Online Education: Benefits for Students

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There’s little denying the growth of online education in recent years. “Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States”, a collaborative survey from the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, shows that almost seven million students take at least one online course. Higher education providers can be seen to be responding to the increased demand with more than 62% of colleges offering a fully online degree option, compared with a little over 32% in 2002. Despite some reservations as to the sustainability of online courses, almost 80% of academic leaders consider that online education learning outcomes equal or surpass those achieved in traditional face-to-face tuition. Those same academic leaders are equally likely to look upon online education favorably as a means of assessing online pedagogy, but what are the benefits for students? Why exactly have almost seven million students taken, at least in part, the online route to their education?

Online study is incredibly flexible. Students enjoy the opportunity to gain an education in institutions that in other circumstances they might have ruled out. Want to study a course offered by an institution on the other side of the country? Online education makes this possible without the need to up sticks and move away. This kind of flexibility is of particular importance to those students with a family or a career already in place. Although the likes of 2U have recently introduced a new flavor of online learning whereby students login to a virtual classroom at a set time, another way in which online courses are flexible is that for the most part students can choose when to learn.

 

– Online education is often considered to offer a more student centric learning approach. We have previously discussed the importance of learning materials first time round when it comes to succeeding in education. Online learning enables students to progress at a pace that is appropriate to their individual needs and learning styles. Around the clock availability and a wealth of supporting documentation and material means that students can take as long or as little as they need or want to on a particular subject, without the need to move on to the next topic before they are ready.

– Choosing to study online as opposed to attending college in person can result in serious cost savings for the student. The cost of on-campus study is indeed rising at an exponential rate. “Trends in College Pricing”, a 2012 report by the College Board, found that the annual cost of tuition and fees for out-of-state students attending a public four-year institution was more than $21,000. Additional costs can see that annual outlay reach in excess of $30,000. That’s hardly an insignificant cost, particularly for those students with a family to support. In comparison, Degree Jungle found the average price of online college to be as low as $5,480 for Monroe College. An online student of the top ranking University of Florida can expect to pay in the region of $11,600.

Sold on the benefits of online education and interested in finding out more about what is available? You can explore online education options right here on Degree Jungle.

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