When most people hear the words, "online education," their first thought is of those adults who are seeking out new skills or training or who are looking for a degree with limited time to commit to the process. But many colleges are utilizing online education for traditional college students. There are some major benefits for both student and teacher, and these college classes are eliminating some of the negative points of online education.
The major advantage for both student and teacher is the fact that much of the course work can be completed at the student's leisure within the confines of time restrictions established by the teacher. Often, online education is used in conjunction with regular class times. For example, a class that is scheduled to meet three times each week may only meet once a week or even less often. Students know ahead of time when class will physically meet and when assignments will be online only.
Finding the motivation to stay on track with assignments is a major problem for many students of online education. The fact that the students are given deadlines for completing assignments help them stay caught up with the class even if they would not have had the motivation to do so on their own. Because classes still meet at least occasionally, the students have an opportunity to interact with other students. Discussion boards increase the students' interaction with each other and with the teacher, allowing other students to view the threads of conversation.
Online education classes are especially beneficial when the course work is related to the computer or Internet. Students are encouraged to be online more often simply to check messages from the teacher and other students, and to keep track of assignments. But online education courses are also a valuable option for other subjects as well.
An online education has both real benefits and some real drawbacks, but by combining the classroom with the technology of online education, college students get the best of both worlds.