Benefits of Online Education: Instructor Interaction & Networking
Ready for the next post in our series on the Top 10 Benefits of Online Education? We’ve already covered why online education is a great option in terms of choice and savings as well as convenience and flexibility, and today we’re going to talk about the benefits of increased student and instructor interaction and expanded networking opportunities.
In a classroom setting, instructors must divide their time between all of their students. Good online programs give you one-on-one access to experienced instructors whenever you need help.
We’ve all been there. The teacher is explaining something and you’re just not getting it. You’ve asked a few questions, but the additional explanations just haven’t clicked and, to make things worse, it seems like everyone else understood the minute the words left the teacher’s mouth. You don’t want to take up the entire class period with your questions, the teacher and other students are anxious to move on, and you’re tired of drawing attention to the fact that you still don’t get it. With a good online program, you won’t be stuck in this situation.
The best online learning programs offer one-on-one instructor access in addition to self-paced, flexible learning. Students can spend as much time as they’d like on an individual concept, and if they get stuck or need a little more explanation they can call or email an experienced instructor. Working with an instructor one-on-one is more like having a personal tutor or mentor and provides a richer learning experience more tailored to the student’s individual learning style.
With online education, you get the opportunity to network with individuals all around the country—even around the world—whereas an on-campus program typically limits you to a small local area.
Online programs connect students from all over the country. Because classes aren’t limited by geography, students can connect with classmates, graduates, instructors, and employers from a variety of communities, greatly expanding their professional networks. This is particularly important for careers such as medical transcription where graduates are usually hired by companies outside their local areas. Nationwide professional networks are also particularly important for students who relocate often.
Increased instructor interaction and expanded networking opportunities are excellent reasons to choose online education. However, unlike the other benefits we’ve discussed (choice, savings, convenience, and flexibility), these are benefits that students have to be proactive in order to take advantage of. Encourage your contacts to make sure that their online program includes one-on-one instructor access and community resources that allow them to network with their classmates, instructors, and others—and then encourage them to USE these resources!
If you took a Career Step program, did you take advantage of our one-on-one instructor support? What difference did it make in your education?