Most colleges in the U.S. have not been left untouched by the astonishing technological progress of the 21st century. When we make the decision which degree path is best for us, we have to take many factors into consideration and look very closely at the two available options to see which fits our own needs best. In the past few years online education has become the most popular alternative to traditional education in the US. While both ways, distance learning and traditional classes can lead to degree, only online education can offer advantages over accessibility, costs, and flexibility.
One of the biggest differences between online education or a traditional college is accessibility. Online courses can be accessed from any computer worldwide; the only additional requirement is a working internet connection. Whether the student is a working adult who needs to go on a business trip or a mother who wants to study while watching her child, online classes will allow them to log into their classes from anywhere. On the other hand, traditional classes take place at stationary locations. This means that you are not only limited on your options to where you can attend your classes, but you are also losing time--which could be used for studying or assignments--commuting.
Another important difference between online classes or traditional courses is the financial aspect. The gap between the two approaches can be immense! For instance, when you take online classes like Straighterline courses, you can earn three semester hours for less than $150. Books and other materials for online classes are usually provided online for free. When you attend courses at more traditional institutions such as the University of Maryland, you will have to pay $535 or more per credit on top of materials, meals, and gasoline for the commute.
The final difference between online education and traditional learning is flexibility. In today’s economy it almost seems like a luxury to attend a traditional college full-time. Many working adults depend on the flexibility that only online classes can offer. It is hard to work your schedule around specific times, especially during normal business hours. In an online setting, students may decide when and for how long they want to work on a subject. Traditional classes do not provide these benefits. Schedules are fixed and there is little to no room for adjustments to personal needs.
There are many differences between these two approaches of higher education. Although online education and the traditional route will both lead you to a degree, both opportunities should be researched carefully. Traditional learners have many disadvantages and when it comes down to accessibility, cost, and flexibility, online institutions are the better choice.
November 5, 2012 < http://www.straighterline.com/college-courses/monthly-subscription.cfm >
November 5, 2012 < http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/college-of-education-06089 >