Online Education vs. Traditional

The course load you face in a traditional learning institution is very similar to the one you will find when earning a college degree online.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting an online nursing degree or an education degree online. Some students even claim distance learning is the more challenging undertaking because of the lack of face-time with your professor.

For some, the benefits of an online education far outweigh those of traditional learning. You avoid driving in bad weather, tolls, dormitory costs, lack of parking space, and save on gas since most of your coursework can be done from the comfort of your own home. Your schedule is flexible, allowing you to attend “class” early in the morning or late at night. And, depending upon the institution, you may be able to earn your degree in less time than you would be able to in a traditional learning environment.

One great benefit of distance learning is increased access to your instructor. In a traditional learning environment, students are bound by office hours and class schedules should they need to speak to their professor. But, through the use of posting boards and email in the online class environment, you can post questions and comments to your instructor at any time during the day, and typically receive a response within 24 hours.

For those that have mild to acute test taking anxiety, distance learning offers an added bonus. Due to the nature of the class, most tests will be untimed and open-book. Or, your grade may depend upon class projects, course work, and class participation, instead, again reducing stress and facilitating a comfortable learning environment.

Just like in a traditional learning institution, you will have due dates for assignments, projects, papers, and tests (unless you are taking correspondence classes). The time you spend on your homework outside of class time is proportionate to what you would spend if you were taking physical classes. However, with distance learning, the added components of self-motivation and discipline are even more important.

One of the benefits of distance learning is the accelerated pace of the learning program. Whereas a traditional degree typically takes 4-5 years depending upon course load and class availability, online learning allows a student to take more than 15 credit hours per semester (if desired). With correspondence programs, since assignments are turned in at your own rate, a class can be completed in a manner of weeks versus months.

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