How To Tell If Online Learning is Right Fit for You
Most would agree that taking online high school courses offers its perks, and the praise is usually the same. Something like, “You can work from anywhere” or “you can have a flexible schedule!” Which is all exciting. But what still might not be clear are the how, the where, and the why. So, much like an online lecture – let’s pause, back up and start from the beginning because there is a lot to understand.
Growing up, we all heard about the seven different learning styles. We learn visually, aurally, physically, verbally, logically, socially or solitarily. Some of us may even learn in a combination of more than one. Our teachers spend their careers attempting the use of all of these styles in an effort to help every student, but at times we still find ourselves still playing catch up. If there’s a statistic out there for how often students sit in their classrooms wishing they could hit pause for just a second, or maybe even skip to the end, I’m sure it’d be a big number.
The ability to control the way you absorb information is one of the biggest differences in the world of online high school courses. But the differences don’t end there. Imagine logging in instead of driving to school, clicking start as opposed to taking a seat, talking to your instructor on video chat versus face-to-face.
It’s true that working in an online classroom means having fewer people sitting in the room with you. You can’t simply turn and ask the person behind you to help point you in the right direction. Instead, you’re at your computer. For some, that may put a big fat check mark in the “not for me” column. Which is ok. It’s not the right fit for everyone.
But for others, that’s where it clicks. (Literally).
Learning online means you’re learning on your computer, and isn’t that in itself your largest resource?
We’re talking about the Internet here…that thing that connects you to everything. A place where learning any detail, about any topic, at any given time is at your fingertips. YouTube, Google, and even Reddit can all be resources for extra help in any subject. And, if reading articles and Internet research isn’t your style, you can connect with classmates and teachers for a little extra support.
With motivation, you can apply any learning style to your virtual studies just as you would in a normal classroom, with some slight adjustments. Your classmates might not be in the room with you, but they still exist. It’s just up to you to connect with your own network of peers and mentors, to share and learn together. Or if you work better alone, all of the resources are available to help you do that.
When considering whether or not learning online is right for you, it’s important to recognize how all the little things work differently in an online environment. For example, asking questions typically means sending an email or chatting online, and although this can be done at any time of the day, it is still not exactly the same as raising your hand. This could make the turn around for an answer anywhere from minutes to hours. Most online teachers will have a guide for situations like this but it takes some adjustment.
Being presented with more independence as an online high school student can help encourage problem-solving skills (and who doesn’t want to be better at that?). Also, being able to work independently without micromanagement is a key quality employers look for. Understanding how to reach out and communicate with others, while also working effectively without added guidance contributes to major life skills – skills that you’ll need one day when you get to college. These are skills you will acquire without much effort because it comes as part of the online learning package.
Every decision you make can contribute to your future. It is about finding what works best for you. Online learning may not be for everyone, but it certainly has a lot to offer in its own ways. Just like anything else in life, it really comes down to what you make of it. So, after exploring the good, the difficult and the different, we are ready to move forward. And just like that recorded lecture, we can press play and really do our homework. Is online learning right for you?
Do you still have questions about online high school courses? Research is the best first step. Take a look at some of our other blog posts, like this one on the common fears on online learning.