Four Benefits of Online Learning
Online learning, thanks to the introduction of information technology has brought greater possibilities, especially for those who have multiple responsibilities and cannot afford to go abroad to study. When I first realized I could study online I was a bit skeptical. With little experience and knowledge in information technology, I could not phantom the online experience. Nevertheless, when I found Walden University and they responded positively to me, I decided to enroll and learn as I go along. In this blog, I aim to highlight four benefits of online learning to those who are hesitant in taking this means of learning versus the traditional means.Whether you aim to do a short term or long term course, you might just find these blog handy in helping you decide if online learning is suitable for you.
Online Learning Offers a Measure of Flexibility
One of the main benefits of online learning is the measure of flexibility it offers. If you are working full-time, you can organize your assignments around your schedule. For those who are single moms and have children, you may find that while online learning presents a challenge, you still get to choose when to do other things.
Take me for instance. There were days when I felt as if I was neglecting my children. However, I still to found
quality time to spend with them. As often as was permissible, I requested my vacation time around the time when they were out of school so I could take them on a vacation.
Even while traveling, I was able to do my assignments and still find time to have fun. In fact, I have traveled a number of times while studying and it has never impact my study. I did assignments on the plane, or in the hotel room. If I had plans to take the children out, I would do a part of my assignment in the early morning then finish when we returned at night. Learn more about online learning by clicking this link.
Online Learning Helps You Develop Cultural Competency
In online learning, people of different cultures meet to fulfill the mission of creating one outcome, which is to learn. Because we come from different backgrounds, we come with significant differences in the way we see things, the way we respond to other people, and the way we communicate on a whole. Schneider & Brasseux in their book Managing Across Cultures (2003) summed up this difference the statement “Even if we do not always understand why, we begin to realize that what looks strange to us makes perfect sense to others” (p.48). So many times we look at other people and we judge them based on their way of life and of doing things, but inherent in all of this is the culture in which they were socialize.
In online learning you will meet people who, despite cultural differences, become your friends. It is even possible to become friends with fellow classmates outside of the classroom, as I can personally testify. You will meet students who get straight to the point when answering a question and those like me who loves to give a variety of scenarios before I get to the final point! I guess people like me will get on your nerve! It always offended me when people did not give examples. It is likely you will be in groups to do some assignments, depending on what courses you do. Be prepared to communicate with those who did their portion of the work wrong and still have the nerve to attack you when you correct it. Moreover, you will find challenges with some fellow classmates who will show up to group meetings any hour with no regard for time.
In online learning, be prepared to feel offended, even if it is just once! However, your response, if you chose to respond, will be even more important. Again Schneider & Barsoux sums up the process an online student goes through in this sentence “The process of adjusting to a foreign culture is said to follow a U-curve comprising three main phases: an initial stage of elation and optimism (the honeymoon), soon followed by a period of irritability, frustration, and confusion (the morning after), and then the gradual adjustment to the new environment (happily ever after), (p. 88).
Online Learning Makes You A More Disciplined Person
If you do not have discipline and you do not plan to develop discipline then online learning is not for you. We all know how challenging it could be when we have so many responsibilities and so little time in which to fulfill those responsibilities. With online learning, you have to focus and not get easily distracted. Every minute counts. There were times when I swore I did more than it was possible in 24 hours.
Some people have a tendency to wait until the last minute to start an assignment. In fact, that was my attitude
when I attended traditional classroom in school of nursing and secondary school. However, I had a rude awakening when I tried that in online learning once, and I lost a point for lateness. Now you might think that losing a point is no big deal; however, for me it was. You see, from the time I entered the online environment and realized how costly the courses were, I decided that I was going to be an A student. I always aimed for 100% and cried if I did not get 100%.
If you decide to travel while doing your courses there are some instances where you can postpone a course or ask for leave of absence. Please check your school policies and apply in advance.
Traveling while doing online studying is workable; however, the key is not to procrastinate and leave everything until the last moment. Write down your assignments for the month and the due dates and begin tackling each one. Always be aware of all your assignments and due dates.
Online Learning Helps Develop Your Writing Skills
With online learning, most of the assignments are in writing. Unless it is a mixed learning environment, where you attend classroom sessions some of the times, be prepared to type all day and all night. It sounds horrible, right? Nope! At first, you might get a little anxious because the instructors tend to deduct marks for grammar and punctuation. However, because you will be writing so often, you eventually learn how to write concisely, thus reducing the chances of being a victim of marks deduction.
Furthermore, it is not just about grammar and punctuation. It does not matter how intelligent we are, we will always make those mistakes. It is more about developing the art of expressing yourself through writing. Because the instructor is not able to hear your voice, you have to explain what you mean, based on the criteria given.
In closing, online learning is a great way to learn. It also presents a way for people to meet and sometimes take their social relationships beyond the classroom. Personally, my experiences were more positive than negative. In those instances where I had negative experience, I took the lesson from the experience and improved myself. I will encourage anyone who wants to study to explore online learning as a great possibility.
Please share your thoughts, questions, experiences about online learning. I will be happy to answer or discuss.
Schneider, S.C., Barsuox, J-L. (2003). Managing Across Cultures. 2nd Ed. Pearson Education Limited.