There are big things happening in the world of online education every day. From HD video conferencing to class discussions being held in an instant messaging format, the technological advancements that have been made to education are amazing. For most prospective students, going to school online or at least taking some courses online is a very viable option – something to seriously consider.
Some students choose to take classes online while still in high school in order to earn credits for college before they even arrive. Others take online classes as a supplement to their existing schedule. Some get their associate’s online with the intention of finishing their degrees on campus. In these cases, we have to ask ourselves: students are learning a lot in online school, but are they learning the soft skills they need to succeed on campus.
Most experts would argue that online college courses teach students a lot of necessary, real-life skills. Here are a few examples.
No matter where your classes take place, time management is a skill that you’ll have no choice but to learn. In online schools and brick-and-mortar schools alike, students will not succeed if they don’t learn to prioritize. Online schools require a bit of extra discipline, since you don’t see a professor every day, and learning to manage time on one’s own is a great skill to have for on-campus classes and in any career field.
A challenge that professors of online courses face is creating an environment that helps students help themselves. Leveraging technology has made this all the more possible. Professors will push their online students to use their available resources to understand difficult material, have thought-provoking discussions, and ask for help when necessary. They could take the easy route – which is simply dropping out – but powering through an online course helps a student to learn tenacity and persistence.
When you’re on campus and struggling with a course, you can whisper to your neighbor in class or hang out a bit later to talk to the professor one-on-one. While online professors are available for calls and web chats about class, students must be more aware of their other resources and how they work. They must learn to research and apply knowledge in a way that is a bit more challenging than on-campus – professors aren’t at their immediate beckon as they are when you’re sitting in class. It pushes students to find the answers to their own questions since professors don’t always respond to e-mails immediately.