Most undergraduate students are still doing their learning at traditional bricks and mortar campuses. But many educators – and more importantly, many employers – don’t necessarily believe that conventional learning better than e-learning any more. The truth is that whether your own “personal best” will be achieved in live classroom or via e-learning depends mainly on your own study habits.
The Independent Learner
Most “campus learners” at colleges and trade schools today are recent high school graduates, who have always had a teacher nearby to “egg” them into getting school work done on schedule. Without college professors around there to “stay on their case,” they may tend to focus more on frat house parties than their studies.
Today’s typical online student is older – about 34 on average. He or she often has a spouse and even a family. And while that means that most have busy schedules that are tough to fit e-learning courses into, it often means that the student has a much clearer picture of the career goals they’ll reach with a specific course or a distance education online bachelor degree.
What’s Your style?
In a live classroom, you can draw energy and get help from the other students in the class, whether you speak up or not. Online, you’ll have less interaction with other students, even if you’re required to get involved in email or threaded discussions, as is the case in many online classes. If you lose focus without the energy of a live group around you, you may find e-learning not beneficial. Keep in mind, however, that many online students say they’re surprised by how easily they formed friendships with fellow students – even though those students were in different state or country.
Career networking is an important consideration in deciding on traditional versus online internet college credit classes. If you are focused building a network of possible career contacts, you’ll may find conventional learning better than e-learning. You’ll have to travel to a school regularly to get it, however.
Some students believe that professors at brick and mortar schools are more likely to give students recommendations for a job application, because they know them better. However, on most jobs, prospective employers won’t really ask for a recommendation from one of your college teachers. If you feel this it’s important in your career specialty, though, a little effort can make a difference.If you’re getting a distance learning degree from a school that has a real campus, make a point of visiting the school if at all possible and meet your professors face to face.
Making Online Work For You
In the end, your own study approach determines whether you find conventional learning better than e-learning, or the other way around. A few additional points to consider:
- Don’t assume live learning is always better. Some students enjoy studying through a computer, and some students find classroom lectures extremely boring, depending on who the lecturer is.
- The amount of work will probably be the same in an online class. Many people come away from an online course feeling that the teaching was, in fact, actually better than in traditional classes. This could be due to the fact that schools are heavily focused on growing their online divisions today, and are looking closely at course quality.
- Don’t expect an easier ride in an online class. It’s actually very easy for a distance learning instructor to see if you are falling behind by what you’re contributing online, so it’s actually harder to slide by with e-learning than in a real class in some ways.
- Cost differences – traditional and distance learning: Be aware that if you’re doing a full degree, the course fees may not be that different. A huge saving, however, will come from the fact that you don’t have to pay for traveling to or living at a school.
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