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Understand Online Courses and How to Get Your Money’s Worth

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Undoubtedly, the internet has raised revolutions in every corner of our modern life, including the education!


Today, there are more options than ever for people attending school courses, while online courses have started a new educational path to many people who could not fit traditional brick and mortar schools. For people like you who want to go back to college for a high degree but are concerned about the busy schedule or transportation issues, online education makes it possible to continue education or get training in new fields without the interruption of everyday schedules.

Then…what do online courses refer to indeed? Online courses, or online classes, are defined as courses that are offered primarily or only through the internet, rather than in a classroom or in a working environment. Online courses can be delivered by traditional universities or colleges, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, companies or others alike. Virtually, the entire learning process will be completed via online courses, including taking exams, presentations, lectures, commutation & interaction with fellow students and professors.

What are the differences between online courses and traditional courses? When we compare the two types of courses, there is a shape line that divides the one from the other.

First, the basic equipment for taking online courses is a computer and internet connection. Sometimes, a video element and high-speed internet access are required. Students need to have email accounts in order to submit assignments, interact with instructors and receive feedback. Other online courses may require students to have a headset or a web cam for real-time communication with “classmates” and professors. However, traditional courses only require students to be present in the classroom at appointed times and days.

Besides, most traditional courses require books, or maybe some handout materials. Though some online courses also require books and other traditional reading materials, most reading materials are available or transferred online.

Probably the biggest difference between online courses and traditional courses lies in the interaction. The interaction in traditional courses is face-to-face, which the online courses can not duplicate.

Though disadvantages do come along with online courses if without proper time management and strong self-motivation, this could not keep online learning from prevailing. So, what account for the popularity of online courses?

One of the main driving factors for the popularity of online courses is its convenience. Many working adults and professionals want to gain college education, but attending campus-based courses is a bit hard for them, particularly for married parents or those with full-time jobs. Then online education comes as a convenient alternative, allowing students with a busy schedule to attend classes anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection.

Price is another factor accounting for the success of online education. For many online degree programs, they are much more affordable than on-campus programs, especially when you take into the consideration various additional fees involved in traditional college education, such as food, commuting, and dorm. You see, attending online courses is a cost-efficient way to earn a degree. In addition, federal financial aid also applies to online students whenever you think the tuition bill is out of your budget.

However, even if you enroll into online courses, there is still a long way to go for your degree. In order to succeed in online education and get your money’s worth, here are some tips to keep in mind:

• Online courses will require plentiful participation and it is you that are responsible for the entire learning process. You have to participate voluntarily in the courses and not be afraid to interact with instructors on new perspectives. Just remember, the more involved you are, the most you will gain out of online education.

• Make sure the online college or university you are enrolled into is accredited. Accreditation acts as the proof for quality education. A degree from an accredited college is worthwhile and valuable. Otherwise, your degree would be worthless and may not be recognized by employers.

• You don’t have to be a computer whiz to operate online courses. However, you have to feel comfortable with using computer to do and submit assignments, send and receive emails, play videos and more.

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