These days, there are many different ways to access higher education. You can enroll in a traditional program, attending classes and accessing educational resources on campus. You can also enroll in an all-online program, in which the majority of your schoolwork and communications are completed via the Internet. Or there's the in-between option: Blended learning environments that combine on-campus and online coursework.
How do you know which option is right for you? The following guide covers some of the major differences between online and on-campus courses to help you decide what method will best meet your needs.
Online courses typically allow students to work asynchronously, which means that they can complete their coursework at the time and place of their choosing. This is often ideal for working students or single parents who need a flexible schedule. However, students who struggle to be self-motivated may find that they quickly fall behind.
Gone are the days when distance learning meant that you had to correspond with your instructor via snail mail, or even email. Today's Internet-based courses typically include opportunities for instant communication such as message boards, online chatting and even videoconferencing.
But even a video conversation can't replace the experience of face to face interaction. Students who thrive on the quick exchange of ideas between professor and students may find that they prefer the classroom environment to online courses. On the other hand, students who experience anxiety when they're called on to speak during class will enjoy the time to reflect on their responses offered by online courses
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