Surprising Benefits of Online Courses

Posted on October 15 2017

Over the years, online courses in various areas have taken on a bit of a natural stigma. Online classes have several very obvious differences that separate them from a traditional classroom environment, and also a few more subtle ones.

At The American Academy, our online high school classes can provide a number of potential benefits – including a few that are actually the opposite of the typical reputation these classes get. Here are a few examples of these benefits you may not have considered.

More 1-On-1 Interaction

One common assumption about online courses is that they will lead to less interaction between students and teachers, especially in an individual setting. This has actually been shown to be false, though – in classroom settings, teachers are more likely to speak to students than with them, a vital distinction. Emails and texts with an online teacher may feel different, but they’re actually more personal than virtually all classroom interactions. Hours can be more flexible for communication, and students don’t feel as intimidated contacting teachers personally.

Various Motivational Levels

Another assumption we see regularly is that only the most motivated students can succeed in online courses – after all, how else could a student manage more flexible time demands and more personal responsibility? In reality, it can be perfect for students with varying motivational levels, or for students looking to recover credits in a different model that might suit their learning needs more appropriately.

Cooperative Learning

You might assume students can’t learn how to work cooperatively without face-to-face interaction, but this is both untrue and not really practical. Online classes have numerous programs where students work together, plus discussion-based assignments are common. In addition, it’s immensely valuable for students in many areas to learn this kind of cooperation without face-to-face interaction – many work fields will involve lots of this kind of communication, whether via email or other methods. Learning to operate in both molds is important.

Not Necessarily Easier

Perhaps the biggest stigma with online courses is that they’re automatically easier than their counterparts in a traditional classroom. This may be the case in some situations, but this is just natural when there are lots of course choices – and it’s absolutely false in others. Online courses can still be very rigorous and require major skills in time management and prioritization. They can also offer the kinds of assignments that stimulate certain kinds of learning.

For more on what makes online courses unique, or to find out about taking classes online, speak to the educators at The American Academy today.