How to Decide If Online Learning Is for You


The ability to attend school online has been a wonderful gift for many people, and this gift has allowed them to pursue their dreams. In other cases, however, individuals have struggled to learn in this fashion. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to pursue an online education, consider several important elements.

Commuting Concerns

One major benefit of attending school online is that you don’t have to worry about getting to an actual campus. In other words, you will complete all or most of your degree requirements online. Do keep in mind that some online programs have residency requirements, which means that you’ll need to take a certain number of classes in person. For the most part, however, you can complete your work at home.

Technological Competency

Some students sign up for online classes and have very poor technological skills. They assume that their professors will teach them how to use the online platforms, but that responsibility is not actually the professors’. If you are signing up for online classes, you are required to know how to use the tools. As Forbes suggests, the tools and technology are likely going to continue to grow.

Strong Internet Connection

You also cannot use a poor internet connection or a slow computer as an excuse to submit your work late. Professors hear excuses like these ones all of the time, and they cannot make these exceptions. If you do not have the proper technological devices and internet connection to complete your assignments, you should not enroll in online courses. When you really want to take classes online, investing in a better internet connection and faster computer might prove necessary.

Minimal Distractions

Taking classes online definitely can help with your other responsibilities. However, you cannot intertwine them if you want to succeed in the online program. For example, you might think that you will complete assignments while also answering phone calls for your at-home business or while playing with your kids. These other activities are going to distract you from your work. If you have a quiet space where you can complete your work with minimal distractions, this type of educational program can work quite well.

Time Commitment

It’s true that some people have major misconceptions when it comes to online learning. In other words, you might know that most college classes take three months to complete. Therefore, you may incorrectly assume that you’ll have three months to complete all of your coursework. Online classes still come with deadlines just as a traditional class would. You must submit assignments by their deadlines, or you may very well end up failing the course.

Personal Responsibility

Just as you must commit the time to the online course, you must also have a strong sense of personal responsibility to commit to the course. You are unlikely to ever meet your professor in person, so you aren’t going to have those in-person reminders to get your work done. You are responsible for you, and you must make sure that you have the motivation and determination to stay on task.

Learning Style

At this point in your life, you likely have a sense of how you learn. If you prefer to absorb information individually and tend to do well with online instructions and directional manuals, online learning can work well for you. However, when you feel as though you need to be in a classroom interacting with other individuals and engaging in real-time conversations, a classroom may prove the better fit.

Open Mind

Forbes also highlights some of the innovative approaches that are coming into fruition when it comes to the online world of learning. For example, you might find yourself working with technological platforms and tools that you never dreamed would have a role in education. When you have an open mind to different types of learning and methods of obtaining knowledge, you may very well be the right match for an online degree program.

What’s important right now is that you’re working to determine the best style of learning for your needs. You may choose hybrid classes or a hybrid program so that you can get elements of both environments, or you may end up opting entirely for online or in-person classes.


About Author

Kelly is DailyU’s lead blogger. She writes on a variety of topics and does not limit her creativity. Her passion in life is to write informative articles to help people in various life stages.

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