As online courses become more popular, educators and students are looking for new ways to make the most of this type of learning. Here we explore different types of online courses, their benefits and drawbacks, and a few online schools that offer excellent programs.
One of the great things about online courses is that they can be tailored to fit almost any schedule or learning style. Whether you’re a busy working professional who needs a flexible way to earn continuing education credits, or a stay-at-home parent who wants to learn something new, there’s an online course out there for you.
Online Courses Types
Here are five popular types of online courses:
– Self-paced Courses: These courses allow students to complete assignments and tests at their own pace. This type of course is ideal for busy adults who need to work around family and work commitments.
– Instructor-led Courses: These courses follow a more traditional format, with set class times and deadlines for assignments. Students interact with their instructor and classmates online, usually through discussion boards and video conferencing.
– Hybrid Courses: These courses combine online and in-person instruction. Students might meet in person for a few weeks or months, then complete the rest of the course online.
– Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): These are free online courses that anyone can take. MOOCs typically don’t offer credit, but they’re a great way to learn about a new topic or brush up on your skills.
– Certificate Programs: These programs are designed to help students gain the skills and knowledge they need to enter a particular field or profession. Many certificate programs can be completed entirely online.
Online Courses Advantages
There are many benefits to taking online courses, including the following:
– Convenience and Flexibility: You can attend class and complete assignments on your own schedule.
– Cost Savings: Online courses often cost less than traditional courses, since there are no travel or commuting expenses.
– Self-Paced Learning: You can work through material at your own pace, rewatching lectures or reviewing readings as needed.
– Variety of Courses: With online courses, you’re not limited to the offerings at your local school or community college. You can take courses from all over the world.
Online Courses Disadvantages
However, online courses also have some disadvantages, including the following:
– Less Interaction: You might have less opportunity to interact with instructors and classmates in online courses.
– Requires Self-Discipline: It can be easy to procrastinate or get distracted when you’re not in a traditional classroom setting.
– Technical Difficulties: Online courses can be disrupted by technical problems, such as poor internet connection or software glitches.
Online Courses To Try
If you’re interested in trying online courses, here are six online schools that offer excellent programs:
– Harvard Extension School: Harvard offers more than 800 online courses, including both credit and noncredit options.
– Stanford Online: Stanford offers a variety of online courses, including MOOCs and professional certificates.
– University of Pennsylvania: Penn offers more than 150 online courses, ranging from business to engineering.
– Georgetown University: Georgetown’s online offerings include undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional certificates.
– Northeastern University: Northeastern offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional development courses.
– Arizona State University: ASU’s online programs include bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificate programs.
Have you taken any online courses? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!