You already know that you save time and money because you don’t have to travel. You are also in a comfortable and safe space because you are studying at home.
Are there other benefits of learning online? Here are just some of the most important ones:
You develop discipline and accountability
While it’s true that you will also have some guidance from an instructor, online learners have more freedom to choose when they want to learn and how much material they can cover. You don’t have to follow the pace of the group just like in an in person class. This means that your learning progress depends entirely on you: If you’re proactive, then you progress faster; if you’re a procrastinator, then you can fall behind.
Successful online learners know that self-discipline is essential to maximize this flexibility. The best strategy to develop discipline is to set goals and to plan. Goal setting will help you create a self-motivating mindset while planning will help you create a map that can guide you in your learning journey so you can stay on course.
You gain essential digital skills
You become tech-savvy as you continually use digital tools and software. The more you use them, the better you become. Later on, you’ll notice that troubleshooting technical issues will become easy for you. You also become better at online security and netiquette. Generally, you become more comfortable using different types of technology as you continue learning online. This increases your capacity to learn and gain new skills. It also makes you more employable as digital skills are needed in any job in the post-pandemic age (read: 8 digital skills that make you employable and make you succeed in the workplace to learn more).
You learn time management
As mentioned, one of the best things about online learning is that it allows you to learn at your own pace. But in order to maximize this flexibility, you have to be organized. You have to divide and use your time wisely.
It’s important to develop a time-management technique that works for you. To do this, you’ll need to take into account your temperament, habits and the type of tasks you need to get done. Ask yourself if you’re a procrastinator, or someone who gets easily distracted. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Are you a visual learner and creative thinker? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you come up with strategies that accommodate your learning style. The 9 proven types of time management techniques and tools is a great resource that can help you determine what fits you. It describes how to do each technique and for what kind of learner each one works best for.
You refine your critical thinking skills
One of the most important skills that you can develop is critical thinking. This is an essential skill required in any endeavor and in everyday life. Online learning boosts this skill because:
- It allows students to use a variety of learning tools, both online and offline, as well as multiple modes of communication.
- It requires students to evaluate sources of information for reliability. In the process, they develop analytical skills.
- Online learning pushes students to problem-solve and explore solutions independently.
Online learning promotes an active brain that allows you to engage in a variety of ways. It allows YOU to take control of your own learning, making the process more effective, interesting, and fun.
Sources: 9 proven time management techniques and tools, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences; and The pros and cons of online learning and online classes, Concordia University.
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