Nearly 75% of the top ranked universities and colleges in the United States offer online degrees (both undergraduate and graduate) and 50% have increased in the number of online classes they provide.
Not only are online degrees convenient for working Americans, which broadens the range of available education, but they also have a number of advantages for those students who choose to enroll in them:
- Increased Class Discussion
While in-person college classrooms are great for discussions and critical arguments, sometimes it can be difficult to hear the words of quieter classmates. And for those with social anxiety, many don’t speak up at all.
Online classes allow you to understand each classmate’s thoughts and ideas equally. And, because students have the time to pause and analyze responses to readings and thought processes, they can express better points and develop multiple ideas.
- Improved Virtual Communication Skills
In today’s world of information technology, virtual communication skills are just as important as in-person communication. However, in-person classes tend to focus on public speaking alone.
With an online class, students are forced to pay attention to the tone of their writing so as not to come across as critical to their peers. Students are also given the opportunity to effectively communicate using new technology such as Skype and other video conferencing programs, which are being used more and more by industries and entrepreneurs.
This type of communication is particularly important for those students looking to go into information technology careers. Working in an information technology career, such as a computer technician, technicians often speak to their clients online or over the phone and so it’s important that you learn how to communicate effectively online.
- Enhanced Knowledge Retention
The multimedia function of online classes increases the ability to retain the knowledge that’s learned in class. In an in-person classroom, knowledge is passed on from the professor to the students verbally, which typically benefits only visual-linguistic learners. This can make it difficult for visual, physical, and audial learners to keep up.
Online classes level the field of learning. Multimedia tools such as infographics, discussion groups, webinars, and live and taped lectures make it easier to retain information because they provide multiple sensory stimulants. This is also great for students with learning disabilities who may need to hear information more than once or in various mediums to better understand.
Online education is not only just as effective as a typical classroom education, but in some ways they can be more effective. Online communication allows for increased discussion among classmates, the development of virtual communication for those seeking careers in information technology or online marketing, and increased knowledge retention. So if you put as much effort into an online education as you would an in-person education, you can get more bang for your buck without worrying about interrupting your working and residential life.