One significant consequence of the personal computer revolution is that post-secondary education is now accessible to anyone wishing to pursue it. While a certain amount of technical skill is required to successfully complete online courses, other barriers have been eliminated. This has opened up the possibility of a college degree or certificate for any individual who has completed high school, can use a computer, and possesses the basic skills that online learning requires.
Take Classes Anywhere
Online learners can take classes from colleges and universities located next door or halfway around the world. In the past, the education available to each learner depended on whether the desired degree was available nearby, or the ability to pay residence costs on a campus away from home.
The flexibility of online learning benefits anyone who works odd hours or has pressing family commitments, such as young children. So long as weekly attendance requirements are met, students are free to do course work at any time that is convenient. Anyone wanting to earn a degree can continue to work the rotating schedules common to hospitals and nursing homes without fear of missing a class. There also is an opportunity to get a degree in just about anything online. It is even possible to get an online bachelors of science in nursing. It is amazing what degrees you can find out there.
Unlimited Access to Course Materials
Online course content, posted at the beginning of each unit of study, stays online until the end of the course. Learners who need to review the material more than once can do so at any time. In a conventional classroom, students must rely on lecture notes, which may be incomplete. In an online class, learners can read a text lecture or watch a video as often as necessary.
In general, online classes cost less than conventional classes because there is no overhead for a physical building. This does vary from one school to another, but an online college degree is nearly always more economical.
Fewer Interpersonal Biases
Unless a student chooses to reveal them, other learners in an online class do not know any personal details of their classmates, such as race or age. This leads to more open communication. Further, online classes may be easier for learners with social anxieties who might find it difficult to walk into a room full of strangers.
In the past, online classes were often viewed with skepticism. They now have become fully integrated into higher education, and prestigious schools such as Harvard and Yale include online classes in their schedules. Whether a learner is looking for career development or personal enrichment, online college classes open up a world of educational possibilities.