The Flexibility of An Online College Education: Is It for You?

online student

It doesn’t matter if you’re about to enter your freshman year or if you’ve been out of college for a while and are considering a return. Your college experience will include online courses. It’s inevitable! Some 75 percent of undergraduates were enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2020 and nearly 6 million students were enrolled exclusively in fully online programs in 2019-2020, excluding courses brought online due to the pandemic. And while the pandemic may have given college students a taste of online education, many are hungry for more.

Why Is Online Education More Flexible?

Online courses present the same material and provide you with the same knowledge as their in-class counterpart. You still have assignments, projects, and tests. There are still due dates. But online education doesn’t require you to travel to campus. And while some courses are synchronous—requiring you to log in at specific times for a virtual class—many are asynchronous, meaning you log in when it’s convenient for you.

Especially if you have a full-time job or family obligations that make it difficult for you to commit to a set classroom schedule, online learning can be an excellent solution. Listen to a lecture on a lunch break. Get up early to study for an exam. Do schoolwork when your child is napping. However complicated and cluttered your life may be, you can fit in online learning.

Is Online Learning in College Right for You?

Before you dive into the digital classroom, consider how you learn best. Although the learning management systems used in today’s online courses are intuitive and user friendly, you should log in every day, be proactive with your assignments, and reach out to your professor when you have questions. Online learning requires you to be a bit more independent and self-directed than in-person instruction. Do you possess the traits that will help you succeed in the online classroom?

  • Self-Motivated
  • Organized
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Tech-Familiar
  • Communicative
  • Persistent

Another consideration is your learning space. While you may be able to complete a one-off assignment in the local coffee shop, you’ll get better results if you designate a learning space. A spot in your home or a local library with reliable internet and few distractions can help you stay focused.

Don’t Let Online Flexibility Turn into Procrastination

The very aspect that makes online learning so appealing can also turn into a stumbling block. Because when and how you start lessons is flexible, it can be easy to put them off. Don’t! Falling behind—just as with traditional studies—can quickly snowball.

To ensure you get your work done, set aside a consistent time and place to do it. Block out time and fit into the rest of your life. And take advantage of online resources, starting with your online learning system. Learn how to navigate it early and it will be an important resource throughout your program. Your professor will also have office hours; attend them when you need to. And just as with in-person courses, you can access online tutoring, library resources, career services, and other tools to help you achieve and succeed.

Limestone University offers a variety of online programs and degrees. Do you want to learn on-campus or online? Request information to find out more.