What are some of the challenges surrounding online courses?

Online distance learning programs sound great, don’t they? And for the most part, they are, most definitely; however, for some students, the traditional brick and mortar classroom is the better way to earn their degree. Here, we will explore a few points to consider regarding reasons why online learning may not be to your benefit.

You must be self-disciplined. One of the most significant challenges of online distance learning stems directly from the genuine need to attend online school because of the convenience and flexibility that it provides. Most students need to work a full-time job and care for their family. You deserve easy access to college; however, with the many demands of your time, you must have the ability to self-discipline and focus outside of those restraints. While cell phones, crying children and knocking neighbors are not allowed in the traditional setting, they do exist in the online schooling world. To learn effectively, you must be able to ignore distractions and dedicate the required time needed for your studies.

There is limited social interaction with classmates through online learning. What you may also find challenging is isolation and working alone. Do you work more effectively with the help of classmates or do they hinder you? Traditional brick and mortar schools generally provide a wide variety of social interaction opportunities through school clubs and other school functions. But, through online classes, your interaction may be limited to virtual classroom chats and social media. Perhaps you are a loner or introvert who prefers working at a slower pace, on your schedule, and by yourself without collaboration from others. If so, online schooling is for you.

Are you technologically challenged? If you aren’t comfortable with a computer and the Internet, then this will most definitely add to your anxiety about online learning. These skills are needed to navigate efficiently through your studies. If you are not proficient in this area, you could easily take advantage of training or workshops that will enhance your technology skills to have an easier road to online learning.

Typically, through on-campus classes, you can quickly seek the help or advice from a professor or faculty member and get an immediate response. Through online learning, slow professor response times may apply; therefore, do some research involving response times at a particular college before you begin. Student reviews are the best place to find out this information. Most professors will return an email or phone call promptly, although others may not, which is frustrating when a deadline is looming. Teachers are generally required by the school to have a reaction time that does not hinder the online learner.  Having said that, there could be instances such as, a death in the family, sickness, or just a poor professional attitude that may get in your way.

It’s advisable to be aware of precisely what you are paying for before signing on to an online program. Hidden fees are sometimes associated with online schooling. For example, a high-speed Internet connection is mandatory, and some courses have an “online course fee” associated with the class. Will book purchases be required or are eBooks available online? Be certain to research all possible “hidden fees” before you enroll.

Do you need a mentor or cheerleader encouraging you to go to your computer and do your classwork? Many students struggle with self-motivation. It is disastrous, through online learning, to procrastinate and wait to the last minute to begin your studies. Through an on-campus education, you must show up for class, as well as, do the required classwork on the university’s timetable. Online learning takes strong self-motivation and self-control. So, what motivates you? There will be no one but you to help get you motivated to learn!

With the above being said, you will find that online learning advantages will outweigh the negative points; however, you should choose the method that will best fit your personality and schedule. Furthermore, if you are interested in online learning, check out our choices for the Top Online Schools for Bachelor’s Degrees in Construction Management.

The Diploma Dilemma holds some key information regarding the challenges of taking on online courses and obtaining your degree online.