Just about all of us have probably heard the phrase, “you learn something new every day.” There is certainly truth in this statement. We never really stop learning, regardless of whether we’re in an academic setting or not. And there’s great value in learning. It’s how we improve ourselves, better anticipate situations, pass on information to others, and make connections between fields of knowledge. In the pragmatic sense, learning more also makes you more valuable in the work force, allowing you to take on new roles, teach others, and earn more than before. Most people understand the value of knowledge, and it’s why so many people are enrolling in some form of higher education today.
But devoting so much time to learning isn’t always easy. Balancing school with work, relationships, and personal time can be a near impossible feat. Difficult as it might be, however, there are now tools available for those who wish to learn on their own time. Today, taking online courses is quite normal, and becoming more beneficial for millions of people. Even still, plenty of people remain skeptical about studying at home. Perhaps the information in this article will allow you to see online courses in a different, better light. Here are just three reasons more people are learning in new ways beyond the physical classroom.
1) Learning on Your Own Time
Anyone who has attended college probably recalls the nightmare known as course registration. This is when thousands of students have to compete with one another to gain a slot in a certain course with a certain professor. At universities of all sizes, this time of the year is infamous and incredibly stressful for most students. Getting into the courses necessary for your major requirements is difficult enough. Making these courses fit into a schedule that works for you is another story entirely.
While it’s true that online courses also have a specific number of slots open to students, there are typically many more slots open and usually a larger window to enroll. Online courses don’t require physical classrooms, meaning more space is available. Additionally, most of these courses aren’t on strict schedules like traditional courses. In other words, you can watch/listen to lectures at just about any time. Chatting with professors and other students is also simplified since it can all be done online and viewed after the fact. The only real time slots you have to consider are those involving deadlines (such as papers, for instance).
2) Going Beyond the Classroom
While it’s true that college in general is designed to teach students how to teach themselves by seeking additional resources, there’s perhaps no better time to do so than while taking an online course. When you’re in a classroom, most of your focus needs to be on the professor and lecture at hand. It’s good to take notes, but if you have a question or are seeking additional information on a topic, sometimes you have to wait until after the lecture. While taking an online course, however, you will already have access to the Internet while you’re learning, meaning any time the urge comes to look into something further you can pause the lecture and do an Internet search. You might find articles, books, or other videos and lectures on the subject which can supplement your learning. The best part is, you won’t have to worry about being rude by interrupting you professor.
3) Lowering Costs
While there is inherent value in learning, it doesn’t mean it’s always free. Going to college is a big financial decision for most people, one that involves taking on debt for five, ten, even 30 years. While this cost is worth it to some people, others will have to be realistic and consider other ways of learning without breaking the bank. Taking online courses is a good way of furthering your education while saving some money. Though these courses aren’t always cheap either, they don’t require things like commuting in order to take them.
Devoting your time to learning isn’t a small decision, but it can reap many rewards like increased job opportunity, broader social interactions, and overall improved quality of life. Taking online courses might be the best way to balance a hectic life while continuing to pursue knowledge and self improvement.