Sunday, 6 November 2016

Here Are the 20 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Online Classes

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Online Classes

Traditional education has, of recent, been facing a lot of setbacks which has to do with rocketing tuition fees, the proximity of learning centres and lots of other challenges. This is why so many students (and even workers) have taken another alternative to learning, that is, online learning. Recent statistics show that millions of students have been flooding to an environment where some of the challenges faced by traditional education were at its minimal if not in nonexistence.

The online classes have recently provided a lot of succour and learning advantages to a lot of students who ordinarily may not have an opportunity of earning any degree or even have access to quality education. I have to tell you this truth so early, that no matter the speculations in the media concerning online classes, the fact still remains that it is one of the booming technologically advancing initiatives of the 21st Century. Another truth is that there are thousands of benefits of taking online classes which I cannot exhaust here. Although every coin has two sides, we always know that one side is always the primary side. And so I just feel like I have to speak to a lot of people through this medium about the awesome benefits of online classes.

 It is very interesting to see how the society has evolved over time in terms of learning, to the degree that we now have what we call online classes. Looking at the tremendous transformation in science and technology, one cannot but to marvel in utter amazement. Prior to this 21st Century, many things were considered impossible, but in this contemporary times, practically everything is possible. The issue of online learning was never very appealing to the average 19th-century man, people never gave it any interest, same goes for most of the technological inventions we enjoy today – like the telephone and the airplane.

If you can actually situate yourself in the period of, let me say 17th Century, you may understand how difficult it can be to believe that there can be anything like online education. In recent times, online classes have received massive interest from people all over the world and it is a good thing Nigeria is not left out. But I think a lot of people are yet to come to the awareness of this great benefiting learning platform, and that is what I will say inspired me to write this post.  

What then are the benefits of online classes?
Right now I’m trying to imagine the obvious question that may be roaming inside your mind by now; something like, “what then are the benefits of online classes?” I don’t want to wet your mouth and leave you hungry. So guys, like always, let me lead you to the awesome benefits of online classes.

     1.    Affordability
Let me start from this particular one since I’m pretty sure no one enjoys spending his/her hard earned fortunes wastefully. There are great reductions and lesser spending when you compare online classes with the traditional brick and block classes. For instance, let us take commuting, you have little need to worry about commuting because everything is done online. No need to rush to beat the traffic also coupled with the stress of meeting up with lecture time and taking care of things at home. I know that some people have that default opinion that anything that is free or has low cost is always not so much of a quality one, but I’m pretty sure that most prestigious universities in the world are now offering online classes with the same attention and quality they give to their traditional classroom lectures. Also for nursing mothers, online classes mean that they are 24/7 available at home and so there will not be any extra budget for child care services.

     2.    Courses and programmes are readily available
Most of us know how difficult and frustrating it can be to search and be denied admission to a particular course of choice one applied for, even when you meet the basic requirements. But this is not so when choosing an online course, there is access to any course of study one desires, degrees are also available once you can meet the requirements. You can equally gain a quality certificate from reputable foreign universities, irrespective of your geographical location without even visiting physically to the university.

     3.    Free courses
It will not be any news if I say that there are a variety of quality courses you can do freely online via the massive open online courses (MOOCs). Some of the course earned through this programme will equip the student with some basic educational requirements needed to enrol for any online degree programme. This is possible because of recent, many universities have started accepting courses gotten via MOOCs. So, there is nothing that will hinder you from growing academically.

     4.    Easy and comfortable learning environment
One good thing about online classes is the fact that you own your time and can draw your schedule to align with your normal daily activities. With this, you find learning very easy since you are not going to be stressed up trying to meet up to class with sweats and racing heartbeats. Online class is a very comfortable place to learn being that it is a social environment and there are many things that can be used to facilitate learning without boring the students or causing fatigue. So being that everything is done online at one’s convenience, and also not physical class session, the students and teachers will feel more relaxed to study on their own and engage with materials available for the course.  

     5.    Extra period of information rehearsal
Improvement in learning has to do with constant rehearsals and acquaintance with terms and ideas of the course. A student should be able to understand and apply certain registers and technicalities of a given course of study which he/she is studying. One of the periods which facilitates this is always during exams when students read in bulk and often don’t assimilate enough. But being engaged in online discussion, and with questions posed by the instructor or the study mates; students, in trying to give their own answers, will be made to think deeply and also type in their thoughts through the keyboard. This process may appear insignificant but constant typing and reflections about a given course of study will help the student to assimilate and know better how to apply such knowledge when confronted with real life situations.  Hence the student gains a lot through the active learning experience made possible by group discussions and chats.

      6.    Flexibility
This is one of the benefits of online classes that is very common to us. But that’s simply the truth. Online study provides you with the opportunity to study at your convenience, not to lead you to indulge in laxity, but to give you ample opportunity to meet up with other demands of your daily engagement. Online classes shouldn’t be the only thing you do in life and so as an adult saddled with lots of responsibilities, you really need a lot of time-spacing to survive in your studies else you will find yourself chasing thousands of birds in the air without catching one.

     7.    Higher students' participation
It is obvious that not everyone finds it convenient and fun to speak out in the traditional classroom lecture. This may be as a result of one’s introverted nature or shyness. In fact, I may say that most people that appear to be active in class through their obvious loudness, may not be any better than those who doesn’t. But the teacher, using an empirical system of evaluation, may not have any other means to evaluate the students other than what he/she sees and hears. So at the end the shy ones are marked unintelligent and dull. With online classes, such thing rarely happens. Because it is online, everyone has freedom of expression and there will be no avenue for shyness. Even the shy and introverted ones participate more actively. So it becomes a platform where an equal opportunity of learning is given to everyone.

     8.    Higher opportunity to advance career
In online learning, there are varieties, of course, to take at any convenient time, hence this gives a worker an opportunity to advance a career. It is becoming interesting these days that employers have turned their interest towards online degrees since they have found out that workers who got their degree via online learning are often times more efficient and productive. Imagine what will happen if you present an added degree to your employer, coupled with the one you already had before. You will stand a chance of being promoted which will boost your career.

     9.    A Great opportunity to concentrate
While studying online, it is often times very impossible to be distracted except you have not considered most of the things that will enhance your online study. You don’t need to struggle to find a comfortable place where you can hear and see the lecturer, there will not be any annoying noise coming behind you from that class clown, looking at someone’s dressings nor something outside the class.

     10. Still maintain work while studying
You don’t want to leave that your money-spinning business or work just to go and sit in a classroom listening to fellow adult who’s making her own money in class. But you want to combine both – work and school. This is fully achievable via online classes. You have the opportunity to maintain your work even while going to school since you can have the opportunity to do your coursework and submit assignments at your convenience. You may also have the chance to give yourself the time expected to finish a particular course of study or degree programme.

      11. Commuting issues
Just imagine how much you can save from commuting to school building every day. But it is not about the cutting down on expenses, but also the ease of study and convenience. Waking up and rushing through the traffic and all the hazards that you may face while commuting can be daunting and exasperating. Online classes will simply minimise this because you only need to sit in front of your computer in a convenient place at any time of your choice to access your course materials and whatever assignments or discussions there are.

      12. Developing new skills
You will have a great opportunity of learning a lot of skills you may not ordinarily learn in a traditional classroom system. And most of these things are learnt while making use of the different learning management systems (LMS) and programs. Why it is also good is that you get perfected to using these things since most of them will probably be self-taught. Also, students learn while participating in online discussions, when sharing their ideas through creating audio/videos or pdf materials and also accessing online materials.

      13. More effective time management
Although online classes give flexibilities and convenience, it does not mean that time is always available. One good thing about online learning is that students learn how to make good management of their time. As an online student, you will be able to understand and schedule your study plan. Flexibility doesn’t mean limitless of time, you still have to meet up with some certain requirements. And so, being able to create your own study plan, knowing well that no one is there to police you around improves your self-reliance and productivity. You can really stand on your own anywhere.

     14.   24/7 accessibility to course materials
It is always a frustrating experience to go to a library in search of an important material for work and you get statements like “sorry the material has been taken”, “sorry out of stock”, “library closed”. Some universities have online libraries and e-libraries, even the materials the instructors may recommend are always available for free online. So there is ease of access at little or no cost.

     15. Wider information environment
Studying online affords students the opportunity to engage and have wider access to information. How? Online classes sometimes make use of engaging platforms and learning strategies to get student quality study materials. Using other means like discussion boards, chat rooms and info boards also help the students to get information unlike their counterparts in traditional classes where some information are hindered due to constraints coming from physical presence and distance. Students learn a lot when they interact with one another and with the sharing of information in the discussion board, most of them feel challenged to read any materials coming from their course mate.

     16.  Enhanced interaction
I think I have said somewhere that shy students get the opportunity to participate in online classes. It is also good to note that online learning is all about learning in a social environment, and so what educationists try to do is to utilise the same platform which has a greater number of addicts to build quality learning environment. Social media and the many things that come with it are very engaging, especially for youths. Learning in this media does not only give the students the same social feeling of belonging but also improves interactions. When students feel accepted in online group discussion, they tend to contribute more and with this, there is always a lively and informative interaction even when the instructor does not facilitate the discussion.

      17. Sense of equality
Students love to have that sense of equality when they are in class. Most of them feel lost and relegated in class discussion, especially when they don’t make any contribution due to shyness or any other temperamental causes. But online classes offer every student equal opportunity to air his/her views since there will not be any physical contact with anyone to prompt shyness nor a sense of inferiority.

       18. Student-centred approach
The learning system is structured in such manner to suit any student, making it greatly student-centred. There are different manners people learn, some are visual learners, some learn by doing and some by listening. All these are available in online classes through video/audio records, pdf or power point presentations. Students can use any means that impacts greatly to them.

      19. Enriched group works
When group works are given, students don’t need to fix a physical meeting place to discuss which may be difficult since they may not all be free at a particular time. It is very simple to meet online and share the necessary information and then everyone will do his/her private research and report to the group. They don’t need to rely on physical attendance before they can get things done. Also, there is always an enhanced group participation with web-based collaborative tools.

       20. International exposure
Some people may think that with online learning one may know little or nothing of the country where his/her university is situated. I think that is far from being the case. With online learning, foreign students have the opportunity to relate to other students and exchange cultural and geographical ideologies thereby enriching them culturally and academically. Learning done through social media gives a broader opportunity to earn international recognition since there may be potential CEOs and MDs amongst them. Students have the opportunity of being known by many other foreign classmates in the same course.  

There are many other reasons why students prefer online classes to their counterparts in traditional learning. The ones I have tried to expatiate is to prove the awesomeness of this learning platform. Meanwhile, online learning is all about learning in a relaxed environment, whether you are running for a degree or just to have a knowledge of some particular course. You only need to have the needed passion and maturity to be able to enjoy online classes and gain from it in its totality.

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