Working professionals sometimes seek an advanced degree to provide them with the skills necessary to further their career. However, balancing a full-time job during the day and attending class at night can be overwhelming no matter how highly motivated a person may be. That's why many students are finding relief in the convenience of an online degree program. According to a recent study from the Babson Survey Research Group, Pearson and the Sloan Consortium, an estimated 7.1 million students were enrolled in an online class this past year. E-learning is continuing to grow in popularity because of its many advantages.
Students can experience a great deal of pressure when juggling a career and pursuing a graduate degree. Rushing home from work to go to class is stressful. Taking a course online helps to eliminate that stress. According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, now known as ASCD, online learning can save students time and money, as well as provide them with the flexibility to balance various responsibilities. By taking a course online, students save money on gas and commuter expenses while learning from the comfort of their own home - a feature that can be extremely convenient after a long day at the office. Since materials and assignments can be accessed anytime and anywhere, working professionals can set aside time during the week or weekend that's more in line with their hectic schedules.
A report from the U.S. Department of Education showed that generally speaking, those who participate in online courses perform better than individuals who received their education in a classroom. While it's difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, it can be suggested that a clear report of progress can be seen in many online courses, which could be a key factor in the success of online learning, noted the ASCD. Many students who engage in e-learning hold themselves more accountable for truly understanding concepts and succeeding in their studies.
Online courses can also be beneficial for those who are hesitant to speak up when they need clarification. Since all of the learning is online, it reduces intimidation that could be experienced in a traditional classroom and encourages electronic communication. Some students may be more comfortable sending an e-mail to their professors or classmates to seek answers to questions thus receiving a more valuable education.
By Monique Smith
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