Is Online Learning For You?
Online learning is highly effective and just as effective as face-to-face traditional learning. Still, before taking on an online course, it is important to evaluate yourself and determine whether online learning is right for you.
Before enrolling in an online course for the first time, take a few minutes to ask yourself a few questions.
Questions you can ask yourself:
1. Do you need quick feedback on course assignments and questions?
2. Are you tech savvy and able to use technology to work on assignments and projects?
3. What type of learning style do you have? Are you an introvert or extrovert?
4. Do you know how to organize files on your computer?
5. Do you have the technology and software necessary to access your online course?
These are just a few questions you should ask and think about. If you answered no to most of the questions and believe that you are more of an extrovert who learns best through hands-on learning and face-to-face collaboration, online learning may not be for you. This is not to say that all extroverts and hands-on learners will not be successful with online courses by any means but may prefer face-to-face interactive learning instead.
Keep in mind that instructors often teach many online courses and have hundreds of students, so receiving prompt feedback from them is not realistic. If you would like prompt feedback, then perhaps online learning is not for you.
It is important to remember that online learning is collaborative even though there aren’t any face-to-face interactions. Online courses offer online interaction through responding to class discussions where all students collaborate and write about their thoughts and answer course related questions. This can be helpful to students who enjoy interacting with others. Chatting and blogging may also be part of your course.
Some students may think that online learning is easier than traditional classroom learning. This is not the case. Online learners still have deadlines and due dates for assignments. In addition, you may want to see if your online school offers self-directed training modules where you can determine whether you have the word processing and file manipulation skills before beginning a course. Students who lack basic computer skills might want to avoid online courses as this may be a barrier for learning and being successful in the class.
Online learning is becoming more popular these days with people’s busy schedules. It allows for more work-life balance. Still, it is important for students who want to engage in online learning to ensure that it is the right method of learning for them. If you are planning on enrolling in your first online course, I suggest you take a few minutes to think about the above questions prior to enrolling.