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What Are the Pros & Cons of Online Schools?

While online education has become a popular option among students, there are many distinct differences between the online study and traditional classroom-based learning. For certain students, they may fit well into online learning format; for others, a campus-based school’s program is a better fitting option. Before you decide which education option to choose for, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of online learning will help you to decide the best education option to achieve your goals.The Advantages of Online School1. Convenient: Students are not needed to follow a fixed schedule like what the campus-based students do. They can logon to the online classes at any time they are convenient for, directly from their home or any place with internet connection.2. Flexible self-paced study: One of key features of online education is the flexibility of study. Since the class times are not set and most online classes are conducted asynchronously, students can choose to attend the classes at any time and proceed through their study at their own rate.3. Availability: The quality of online degrees has been increased recent years with recognized accreditation process. Students who hold online degrees have no problem to compete with traditional degree holders to secure rewarding careers in job market.4. Cost saving: Online degree programs are usually cheaper than the traditional school programs. Besides the cheaper tuition fees, online students will save some money with downloadable learning materials, instead of purchasing the printed reference books. Moreover, learning online involves zero traveling cost.5. Accessibility & no interruption: Students are able to attend online classes regardless where they are as long as they can access to internet. The students can choose the place they like to study, either at their room, internet cafe or library. They can study alone in front of computer with no interruptions from surrounding noise.The Disadvantage of Online School 1. Less instructor face-time: Most online classes are conducted asynchronously where students can logon at any time to get the learning materials or attending pre-record video sessions. Moreover, most communications are done in text or written format. Therefore, the online students have very less face-time with the instructors in online learning environment. For certain students, face-to-face interaction with instructor is important to help them learn effectively.2. Technology requirements: Online learning system usually requires modern computer with special hardware requirements. Students may need to upgrade their computer to meet the online learning software requirements. Moreover, students need to have some proficiency in using computers if they want to study online.3. Less social interaction: Most often, online students communicate with peers and instructors through text chat, forum, email and sometimes using webcam for video communication. This means there will be less physical classroom interactions. Students who are weak in social interaction don’t have opportunities to train themselves like what they can experience in physical classroom.4. Limited & non-instant support: Online students are required to take their own initiative in completing assignments, projects and reports. There will be nobody to look at their back and push them to meet the deadlines. When the students need supports from schools, they may need to post questions at the message board or send email to instructors for helps whenever they face difficulties in their study; then they need to wait for responses which may take some times.SummaryThere are many distinct differences between the online study and traditional classroom-based learning. You should compare the advantages and disadvantages of online schools before you decide which education option fit you better in achieving your goals.