Online University
10 Students 10 Questions 10 Answers

Can you actually learn anything while studying online?

  • Angelina Casarez Angelina Casarez

    Of course you can learn online, but it takes a lot of discipline and determination. Before you go into an online program, you have to be aware that it is not the “easy way out” like some people think. In a traditional class, you have a teacher to remind you to submit your assignments, but online you have to police yourself.

    People tend to look down on online education, but I think that this style helps me learn better since I am a visual learner. I have a hard time following a lecture that is only delivered audibly, but if I do the reading myself, I can see the information, which helps me digest it better.

    Another way that online school aids the learning process is through promoting more honest discussions between peers. In a traditional classroom discussion, everybody is staring at you when you speak and it can feel like a very high-pressure situation. Online discussions eliminate that anxiety, which allows students to be more comfortable expressing their ideas openly.

  • Tanya Faison Tanya Faison

    Overall, you can learn online, but you may not learn as much as you would in a traditional institution. My classes are not usually very comprehensive, either. A traditional university offers more classes and explores specific topics in greater depth than an online school. Currently, my online classes provide me with a basic foundation, but they do not explore the details and intricacies of a topic adequately.

    When you study online, you are limited to general courses. You do not have the option to learn more about a special topic within your major. This means that I am unable to learn about a lot of the topics that interest me. Compared to traditional institutions, online schools provide an inferior course selection. If I were attending a traditional school, I could pursue topics that are more relevant to my specific goals.

    Another way that online classes affect my learning is that I feel rushed by the timeframe of the classes. Online schools provide you with the potential to learn a fair amount, but they do not give you enough time to absorb all of the information. The rapid pace of learning makes me feel that I am running through the information too quickly. Overall, I am not learning as much as I would like.

  • Jody Galis Jody Galis

    Yes, you can learn a lot online if the program is set up to allow for some interaction with the teacher. My digital design program is very hands-on. The teacher walks me through the steps I need to do, but I create all of my designs by myself using the skills in web design and Adobe Photoshop that I have learned in my program so far. And since digital design happens entirely on a computer anyway, it makes sense to learn it online.

    I would advise online students to be prepared for the challenges of being a self-reliant learner, though. If you study online, you will need to make sure you read everything that is assigned to you because there is no room for slacking off in programs like mine. You also need to ask for help if you need it. You are only going to learn if you put in the effort to do so, which means that you need to utilize the teacher and any resources that your school provides.

  • Krystal Gransbury Krystal Gransbury

    Yes, in my opinion you can learn online, but you have to be motivated to do your own work. I don’t find my curriculum to be especially challenging right now, but I am only about 4 months into the program so it might get more difficult in the future.

  • Susan Griffin Susan Griffin

    For the most part, I do feel like I am learning what I need to know in my classes at the University of Phoenix. I find my curriculum to be challenging, especially since I have little practical background in my area of health administration and management. I do many research projects that require a lot of time and I often have to do additional reading independently to clarify certain aspects of the project.

    Another difficult part of my curriculum is the fact that I work with a learning team in each class, which means that I participate in a lot of group work. That can be frustrating because somebody has to step up to lead the team and make sure everyone else is getting their work done. When we do have conflicts, we have to figure it out together. Luckily, I haven’t experienced much conflict in my degree program.

  • Alleisha Heard Alleisha Heard

    Yes, I have learned so much online that I barely know how to quantify it. In my online criminal justice bachelors program, I have learned about both the investigative and the administrative sides of the field. For instance, I took a class about organized crime that especially intrigued me. I took another class that discussed what goes on behind the scenes in a law enforcement agency as far as paperwork like police reports and parole orders.

    I find my curriculum to be challenging, but I think that is a good thing. If I wasn’t challenging myself, then I wouldn’t actually be learning anything. So while it has been difficult at times, I am glad for that since it has given me a real understanding of the field that I want to pursue. If you are finding that your online curriculum is a little more difficult than you are comfortable with, then you should keep in mind that there are lots of useful resources available online to help you. Look for government and educational websites to make sure you are finding reliable information.

  • Brandon Johnston Brandon Johnston

    You can learn while studying online, but you will have to find a way to manage your schedule by blocking out certain times for school and sticking to those times. It takes a massive amount of self-discipline to succeed in an online program.

    I have been able to learn about business information systems through my online bachelors program, which focuses on how business affects information technology. My program combines technology and business operations, so students can expect to learn about topics ranging from project management and marketing to programming and computer networking.

    The most useful classes that I have taken so far were accounting, e-business and e-commerce. My e-business and e-commerce classes were particularly important because they taught me how to establish a flourishing business using the Internet and other technologies. Nowadays, people can become successful businessmen by purchasing a small domain and starting their own website.

    However, the least useful classes that I have taken were my programming class and project procurement class because neither of them related to my career goals. My project procurement class was particularly unhelpful because it had to do with purchasing for factories and assembly lines which is something that does not interest me at all.

  • Nancy Lockett Nancy Lockett

    Yes, I feel that you can learn just as much while studying online as you could at a traditional brick-and-mortar institution. My curriculum is rigorous and comprehensive. In fact, I am surprised at how deeply each course explores its topics. The material is useful, current and interesting, which means I find myself constantly immersed in the coursework. But ultimately, I think that the amount you learn through online classes is entirely determined by the effort that you put forth.

    I have had such a positive experience with online schooling that I would even say online education aids my learning. I have gotten the chance to build on many topics that my high school curriculum only touched on.

    Even though class is conducted remotely, you will need to interact with faculty to make the most of your education. In order to maximize student-faculty interaction, I suggest that you make the effort to be exacting when it comes to communication. Keep in mind that it is difficult to be clear online since you cannot rely on expressive tones or body language to convey your meaning. Try to be clear and concise with what you say to avoid miscommunication with your facilitator and your peers.

  • Cynthia Palmer Cynthia Palmer

    Yes, I have found it easier to learn by studying online than I had imagined before I started my program. My curriculum is designed to teach me about all the dimensions of early childhood education. It consists of classes about child development, like nutrition, physical education and methods for teaching young children. I also take classes related to social responsibility and school administration.

    A lot of my coursework is based on theory, but we learn practical skills too. For example, in my administration class, we have learned how to write a proposal as if we are opening up our own learning center. In fact, most of our homework comes in the form of writing papers like that simulated proposal. We also write discussion board posts several times each week. Finally, we have multiple-choice tests on occasion. But I don’t think the tests are very useful assessments of our learning because it would be easy to cheat by using your book since the tests are not monitored.

  • Justin Pettyjohn Justin Pettyjohn

    Yes, you can definitely learn while studying online. In fact, I feel like I am learning so much at such a rapid pace that I have to figure out how to organize all of the new information into separate pieces so that I can revisit it later. Online school is not the easy way out, it is just a different way to learn.

    Overall, I consider my program to be challenging, but manageable. While I am required to do more work than I had to in a traditional classroom setting, I have gained confidence in my IT skills which will carry over into my career.