in class from virtually anywhere on the globe or in the comfort of your own home.
- Balance work, family, and school. Work-life balance is at the top of most busy teachers lists. Taking an online class can help you manage your time more effectively because online class schedules offer more flexibility. In addition, course material is accessible online, which makes this method of learning a good option for students, especially teachers, who are busy juggling family commitments, work, fitness, and other daily activities.
- Learn when you’re at your peak. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, the flexibility of taking class online allows you to choose your best study time. Instead of planning your day around when the classes meet, you can schedule your studies around when you can devote the most time and attention to your education.
- Earn credit hours. Some institutions (like PLS Classes) offer classes that you can take one or two at a time (earning credit toward your advanced degree) without having to enroll in an entire part or full-time program. For example, with PLS Classes you can take an online class to earn professional development credit hours to fulfill Act 48 requirements (in Pennsylvania), or earn PGP points (in Indiana).
- Be a part of a diverse community of learners. In an online classroom, you’ll learn from and with students in diverse geographical areas. Online classes allow you to interact with other students and teachers almost like you’re in the same room. You may even have better or more access to your teachers and fellow students than if you were going to a traditional school.
- Improve your technical skills. Online learning gives higher-ed students the advantage of exploring technology that today’s K-12 students also use. In addition, even the most simple online course helps you develop new computer skills, such as learning to navigate through different systems and methods of participation, including sharing documents, incorporating audio and video into assignments, and completing training sessions online. You’ll also be able to fine tune your online communication skills which are critical in today’s global environment.
Remember, before you enroll in an online class, make sure you research whether transfer credits and/or professional development hours are available. Many institutions offer transfer credits or professional development hours related to online learning from accredited institutions or approved providers.
Did you know that PLS Classes offers a large selection of online classes?
Work toward your Master’s degree or earn continuing education credits. Curious about our class offerings? Search for an online class through PLS Classes or enroll today. And if you prefer face-to-face experiences, PLS Classes also offers on-site classes at our partner colleges and universities. Find out more!
1. Report: One in four students enrolled in online courses. 25 February 2016. https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/news_item/report-one-four-students-enrolled-online-courses/↩
2. Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities. (n.d.). Retrieved March 06, 2018, from http://www.sr.ithaka.org/publications/interactive-learning-online-at-public-universities-evidence-from-randomized-trials/↩