13 Advantages to Taking Online Classes | Cornerstone University (2023)

Lifelong Learning MattersApril 13, 2017

13 Advantages to Taking Online Classes | Cornerstone University (1)

Are there advantages to taking classes online?

It’s such a different experience from the traditional classroom environment. Why would someone want that? And why are so many people saying that online classes are a great alternative to in-person attendance at a class?

Believe it or not, there are some enormous advantages to online classes. Some of these are obvious while others may surprise you.

Here are 13 big advantages to taking online classes.

#1—It Costs Less

It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. You pay for the classes, a dorm room that smells like old stuff, cafeteria meals, activity fees, massive text books and a host of other random expenses. It adds up really quick. There’s a reason most students have to take out loans.

(Video) Should you take your college classes online? | (pros + cons of online school)

The average graduating student has a staggering $37,172 in college debt. This can be a huge burden to someone just trying to launch a career.

With online classes, you’re only paying for the university credits. If you’re trying to save money, this is a perfect solution. You’re only spending money on the things you want to spend money on.

#2—Less Intensity

Taking classes usually means showing up on class at a particular time, sitting through a somewhat lengthy lecture and then going directly to your next class. Or, if you’ve spaced your classes out, you may be able to take a break in between, but you still have to stay on campus. It can make for really long, really intense, really exhausting days.

Then you have to come home, do homework, sleep and do it all again the next day. It can easily become a grind.

With online classes, you do all the work at your own pace. As long as you meet your deadlines and participate appropriately online, you’ll be fine. This means much less pressure and intensity.

#3—Easier Attendance

If you live where it snows, you know how difficult it can be to get class when there’s been a storm. You have to get up early, shovel your way out, navigate the icy roads and trudge across the freezing campus. Even if you don’t live in a cold area, there are plenty of other conditions that can make it tough to come to class.

If you take classes online, attending is as simple as opening up your computer or tablet. No rain-soaked walks or hypothermic marches for you! You can learn from the comfort of your home or favorite coffee shop while sipping on a steaming beverage.

Additionally, you can be flexible about when you get your work done if something comes up, like needing to take a child to soccer practice or attend a meeting for your job.

#4—Improve Your Self-Discipline

Succeeding in online classes requires self-discipline. You don’t have a teacher to tell you when an assignment is do. Your best friend won’t call you on Monday morning to make sure you’re working on that group project. You actually have to login and participate in the discussions to get participation credit. Being lazy or undisciplined will cause you to quickly fall behind.

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By taking online classes, you develop stronger self-discipline, which often translates to other areas of your life such as fitness, work ethic and even relationships.

#5—Easier Access to Teachers

In some ways, the distance is greater between you and your teacher because you’re not sitting in class with them regularly. But in other ways, you have much easier access. When you ask a question in class, the professor has to consider other questions that need to be answered, the time it will take to answer the question and whether they even want to answer the question at all.

In an online class, you can email a teacher questions directly. When they answer, they can take as much time as they need to give you a thorough answer. They also don’t have to worry about getting to someone else’s question before class ends. So in this way, you actually can have more of your professor’s attention.

#6—Location, Location, Location

Normally, your choice of university is significantly narrowed by location. If you live in Pennsylvania, it can be really challenging to attend UCLA due to the cross-country difference.

But with online classes, location doesn’t matter. If you live in Alaska and want to take classes at Florida State University, you can! If you want to travel the country while simultaneously getting an accounting degree, you can make that happen. All you need is a computer or tablet and an internet connection. This location independence is a massive, often underrated benefit of online classes.

#7—The Comfort of Your Home

There is absolutely no dress code with online classes. If you want to do you work in your PJs or velour track suit, you can. If you want to lie on your couch or your bed while watching a lecture, you can. If you want classical music on in the background while you chat with your classmates on the forum, you can.

You may remember that there’s a scene in “Seinfeld” where Jerry tells George that wearing sweatpants is a sign that you’ve given up on life. That was before online classes were invented. Now sweats can be a sign that you’re successful!

#8—Easily Transferable Credits

There may be times when you will need to transfer your credits. For example, let’s say a class requires prerequisite but you can’t fit it into your schedule. Or, maybe you need to take a prerequisite class over the summer and your university doesn’t offer it during the summer.

Because online credits are usually transferable, you can take the needed class online at another university and then transfer the credit to your university. It’s the perfect solution if you’re trying to move through school quickly or need to make up lost time.

(Video) Online Classes at University of Florida after Two Month | did I survive?

#9—A Huge Variety of Options

No matter what your desired field of study, you can almost find an online program, whether that’s nursing, mathematics, science, accounting or just about any other program. And more programs are being added by schools every day. There truly is an option for almost everyone.

If your program is not offered online by your school, ask if there are any similar options or transferable credits you could get from other school.

#10—Easier to Focus

It’s not always easy to focus in class. Sometimes you’re tired. Sometimes the person next to you smells like they need a shower. Sometimes there’s construction going on right outside the classroom. Sometimes your study group wants to talk about “The Bachelor” rather than a chemistry problem. And sometimes your mind just wanders.

It has been repeatedly shown that studying in a loud or noisy environment makes it much more difficult to concentrate.

With online classes, it’s much easier to focus on what you’re doing. You can put yourself in the right environment. You can wear headphones if your surroundings are noisy. Your interactions happen online, meaning they won’t easily wander off topic. And you can choose to study at a time when you’re freshest. If you struggle to concentrate, online classes might be the ideal solution.

#11—You Can Keep Your Job

Many times, getting a college degree requires quitting your job. After all, it can be difficult to juggle the demands of school and work simultaneously. But if you’re organized and self-disciplined, it’s often possible to do both.

Because you don’t have to attend class at a specific time, you can fulfill the functions of your job and study during your free time. You can also use weekends to get additional work done that you didn’t have time for during the week. Yes, it’s demanding. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But if you want to keep working while getting a degree, you can make it happen with online classes.

#12—Easier to Fit Learning Into Your Day

With traditional classes, you have to work around the university schedule. If your class is at 4 p.m., you have to be in the classroom at that time and you have to attend the entire lecture. Failing to do those things will result in missing valuable information.

Online classes make it so much easier to fit things into your schedule. You can listen to lectures on your drive to work. You can watch videos on the train or bus. You can respond to comments while sitting in the coffee shop. You can even watch part of a lecture, pause it, and then come back to it at a convenient time. If you have an already full schedule, online classes are the perfect solution.

(Video) Principal Chad Smith: Ten Advantages To Taking Online Classes

#13—Learning Tech Skills

If you’ve never been tech savvy, online classes will force you outside of your comfort zone (in a good way). You will have to learn to navigate the course lectures, download materials, interact with others online and communicate well digitally.

Yes, this may be scary for some people! However, in the information age, these are essential skills and will allow you to keep pace with others.

A recent surveyfound that:

The most important skills that employees are missing are computer and technical skills. Of those reporting that they needed skills for their current job, 33% reported lacking technical skills, including computer skills.

Learn Your Way

Online classes aren’t for everybody. Some people just want the tried-and-true traditional classroom. But online classes offer some really unique benefits. These benefits allow people who might not normally be able to get a degree to attend college.

Whether you want to study from the comfort of your bedroom or increase your computer skills, online classes are a fantastic option.

Did you know that Cornerstone’s online degree programs have been nationally ranked? Learn more about why an online program can be a great option for you.

Learn more about our adult programs

Learn more about our graduate programs

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What are the benefits of taking online classes? ›

Advantages of Online Learning
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Reduced Costs. ...
  • More Free Time. ...
  • Increased Course Variety. ...
  • Career Advancement Opportunities. ...
  • Increased Collaboration. ...
  • Personalized Education. ...
  • Enhanced Time Management Skills.

What are the pros and cons of taking online courses at the high school or college level? ›

42% of companies that use e-learning generate more income.
Pros of Online LearningCons of Online Learning
FlexibilityLess Social Interaction
AffordabilityLimited Course Availability
IndividualizationRequires High Degree of Self Discipline
Jan 10, 2023

Why on campus classes are better than online? ›

Advantages of on-campus learning

Full access to campus facilities like libraries, computer labs, etc. In-person interaction and discussion with fellow students. More opportunities to socialize and make new friends. Greater choice of degree programs.

Why online school is better for mental health? ›

Less Negative Competition

Students who prefer a less competitive environment may be left behind and lose interest. Online schools focus more on the student than how they measure up to peers. This may be better for students who find that competition impacts their mental health.

Are online classes easier in college? ›

For some people, online programs are easier because they offer a flexible schedule. In addition, people with great time management skills and a sense of responsibility can excel in online classes. However, online education may be more challenging for those who enjoy learning in a classroom environment.

Why do college students take online classes? ›

Flexibility. Online courses are flexible and versatile and provide the opportunity to get a degree at your own pace. You can weave your academic schedule into your life in a way that works best for you.

Do students do better in online courses? ›

Because online courses provide students with full control over their studies, they can work at their own pace. Pupils, on average, work faster and absorb more information in online courses than they would otherwise.

Is it better to take college online? ›

Online schools are often cheaper than on campus

Students are spared the high cost of room and board on campus as well as travel expenses. Students are also able to continue working full time while taking online classes, so they may need less financial aid or loans, reducing their debt at graduation.

What are the positive and negative effects of online learning? ›

Read on.
  • Online courses require more time than on-campus classes. ...
  • Online courses make it easier to procrastinate. ...
  • Online courses require good time-management skills. ...
  • Online courses may create a sense of isolation. ...
  • Online courses allow you to be more independent. ...
  • Online courses require you to be an active learner.

What are effects of online learning? ›

Online learning can lead to students not developing the necessary communicative skills. In addition, students must have high-speed internet access at home, which can lead to complications if it is not available.

Is an online degree respected? ›

According to the experts, degrees earned from accredited online schools are taken just as seriously as degrees earned at brick-and-mortar institutions. Although, it's also important to remember that hiring managers look at other aspects of your job application or resume before extending an offer.

What are the pros and cons of in person learning? ›

Students can meet their teachers face-to-face as well as establish relationships with their classmates to some level. Learning is more interactive and group-oriented. Con: Limited peer interaction along with increased regulations may increase mental stress and anxiety in some children.

Why is online school more comfortable? ›

More Comfortable Learning Environment

The most visible difference between classroom learning and online learning is each mode's physical environment, the latter of which is typically more comfortable. Online learning allows students to seek an education at their convenience and in the setting of their choosing.

What are the positive effects of remote learning? ›

You have flexibility in when, where and how you learn.

Most online programs are self-paced, which allows students to complete their education in a timeframe that suits their needs—especially those who are taking care of loved ones, such as young children or aging parents.

Why online school is better for anxiety? ›

First, online schools allow students to work in familiar environments. This can help put students at ease and make it easier for them to handle difficulties or frustrations with school material. Additionally, without social stressors to worry about, students can focus all of their attention on learning.

Is online learning better than face to face? ›

Elearning is consistent – Classroom experiences largely depend on the instructor. The same course material can be delivered by two different facilitators with vastly different impacts on the learners. Elearning online training ensures a level of consistency that is not achievable with face to face learning.

What makes online learning easier for students? ›

Students can access their courses at any time of day or night. Further, they have continuous access to lectures, course materials, and class discussions. This is particularly convenient for those who may need to reread a lecture or take more time to reflect on some material before moving on.

What is the success rate of online schools? ›

Success rates tend to be higher in face-to-face classes. In Fall 15, face-to-face classes had a success rate of 69% versus only 60% in online classes, a gap of 9%. However, this gap has been decreasing, with only a 3% gap in success rates in Fall 19 (70% in face-to-face versus 67% online).

What is the success rate of online education? ›

17. In 2020, the graduation rate for K-12 students was just 54.6% The National Education Policy Center Report 2021 found that the graduation rates of K-12 was significantly lower with just 54.6% of virtual schools and 64.3% in blended schools when the overall average of national graduation rate is 85%.

What is the biggest challenge of online learning? ›

Here are some of the biggest challenges of online education today.
  • Lack of Motivation in Students.
  • Infrastructural Problems.
  • Digital Literacy and Technical Issues.
  • Lack of In-person Interaction.
  • Lack of EdTech and Online Learning Options for Special Needs of Students.
  • Course Structure and Quality.
Apr 10, 2023

How does online school affect students social skills? ›

They may also miss face-to-face interactions with fellow students. For some students, this lack of social interaction – and the accompanying need to be self-motivated to get their work done – can lead to feelings of isolation.

What are 3 positive and 3 negative impacts of online interactions? ›

The Positive and Negative Effects of the Internet on Our Daily...
  • The Pros.
  • Boost connectivity. The internet is a global networking platform and the guiding light of today's technology. ...
  • Enhanced communication. ...
  • Promote education. ...
  • The Cons.
  • Social life problems. ...
  • Cybercrimes. ...
  • Developmental effects.
Apr 22, 2021

What is the impact of online learning to students motivation? ›

Online learning requires more self-regulation, intrinsic motivation and independence from the learner than the traditional classroom education. Keller's ARCS (attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction) Model of Motivation is a framework for learners to become and remain motivated.

How does online school affect mental health? ›

Youth participating in virtual learning also reported feeling less social connection and higher rates of mental health problems, in comparison to their peers who could attend school in-person or in a hybrid model.

What are the 5 biggest advantages of e-learning? ›

Top 10 Benefits of eLearning
  • E-learning Fully Adjusts to Your Needs. Online studying is designed to accommodate everyone's needs. ...
  • Reduced Cost. ...
  • Remote Approach To Various Classes. ...
  • Transfer Credits & Commuting. ...
  • Instant Career Advancement. ...
  • Quick Delivery. ...
  • Scalability. ...
  • Consistency & Teacher Scarcity.

How did virtual learning affect students? ›

In particular, students were physically and mentally affected by the lockdown and the shift from physical person-to-person classrooms to virtual learning (online classes). This increased the prevalence of psychological stress, anxiety, and depression among university students.

How do people feel about online classes? ›

In 2020, only 25 percent of continuers and 19 percent of new students thought online courses were better quality; but now, 37 percent of continuers (a plurality) and 29 percent of new students believe online courses are better.

How does online learning affect the brain? ›

Without visible cues that allow our limbic systems to interpret emotions associated with concepts, information isn't as easily consolidated and there is greater disengagement. This causes students' cerebral cortexes to generate less thoughts about class content.

How does e learning affect academic performance? ›

The researcher found that ICT had a statistically significant positive influence on e-learning based students' academic achievements. The results also indicated that ICT had a significant positive influence on students' educational overall academic achievements.

What is the best online university in the world? ›

Top Online Colleges
RankSchool NameFinancial Aid Available
#1University of FloridaYes
#2 (tie)Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University--WorldwideYes
#2 (tie)University of Illinois--ChicagoYes
#4 (tie)Medical University of South CarolinaYes
12 more rows

Are online degrees faster? ›

Are online degrees faster? Most online degrees take the same time to complete as a traditional degree, which is about four years. But you can finish accelerated online degrees in as fast as 1-2 years, though they come with a heavier course load.

Does U.S. universities accept online degrees? ›

Online degrees from duly recognized universities are valid in the USA. Online degree programs have gained popularity over the years, and they continue to gain acceptance by employers and universities.

What are some benefits of learning? ›

Learning keeps your mind engaged and body active. It helps you get new and knowledge-based perspectives on the world around you. It helps you gain new experiences, trains your brain to handle a wide range of challenges, and keeps your neural pathways active. All these factors combine to keep you healthy.

Are online classes worth it? ›

Online programs are absolutely worth it, depending on the student's circumstances. Contrary to popular belief, online programs are not easier than on-campus programs. Online programs aren't necessarily more affordable, but they can be.

What are the benefits of online high school? ›

  • The truth is, not all students are able to reach their full potential in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. ...
  • Work at Your Own Pace. ...
  • Enjoy a more flexible schedule. ...
  • Early graduation. ...
  • Customized Workspace. ...
  • Fewer Distractions. ...
  • Safe Learning Environment.
Nov 15, 2022

How is online learning cost effective? ›

Not only does tuition tend to be lower, but many additional expenses, such as transportation costs and course materials, are eliminated in an online program. However, it's important to note that the average cost of online college is still a significant investment.

Can online learning replace the school classroom? ›

Through eLearning, one can quickly go through any subject without wasting time on issues that do not require extensive study or are easy to comprehend. The benefits of eLearning have given us a promising trend, and it can be regarded as a substitute for classroom learning.

Do students learn better online? ›

Students Gain More Knowledge Than In Standard Classes

Because online courses provide students with full control over their studies, they can work at their own pace. Pupils, on average, work faster and absorb more information in online courses than they would otherwise.

Is it better to do online college? ›

Online schools are often cheaper than on campus

Students are spared the high cost of room and board on campus as well as travel expenses. Students are also able to continue working full time while taking online classes, so they may need less financial aid or loans, reducing their debt at graduation.

Is online training better? ›

Study after study shows that online learning is just as effective, or maybe even more so than face-to-face learning — and employees actually have higher levels of recall with online learning courses. In fact, one of the biggest arguments against on-site training is how little employees remember after the fact.

Why online learning is better than in person? ›

Students all work and learn at different paces, and online classes offer the ability for students to follow their own schedules. With flexible scheduling students can mold the classroom to whatever learning environment and class schedule works best for them.

Why is online school better for kids? ›

With virtual school, students can complete lessons at their own pace. They can take extra time with subjects that are more difficult for them. Kids who excel can move ahead to the next lesson when they are ready – they don't have to complete busy work while they wait for the rest of the class to catch up.

Is online school better for anxiety? ›

For those students, online education is the perfect alternative. Online education provides a way for students to learn the important and required information without being forced to be surrounded by other people. This will reduce their social anxiety levels and help them live a better quality of life.

Why is online school more cost effective? ›

Attending school online eliminates transportation costs. Costs for food, rent, internet, and other expenses may be outright eliminated if the student lives for free with their family or commutes to school from their parent's home. Campus meal plans may be mandatory for freshmen living on campus.

How does online education save money? ›

Save on Tuition Costs

Online colleges often charge lower tuition than brick and mortar universities. They do not have to pay for building maintenance, grounds upkeep, food service, classroom accessories and other necessities that affect the cost of credits.

What are the pros and cons of e learning? ›

The pros and cons of e-learning
  • Pro: It fits flexibly around your schedule.
  • Con: The risk of technical difficulties.
  • Pro: You can learn at your own pace.
  • Con: It's less social.
  • Pro: It's better value for money.
  • Con: It's not in real-time.
Jul 5, 2021

Is online learning better or worse for students? ›

While an online method of education can be a highly effective alternative medium of education for the mature, self-disciplined student, it is an inappropriate learning environment for more dependent learners.

Which is better online or face to face learning? ›

The Advantages of Face to Face Learning in the Classroom

You'll be able to concentrate harder on your learning because there'll be less distraction than if you were at home. You may feel more comfortable and learn more easily in a familiar, traditional classroom situation.


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