Published on 2012/04/04

Why I Went Online

Why I Went Online
Traditional brick and mortar institutions have been missing a huge segment of professional students looking to complete online degrees. Photo by Claus Rebler.

I chose to pursue an online degree for a variety of reasons. I had somewhat of a prolonged undergraduate experience, however knew that continuing my education was going to be important for my own self-fulfillment as well as career development. At the time I made the decision to go online, not as many traditional “brick-and-mortar” schools were offering the online format. My wife was doing her masters in teaching online through Walden which led me there. In making the decision I spoke with friends who pursued degrees at other schools and compared the curriculum which was virtually identical. I was not ready to go back into a classroom, but I wanted to continue with school.

No learning environment is perfect, including traditional classroom settings. The online format had professors available through multiple channels of communications and allowed us to still work in groups through various forms of technology. This added component of a virtual “workplace” is increasingly common in business and gave my classmates and I firsthand experience into handling common workplace issues as well as how to best harness the advantages. It’s easy to blast the negatives about something like online learning, however there are plenty of advantages that are continuously ignored or downright fabricated.

The online format suited my needs in providing the flexibility to meet the needs of my personal and work life. Being able to zone in at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday night or 7 a.m. on a Saturday was perfect. The online environment, like most schooling, allows you to get out of it what you put into it. If you do the reading, the work and the discussions you will gain that much more out of the experience. Even as I sit here today, I am itching to continue with my education and the thought of going back into a classroom does very little for me. I will continue with the online environment that provides my family and I the opportunity to be just that, a family, and will let me be a student without interfering.

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Readers Comments

Tyrese Banner 2012/04/04 at 4:46 pm

I went online because I was in charge of my class-time. Simple

I just returned from an UPCEA conference where I heard Michael Horn’s (co-author of Disrupting Class) key note on how “disruptive innovation” will change the want the world learns. Paradoxically, he argues technology is not the answer, rather to focus on the job to be done. In the case of online learning, the job for HEIs is to deliver a great experience for working professionals to find, shop, purchase and take online courses. Michael advises educators observe how busy adult students (and even corporate partners!)shop, buy and consume online programs aand use technology to drive truly disruptive innovation in higher education…Brian’s article reminds us that adult learners have very different needs and challenges compared with the homogeneous 18 – 24 year-old crowd…needs that are ripe for disruptive innovation. Thanks for sharing your real-world experience, Brian!…

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