Key Benefits and Importance of Online Courses

Online learning is quickly replacing traditional learning. This makes it possible for people who may not have the time to study full-time to learn everything they would be able to learn on campus. With online learning on-trend, online courses have truly democratized education. Because of the internet and the advances that have been made in communications, there are so many options available to students interested in learning online.

Key Benefits and Importance of Online Courses

The Internet and Modern Education

The internet is quickly changing education as we know it. With the impact of COVID-19, it is clear that the university and its campus will be a relic of the past. The internet gives us the ability to learn the skills we need, at this moment. There is no longer a need to spend excess time traveling and taking courses that aren’t really necessary.

Online learning effectively streamlines the educational process. The online learning environment is similar in many ways and different in others to more traditional learning environments. Instructor led programs are quite similar to traditional courses with deadlines, a professor who will assign work and correct assignments, grades at the end of a term, and certificates or degrees at the end of a program.

Self-paced programs allow students to work independently and learn the skills they need at their own pace.

Online learning has many advantages over traditional learning, but there are some disadvantages as well. Make sure you are able to work independently before signing up to an online program or training site.

Status of Online Degrees

Online degrees are widely available from some of the top universities in the world. Some of the greatest universities around the world even provide their course materials for free through the open courseware initiative that was pioneered by MIT. MOOCs, or massive open online courses, pick up where the open courseware initiative leaves off by providing real university courses online from these top-notch universities for free.

Online computer training is widely available through free sources and through self-paced internet training centers. Students can learn any imaginable software package or any programming language independently, at their own pace, and for a very reasonable price. Free resources are available that can provide quality instruction to students who may not be able to afford a degree or to sign up for a paid training center.

Online learning is truly revolutionary, and if it is understood and used correctly, it can provide students with all the tools they need to learn whatever they need to learn to succeed. Whether you are looking to earn a four-year college degree, a master’s, or a PhD, online learning deserves a careful look. And it doesn’t end there.

If you need to learn final cut pro to edit that great video you just shot, there is no need to sign up for a course at the local trade school, and there is no need to pay someone to do the video editing for you.

The internet and its learning sites will provide you with all the skills you need to know to operate the most basic and the most complex software packages out there.

Given enough time, some online learning can turn just about anyone from a novice to an accomplished expert. All it takes is a computer, an internet connection, some time and dedication.

What are online courses?

We all know how technology has made the world smaller, smarter and more accessible. Like everything, education is no longer a thing of an institution. Limitations are long gone and every academic is only a few clicks away from their college. Above all, online learning has totally changed how education used to work.

Classroom programs are no longer necessary just to get a certification in a program of your choice. Online courses have taken their place and these are as reputed as classroom programs if not more. The importance of online courses has increased too much recently and there is not just one reason for that.

Studying online - Importance of Online Courses
Studying online

So, what is an online course actually?

Online courses are recognized programs that are taught by professionals and are available at your fingerprint. To be clear, not every online course is recognized by hiring companies and thus, such can only be considered as online tutorials — and not online courses. Online courses provide proper student-teacher interaction, questionnaires and most importantly, certification.

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Online degree and online short courses certification programs are not new but these have become popular in the last couple of years. There are several reasons for this - accessibility is the major one. Other features include cost-effectiveness, quality, availability and variety.

How does the world perceive online degrees?

Online courses have been in existence since the beginning of the 21st century but things were not always the same. Online certificates were new and then the industry didn’t weigh much on such certifications — except those for digital technologies like web & app development. Things changed in the second decade and now every course in existence has an online alternative. Online certification is almost as valued as a local certification — which means, the same certificate from online courses has the same market reach as the classroom one.

How trustworthy are online courses?

This is the first question one should ask when opting for any course. While the perception of online courses is changing, there are plenty of voids which make online certifications untrustworthy. For example, there is no centralized online ruling authority to monitor fake programs. You can, however, take classes at prominent institutions but there are several students falling for fake websites every day. If you keep your eyes and mind open – you will know which program is fake and which is real.

Consult with experts, ask questions on Quora or reddit to find out if a course is good for you or not.

Features & Importance of Online Learning

Before you get your degree, you will have to go through this learning phase. Online learning is, unlike classroom learning, more intuitive and diverse. You will have a variety of options that classroom programs don’t:

  1. Relearning
    Relearning is your successive attempt to learn or remember a subject. With online programs, you can watch your videos, pause those and even repeat those later.
  2. Made for you
    Online courses are made specifically for you. You can adjust how video lectures play and continue learning anywhere you are.
  3. Portable
    Unlike classroom programs, online courses are portable. You can take those with you, anywhere you want. Some programs provide custom devices like tablets, USB storages etc. so that you can log into those anywhere you want with or without internet connectivity.
  4. Affordable Rates
    Online programs cost less than classroom programs, as there is less infrastructure consumption, lower paper & pen usage and even less traveling.
  5. Better networking
  6. Real-time reporting
  7. Live Feedback
  8. Less paper burden
  9. Online communities to help you grow

Free online courses that you can try

Online courses are not free and those which provide certification come with a charge. But there are still some programs that can give you an intensive learning experience without a degree. MIT’s Open Courseware is one of the first, to begin with.

Other learning sites like Khan Academy, NPTEL, YouTube Edu and Unacademy are other free portals to begin with. Sites like Udemy, Coursera, edX etc. are very valuable names in online learning too.

I am not recommending online courses over classroom programs, but online classes really have some extra perks that classroom programs don’t have. Also, if you are a working professional or have any other kinds of time limitations, there is no better option than opting for an online degree.

About Gaurav Tiwari

Gaurav Tiwari is a blogger, influencer and designer with expertise in brand regeneration and growth hacking. He is the co-founder of Gatilab, a successful digital agency focused on content and design.