Online Learning: How & Why Online College Classes Work?

Online education is available all around the world today. Thanks to the fact that the Internet has grown into the largest, most accessible database of information ever created, online's education popularity has grown tremendously.

It ties together several different threads — computers, distance learning, and telecommunications.

Naturally, online education is a lot more than just internet technology. It also merges educational theory, computer technology, and even legislation.

All of which makes today's online education possible. Yet, it is not just the advancement of technology that makes online learning so accessible.

Online schools have been set up to allow students to study and pursue their academic goals without having to be actually (physically) present on campus. Thus, making this mode of education more convenient, affordable, and effective.


Yet, choosing the right online degree program is not simple. Prospective students need to take into consideration the school's accreditations, student success rate, costs, and time-management skills. It's also essential that they are not duped into enrolling in an illegitimate online degree program.

That being said, future students must invest time in researching and using the available comprehensive ranking of a school's reputation and quality.

The most populous state in the country, California, is home to the most degree-granting institutions of higher education- 448 colleges and universities.

Prospective students can decide on continuing their education between more than 100 two-year schools, 34 public colleges, and around 150 private schools.

So, naturally, online colleges in California are on the rise, and for students to find their best option, they need to make sure they use credible ranking databases.

Those databases should combine results of all of the most reputable college ranking publishers and real student reviews from around the web.

Now, if you are thinking about advancing your education by enrolling in online college classes, you need to understand two important things - how do online classes work and what makes them so effective? 

How do online college classes work?

The courses offered online and on-campus are identical and cover the same studying material. They both have equivalent or similar assignments and rigid deadlines.

They both require hours of studying in addition to class time. Academically the two formats are the same, even though the delivery is very different. 

Another thing, online students must adjust to the virtual classroom, and to new ways of communicating with professors and peers.

They may need to be online at certain times or contribute to discussions in a measurable way.

Importantly, prospect online students need to be highly motivated, have excellent organisational and time-management skills to be successful in this new learning format. 

Most colleges that offer online learning use a web-based software program for their online classrooms.

These virtual classrooms are customisable, so while the general look and navigation are standard, each professor can modify it in ways that suit his or her needs.

Inside the virtual classroom, students can see posted announcements from professors, as well as the modules they have enabled. Some of the most common classroom modules combine blogs, groups for small group work, discussion boards, assignments, exam links, and grades. 

There are two types of online learning formats - Synchronous (live) and Asynchronous (self-paced).

Live courses require students to be virtually present on a certain day and time. During the scheduled class time, prospective students may view lectures in real-time and participate in live discussions via video chat.

Self-paced courses enable students to complete coursework at their comfort.

Students can fit classes before or after work, listen to a lecture during commute/ travel, or log-in back for an exam whenever convenient.

There are still strict deadlines for assignments, or participation in message boards daily or weekly are required on a specific schedule, but the day-to-day program is much more flexible.

Online classes are considered to be highly effective

1. Flexibility - online classes allow students to complete their coursework on their schedules. Students can fit assignments around their existing responsibilities and commitments.

Multimedia content and learning materials are available at whatever time is most convenient for them. Online college classes also give the possibility for students to earn a specific degree from anywhere in the world. Also, instead of visiting a library, students can access books online. Wherever and whenever they want - everything is available.

Therefore, with younger students having longer lives and being always on the move, online education may be better suited to their lifestyle.

That is an appealing thread to working professionals who do not have the time or ability to travel to campus. Many of these prospective students usually want to advance their careers or change fields completely.

Online college classes enable them to pursue their professional endeavors without having to leave their full-time jobs, even if they frequently travel.

Online education is an appealing option for prospective students who may also have other responsibilities, such as caring for or even having children. Online learning can enable them to balance these until they have to sacrifice their learning.

2. Online learning is affordable - the cost can often be a limiting factor in why individual students do not enroll in courses they are interested in.

Online learning is more economical as it reduces the need for the student to travel to attend classes or the need to purchase textbooks.

Therefore, online education enables students to acquire qualifications without accumulating the same amount of debt they would otherwise have.

This way of learning is also an interesting issue for corporations who wish to encourage their employees to undergo further education opportunities—especially companies that do not have much of a budget for further training possibilities.

Thus, online courses are easily attainable on much smaller funds.

3. Online learning is a better way to learn - online courses can teach students at least as effectively as in-classroom courses, if not more so in some cases.

Students who are serious about improving their understanding, learning new skills, and gaining valuable qualifications are keen to enroll in the type of course that will be the most effective.

Rather than blurting out thoughts for the sake of being heard, students enrolled in online college classes are allowed to express themselves in their own time, having fleshed out their thoughts and allowed them to evolve.

4. Online learning is environment-friendly - younger generations are becoming more and more environmentally conscious.

Studying online is environment-friendly since it is a more economical way of learning. Not having to travel to the classroom or collect countless lectures, students contribute to helping the environment.

This factor can also benefit the institutions themselves by showing that they are paying attention to the environment and ultimately reducing their overall costs. Also, when classes take place online, institutions can reduce all administrative costs.