In an age when technology is making learning more accessible than ever, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to study at home. Online learning is a growing trend and one that’s here to stay. According to a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) survey, more than 11 million undergraduate American students were studying at least one course at home in 2020.
While the pandemic forced many learners to take online classes, studying from home was still popular before COVID-19, with more than six million undergraduate students taking at least one long-distance course in 2019.
There are many reasons why home-based learners choose this option to gain new skills and improve their job prospects. Some of the most common reasons include the following.
Many online schools offer lower tuition rates than traditional universities, which can help students save money on their education. Some online programs are even free.
The cost of living in a city such as New York or San Francisco is higher than in other parts of the country, so students may find that tuition is more expensive and harder to come by for out-of-state students.
You can study from the comfort of your own home, which is an enormous advantage if you’re juggling work and family commitments – or if you have other responsibilities that prevent you from studying in a regular classroom setting.
If you need to take time off from your studies for any reason, such as illness or to attend an important family event, there’s almost no limit on how long you can take off and still get back into the swing of things when it comes time to resume your studies. You don’t need to worry about missing out on crucial information that may be covered during those weeks away. Just replay lectures or review notes made while away from class.
Studying at home also gives students complete control over their schedules as they design them around their priorities (such as getting enough sleep). They can choose what hours they want to dedicate to completing assignments without someone else dictating those choices for them (unless they want this).
In addition, studying at home can help you prepare for a career change without jeopardizing your current position. For example, if your aim is becoming a second career nurse, you can take an online nursing course without abandoning your existing work commitments.
A wide range of online learning options
Online learning is more accessible than ever, with many online learning options available. You can use online learning to:
- Supplement in-person learning (taking an online class in conjunction with an on-campus course).
- Replace in-person learning (taking an online degree program instead of going to college).
Studying at home also allows you to take classes that aren’t offered at your local campus. For example, suppose there aren’t any history classes available at your school but plenty available online. In that case, you can take advantage of this opportunity without changing schools or moving away from home.
Easier to communicate with your professor
Online courses are also great for students who struggle with in-person interaction. Online learning allows you to reach out to your professor and ask questions as they arise rather than waiting until the end of class.
Your professor can respond immediately and give you feedback on what’s going well and where you need to improve your understanding of the material.
Additionally, online classes often provide forums where students can post their assignments for peer review before submitting them for grading by the professor. This helps to ensure that all tasks are completed based on quality standards, saving time spent editing them later.
A broader, global perspective
As the world becomes smaller due to the internet and social media, it’s easy to find people from all over the globe. Whether you’re learning about different languages or just looking for someone who can help you learn French, the internet is an excellent source of information.
You can also use platforms such as YouTube to connect with experts in various fields willing to share their knowledge with you. Many teachers post videos on their channels so that students can watch them at home instead of attending class daily. This saves time and money for families who would otherwise have had no choice but to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on traditional education.
Another advantage of studying at home is that it gives students access to other cultures and fields within one particular domain (such as math). For example, if your child wants to study history but has trouble understanding one aspect, using online resources will allow them to pursue more specialized training without having their schedule interrupted by classes coming up soon after each other.
New technical skills
In addition to formal courses, massive open online courses (MOOCs) offer hands-on projects that give students a chance to use the tools they’ve learned about in an actual project. This helps you gain new skills and apply what you’ve learned in a real-world setting. Studying online can also help you learn the latest technology.
Additionally, you’ll have access to world-class experts teaching your course, so if you have questions along the way, there will be someone available who knows exactly how to answer them.
Time management skill development
It’s no secret that college students tend to be scattered, with a healthy dose of procrastination and distraction chasing them around. That being said, there are some pretty simple ways to tackle these issues at home.
Here are a couple of tips for learning how to manage your time:
- Set realistic goals and deadlines for yourself.
- Prioritize tasks and make lists if necessary.
Sometimes, the best way to learn is at home. If you’re an adult who wants to return to school, you should consider an online degree program. While studying at home, you don’t need to travel and worry about finding childcare while taking classes. You can learn on your own schedule, at your own pace – and it’s much cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar colleges. Online degrees are also an excellent option for adult learners who want a flexible schedule to continue working while earning their degrees.