What is Online College? How To Enroll Online Education Program?

Online College Online College

A. Definition and General Description of Online Colleges

Online colleges and traditional ones have the same goals in mind: to provide students with an education and award degrees. Although their purposes are the same, they have significant differences. A key distinction between online and traditional colleges is the Internet-based curriculum. According to the National Center for Education Statistics¬† an online class is defined as “a formal education process in which the students and instructor are not in the same place.” This means that all exams, lectures and much of the reading in online classes are done on the Web. This is the biggest change when transitioning from traditional classroom learning. Many students have overcome the challenge of online instruction and have adapted well to the system.

Online College Program 2

Online College Program 2

Online education is a type of educational instruction that is delivered via the internet to students using their home computers. During the last decade, online degrees and courses have become a popular alternative for a wide range of nontraditional students, include those who want to continue working full-time or raising families. Most of the time, online degree programs and courses are offered via the host school’s online learning platform, although some are delivered using alternative technologies. Although there are subtle dissimilarities, the main difference between online and traditional learning is the fact that online education liberates the student from the usual trappings of on-campus degree programs including driving to school, planning their schedule around classes, and being physically present for each sequence of their coursework.

As in traditional courses, online ones are taught by instructors and include multiple classmates.¬†However, your correspondence with these individuals will most likely be via email, telephone or live chat. Unless you are in a certain course or program that requires on-campus visits or clinical work such as nursing or occupational therapy you will never meet your instructors or classmates face to face. Traditional college classes require your physical presence as you listen and take notes during professors’ lectures. Many traditional college classes make attendance mandatory and your grade suffers if you miss class.

Exchanging information with your professors is very different in online classes from how it’s done in traditional ones. In order to ensure that material has been presented clearly, instructors in a virtual environment have to provide more detailed feedback than do their colleagues at bricks and mortar campuses. According to the Sloan Consortium, there are additional types of feedback that are important to online classes, such as interaction in discussions that goes beyond posting words such as “good job,” instead of highlighting key ideas and creating follow-up questions. Feedback can also come in the form of audio clips and voice-supported chats. The best online instructors work hard to provide valuable assistance and interaction with their students.

Online College Program 1

Online College Program 1

Online classes provide more flexibility than do traditional ones, making them more convenient for many students. Online classes allow you to attend school but also work, so you can fulfill all your important obligations. This has been the answer to many people’s quest to further their education while still meeting their family and work responsibilities.

In most cases, you can attend class when it’s a good time for you and learn at your own pace. Not many traditional college students can say that about their schedules.

B. Online Education Programs

Online education is a type of educational instruction that is delivered via the internet to students using their home computers. During the last decade, online degrees and courses have become a popular alternative for a wide range of nontraditional students, include those who want to continue working full-time or raising families. Most of the time, online degree programs and courses are offered via the host school’s online learning platform, although some are delivered using alternative technologies. Although there are subtle dissimilarities, the main difference between online and traditional learning is the fact that online education liberates the student from the usual trappings of on-campus degree programs including driving to school, planning their schedule around classes, and being physically present for each sequence of their coursework.

Online College Program 4

Online College Program 4

Although online education is often similar to on-campus instruction, it can be delivered in a number of ways. Distance learning is usually offered using one of these methods, or a combination of them:

  • 100% Online Education. Fully-online degrees are earned from the comfort of your own home with no required visits to your college or university campus.
  • Hybrid Education. Hybrid education allows students to pursue a combination of online and on-campus courses.
  • Online Courses. While online courses may be part of a degree program, they can also be taken on their own in order to master a certain subject or learn a specific skill.
  • MOOCs. MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are usually delivered in lecture form to online “classrooms” with as many as 10,000 people.

No matter which type or types of online education one chooses to pursue, the options are typically plentiful. Where online education put down roots in just a handful of college majors, it has since expanded to nearly every field and discipline in academia, with very few exceptions. With that being said, certain fields lend themselves to online learning for various reasons. Across the nation, the most popular degree programs offered online include:

  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Accounting
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Early Childhood Education

C. Benefits of Online Education

The benefits that come with online learning depend a lot on the individual. While some students simply enjoy the convenience of studying in their pajamas, others must choose online education in order to stay home with their children. Still, the biggest perk that comes with online degree programs has to do with location. Simply put, when you pursue online education, you don’t have to uproot your life to do it; you can just stay home.

Online College Program 3

Online College Program 3

“The primary benefit of an online program is flexibility,” notes Monroe. “In a well-designed online program, students are not limited to programs physically located near their home.”

Staying home to pursue a degree can not only make earning a degree possible but also less time-consuming. For example, students who pursue online degrees may not have to:

  • Quit their jobs to attend school
  • Commute to and from their college campus
  • Plan their day around their course schedule
  • Spend money on parking or babysitting

At the same time, it allows them to study and take tests at a time and place that works best for them, learns at their own pace, and transition through their courses faster.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and while there are many benefits, online education does have one drawback the lack of a personal connection.

“The primary benefit of a campus-based program, compared to an online program, is the opportunity it provides for personal interactions with your professors and your fellow students,” says Monroe. “For many, learning is fundamentally a social activity and these person-to-person interactions are a very important component of their education.”

To lessen the impact, many online schools have begun offering a wide range of services that connect students with their peers and instructors. Commonly, those features include online message boards and chat rooms, video conferences, and web-based forums.

D. How to Apply in an Online College

Part of the problem with online degree programs is that there are just so many to choose from. In addition to fully-online schools that offer programs across the nation, most of our country’s largest universities and colleges, as well as many small schools, have their own online degrees or distance learning programs.

Once you decide which school you want to attend, however, you should take the following steps to enroll:

  1. Contact your chosen school. Reach out to your school via email or phone in order to request more information. Most schools offer an application packet with details on how to apply.
  2. Get copies of your high school transcripts or GED paperwork. Most colleges and universities require a copy of your high school transcript with your application.
  3. Fill out your college application paperwork. Although all schools require different sets of data, it’s important to fill out your college application thoroughly and truthfully. Some colleges use a Common Application in order to streamline the process. This application can be submitted to any school that uses it.
  4. Fill out a FAFSA form. Filling out a FAFSA form, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, helps state and federal agencies determine what type of aid you qualify for, and how much.

That’s an explanation of online college. Are you interested in going to college online? If yes, follow the steps of registering at an online college at the college you want. Thank you for the visit see you in the next post.