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What’s It Like to Learn Online?

Five things you should know about pursuing your degree online.

As the popularity of online learning continues to increase, prospective students often want to learn more about what it’s like to learn in a virtual classroom. The primary benefits of online learning include convenience and flexibility, but there are a number of other things you should know before enrolling in an online degree program. Here are just a few.

Online learning and self-paced aren’t synonymous.

What’s It Like to Learn Online?

For many, pursuing a degree online is appealing because it offers scheduling flexibility and the opportunity to learn from any location. However, taking an online course doesn’t always mean you can work at your own pace. Classes will still have deadlines, and most require students to regularly participate in online discussion groups. For these reasons and others, it’s vital to deploy effective time management techniques to ensure you’re keeping up with the course load alongside your personal obligations.

You can be supported and find community online.

Many students worry about potential isolation if they choose to pursue their degree online. Dr. Valerie Warner-Collins, a graduate of Walden University’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program, understands this concern, but she felt differently about her online learning experience. “In this type of environment, you can make it. You can be successful,” she said. The best online degree programs offer support services, qualified faculty, and peer networks to help students succeed.

It’s important to remain engaged.

With any new opportunity, it’s vital to put your best foot forward. Before you begin a course, you should preview the lessons and make sure you understand attendance and class participation requirements. Faculty at online universities often have office hours available. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and form a better relationship with your instructors.

Confirm you’re prepared for the technical requirements.

Before you begin classes, you need to ensure you have the proper technology in place. Is your computer outdated? Will it support the functionalities of your classroom demands? It’s important to understand the technological requirements and know that you can meet them.

Many online courses are asynchronous.

You should expect to spend an average of 15–20 hours per week working on each course. One of the great benefits of learning online is that you can log in from anywhere, at any time, as long as you’re meeting your course deadlines.

Choosing to pursue an advanced degree is a big step. However, it can help change the trajectory of your career and prepare you for the role of your dreams. Do your research to ensure you’re finding the best online school to meet your needs.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible online learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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