The Benefits Of Online Learning

While there are all kinds of benefits that are associated with learning and furthering your educational goals there are even more benefits to those who wish to pursue online learning in order to achieve those goals. I hope you will find that many of these benefits are quite enlightening and carefully consider whether or not online learning for your education needs will be in your best interests.

1) Convenience. This is a word we are quite familiar with. Right along with instant gratification. We are a society of people who have lived with drive throuh banking and fast food and are rapidly moving in the direction of drive thru pharmacies and dry cleaning. We live in a fast paced world and when we can work education into our busy schedules and on our own terms we find that this is something we tend to like a lot. I recommend that you watch for a growing number of online classes and online students in the coming years as more and more professionals decide to further their degrees and their careers.

2) Flexibility. You can take these classes or do the work during your lunch break, while the kids are practicing soccer, or while cooking dinner (depending of course on how well you multitask). You do not need to be in the classroom every night at 6:00 pm for the next five years in order to get the same degree of education. This by no means indicates that you will not have to do the work. The work will not change nor will the fact that you have a limited time in which to complete the work. What will change is that you will have the option of doing the work in the morning, afternoon, or after those 2 a.m. feedings when you can’t seem to get back to sleep.

3) Location. There isn’t enough that can really be said about this. Online education comes to you wherever you happen to be able to connect to the Internet. Whether you are at home, at work, or your favorite Internet cafe you can have the convenience of taking your work with you and enjoying the environment in which you are completing your work.

4) Less Expensive. No more convenience meals, childcare expenses, or gas guzzling trips to a college campus that thirty minutes away. You can now enjoy in your own home the benefits of an education without many of the financial hardships that are often associated with attending college. Internet access seems like such a small price to pay when compared with all the reasons mentioned above.

5) Believe it or not, online courses help you brush up your online abilities. Seriously. You will be better at dealing with email, bulletin boards, online research, and you will learn countless other skills along the way that you probably never realized had anything to do with the courses you are actually taking-because they don’t. In other words, you are getting more of an education than you bargained for when it comes to online learning.

6) Individual attention. Online students often have more one on one interaction with their professors than students in a classroom. The online classroom is virtual and correspondence through email is essential in this particular learning environment. For this reason it is quite possible that your professors will know more about you and your learning patterns and needs than they will know about most of the students they see two or three times a week in their classrooms.

While these are just a few of the benefits of taking online classes you should carefully weigh the benefits with the things that may be problematic about this particular type of learning situation before you take the plunge. I cooperate with the company that provides custom essay writing services for students worldwide, I know exactly that learning is a lifelong process but if you are seeking a degree you do not want to jeopardize that by taking a course that will not address your specific learning needs. If you feel confident that you can be successful in this particular type of learning environment, eg. like writing essays and research papers than I feel you will truly enjoy the experience and the flexibility it brings to the educational process.

Online Learning: An Excellent Cure for the Dorm GPA Drag

Paula sits down to begin studying in her dorm room. Noise from the hallway makes it difficult for her to focus on her term paper. Paula slumps in defeat, thinking she will be up half the night trying to complete her paper. Across town, Tim sits down at his computer, logs into his online school site and spends a productive evening studying and learning in the peace and quiet of his own home. What Are the Study Benefits of Online Schools?
As illustrated above, using online learning through one of the various online programs to get your degree can help avoid some of the common distractions faced by serious students. Dormitory life can be exciting and demanding, particularly for freshmen students. Distractions such as pressure to participate in dorm events or socialize can adversely affect your grades. By pursuing an online degree, these temptations can be tempered. What Am I Missing in Pursuing an Online Degree?
There is no need for you to miss anything by using distance learning to attain your online degree. Most colleges provide numerous services to their online learning students. For example, instant messaging programs allow for the formulation of study groups online. Imagine the time you could save by not having to bus across town to make your next study group meeting. In addition, consider the possible luxury of having more access to your instructor and the convenience of submitting assignments and papers via email. Online schools have taken distance learning to a very high level of quality and efficiency. These are important factors to consider when choosing between an online school and an on-campus program to earn your degree. About the Author
Craig Friesen is a freelance writer living in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from University of Manitoba and a Master of Divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana.

The GED: Low-Cost Solutions for Reducing Recidivism

Research indicates that inmates who earn a GED in prison are less likely to be re-incarcerated for crimes in the future. As correctional facilities search for solutions to implement low-cost, effective GED programs, technology provides new options.

A recent study, “The Effect of Earning a GED on Recidivism Rates” (http://essentialed.org/research.htm) shows that inmates who earned their GED while incarcerated were up to 14% less likely to return to prison in the next three years. With the cost of incarcerating a prisoner well above $20,000 per year and the number of inmates rising, correctional facilities are focusing on finding efficient ways to reduce recidivism, and implementing GED programs is a promising possibility.

The needs of prison systems are well defined. Correctional facilities often have limited resources… few teachers, little technical support, and little budget for equipment. Their adult learners have difficulty in classroom environments, and each individual has his or her own areas of weakness, gaps in education that need to be filled. It’s challenging.

The problem of creating an effective GED program with limited resources to serve a widely varying population seems daunting, but it is achievable with innovative educational software. The GED Academy software prep program offers a guarantee that adult learners will pass the GED using the program.

The GED Academy’s approach is to combine entertainment with learning, using storytelling to engage people who lack study skills and who function poorly in a classroom. The program uses a simple, cross-platform technology developed for the web. That means it doesn’t need an expensive, top-of-the-line computer. It can run on any system.

The software is simple, flexible, and easy to use. The courses follow a virtual classroom, peopled with adult GED students, including Curtis, an ex-convict trying to turn his life around. The GED Academy wanted to give adult learners people they could relate to, and relate their learning to their real life. How is this going to help me get a job? How is this going to make my life better? Those are the questions students ask.

Software-based educational programs have many benefits. Students can learn independently and receive immediate feedback through electronic quizzes. The costs are minimal, and since The GED Academy provides teacher support both online and on the phone, no teacher is necessary. The main criticism of independent learning software is that learners need to remain motivated to use the software. To counter this criticism, The GED Academy relies heavily on humor and character interactions in the virtual classroom, as well as providing Internet-based forums for group discussion, writing critiques, and support.

Motivation is key. To create motivation in the learner, you need to appeal to what the learner cares about… real life issues, making success possible.

How Online Degrees Affect your Financial Aid Eligibility

Whether you are looking for an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or just want to take a few online courses to improve your chances for promotion, online colleges and universities provide the flexibility you need.

Despite these advantages, the cost of tuition, both online and at traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, is on the rise. Knowing this, online learners generally depend on financial aid to finance their education. If you are considering pursuing a degree online and need financial aid, there are a few things you should consider to ensure that you will qualify.

Minimum eligibility requirements

1. U.S. citizen, or eligible non-citizens
2. Possess a valid Social Security number
3. Selective Service registration, if you are male
4. High school diploma or GED
5. Cannot have certain drug convictions

Accreditation

The college or university must be an approved, degree-granting institution. There are plenty of institutions on the internet who come up with fancy sounding names, but they are not accredited by one of the six regional accreditors. Without this accreditation, you will not be eligible for financial aid, and in most cases, your college credits will not transfer to regionally accredited universities. If you are uncertain of your college’s accreditation, ask.

Program of study

You must be pursuing a degree or certificate to be eligible for financial aid. Even if you are unsure of your desired major when you enroll, you will need to select a major, or at the very least, enroll in an eligible certificate program. You can always change your mind later.

Term length

Ensure that your online courses have a definite start and end date. In most cases, this is not an issue. The exception will be courses deemed “correspondence” where a student has the option of taking up to eighteen months or more to complete the course. Most online colleges operate on a semester schedule. If your college does not, you will need to contact your college’s financial aid office to ensure that you will be eligible to receive federal aid.

Enrollment

To be eligible for Federal financial aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time. In most cases, this means taking a minimum of six credit hours per semester. Colleges vary in what they deem half-time, so check with your online college’s financial aid office to be certain.

Applying for financial aid

Once you have verified that your university and program of study meet these criteria, you may begin the financial aid process. For more information and a free step-by-step financial aid guide, visit http://www.online-college-blog.com.

The Common Misconceptions of Online Learning

With the evolution of the internet, and the societal adoption of online culture, it was only a matter of time before the educational realm decided to start incorporating the online world into everyday teaching methods. But the adverse seems to have occurred, where traditional learning and teaching is being abandoned by students in favor of a more autonomous educational form – online learning.

Although there is a biased shift towards online learning trends as a means of receiving quick certification, there are still a lot of unresolved myths surrounding the online medium. Here a few misconceptions commonly made about seeking qualifications online:

Online learning is easier because it is quicker

A lot of students who seek online certification do so without properly doing their course research based on the assumption that because online courses present themselves expressly, with no face-to-face element coupled with the obvious availability of internet search engines at their alacritous fingertips. The fact is, online courses, in particular the express online courses are far more demanding of the individual. Before you partake in an online course or degree that you have paid for, be prepared to cover a vast amount of information requiring a high retention rate. After all, they are tests… Designed to test you!

The quality of online classes is lower than traditionally taught courses

This is another assumption about online training that is simply untrue. Why? Well, as mentioned above, a majority of online courses require you to cover a lot of content within a short period of time, thus demanding a higher retention rate. Genuine online institutions and distance learning programs will normally have entire departments allocated to the regulation of course content, the design and the structure of academic criteria.

The only time online training courses will be of a poor quality will be if they are scams, and there are a number of indicators that give this type of thing away. Do your research before enrolling; check their affiliation with certified educational bodies, the accreditation of the institution and even some of their customer testimonials. If any of this seems bogus, the answer is simple – look elsewhere.

No help in cyberspace!

It’s a fair assumption that online education involves a high degree, if not a complete level, of autonomous learning. But again, this is another misconception preconceived by many students sitting on the fence with their decision to seek certification via an online institution. A lot of online institutions will provide you with study guides and comprehensive tech support both via the web and over the phone. Need to go higher than just a general enquiry? That’s ok; a lot of educational institutions will give you advisory contacts who can directly address your course specific enquiries.

Online education is only for people in remote areas?

Not necessarily. While online education is designed to reach people in the most remote regions nationally, you’ll find that most courses have been designed for students seeking industry certifications and course abridgments. A lot of online courses are specifically designed to meet industry needs, and should therefore be seen as career building, more so than remote schooling.

I need to know a lot about computers to do an online course?

No, you don’t. Online institutions understand that some of their users may only have basic web-based knowledge, therefore online course modules have been constructed to make life as easy as possible for users. Navigation is made relatively easy, and instructions are always specific to the point and highly lucid.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this helpful in your decision making!

Online Education Degree – 7 Things You Must Do Right to Succeed

The ability to obtain an online education degree has opened the educational doors for many students who cannot afford to attend school on campus as a full-time student.  Distance learning courses definitely provide some advantages over the traditional college education. But, because of the methods of delivering and receiving the material, students must consider the 7 things necessary in approaching an online education successfully.

1. Choosing the best education online institution – Make sure the institute for higher education chosen has adequate resources and accreditation recognized by the proper authorities.  Unless authenticity can be verified, find another school.  Sadly, unscrupulous degree mills offer degrees with short-term or no real education. Thus, the diplomas are bogus and absolutely worthless. Find a school that provides solid education, ample student support, and the facilities necessary to succeed in your distance learning.

2. Evaluate the cost and benefits – Generally, obtaining an online education is a costly venture. Most people do not realize the cost is often more than a traditional education.  So, it is important to evaluate the desired online education degree, and determine whether the benefit of future income opportunities will offer the reward for gaining an online degree.

3. How do employers view an online education degree? – There are many instances where employers were skeptical about the legitimacy of online education degrees. With so many “diploma mills” out there, it’s warranted for employers to be cautious. Although an online education degree might be legit, it would be very helpful to the employer if you provided the type of accreditation your college has beforehand to avoid any misunderstanding. By letting the employer know in advance that your institution was accredited by an institution that is recognized by CHEA and US department of Education, you will be a step ahead in qualifying for that dream job.

4. Discipline, determination, and time – First time distance learning students are often surprised by the amount of discipline necessary to stay on task and complete the online assignment.  It takes unfaltering determination to achieve an online education. In addition, without regularly scheduled classes, it is essential to exercise good time management skills. To keep focused, without the physical presence of educator and peers, it is important to establish communication with other students to have another push toward success in your education degree online

5. Utilize all the facilities provided – Online courses generally provide online lectures and email correspondence to ensure a means of communication with instructors, tutors, and fellow students.  Take advantage of every opportunity to utilize these resources of motivation and encouragement, as well as establish a sense of connection with the college or university.

6. Make use of credit transfers – Many online education degree colleges allow students to transfer their credits from courses they took in previous colleges, whether online or traditional. By doing this, it means students don’t have to repeat courses they learnt before. For this to be effected, it’s important for a student who intends to pursue an education online to make sure they get transcripts and results from their previous universities or colleges and make them available to their accredited online college so they can be passed as transfer credits.

7. Make use of the educational technology – Accredited online universities offer a plethora of opportunities for doing necessary research and other facilities to ensure adequate completion of the course.  Normally, the cost of virtual libraries, the programs to access online lectures, and even student online access and e-mail accounts are factored into the cost of the course. Therefore, it only makes sense to use all the technology available to make the most of the educational opportunity in achieving an online education degree.

Online Degree Facts

The Evolution of Distance Learning

Distance learning in whatever medium is not a new idea; it has actually been practiced since the turn of the last century. The old correspondence school has gained new life with the advent of the Internet, but with greatly extended “richness” and “reach” (Weigel, 2000). These online degree programs are not an alternative for those who simply cannot make it in class, but rather are designed for adults who have specific goals and limited available time.

Modern Online Degree Programs

Many online degree programs lacked uniformity of quality in past years, but today’s online programs are much more focused and purposeful. Advancement in the quality and scope of learning management systems (LMS) can be credited with much of that shift. A few of the other reasons include greater availability of online courses, an increased need, whether real or perceived, for additional training or degrees for professional advancement and easier access to the Internet.

There is a variety of opinion surrounding the effectiveness of online learning, of course. Clark (1991) writes that he came to regard his 1983 position that “media does not influence students’ learning and motivation” (p. 34) as no longer being true and by 1991 altered his position to acknowledging that “media are now taken along with student perception to be factors in student motivation” (Clark, 1991; p. 34).

This is consistent with Salomon’s (1997) statement that “Media’s symbolic forms shape the way people form meanings, use their mental capacities and view the world” (p. 375). Though mind “and media are allegedly two very different entities” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375), there appears to be a convergence recognized today that often was not recognized in the past, as Clark (1991) notes. That is that mind generally “is taken to encompass the very essence of humanity – intelligence, emotion, compassion, will, and creativity” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375), while technology typically is viewed as being “cold, impersonal, dehumanizing, dull technology of the mass production of information for mass distribution” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375). Despite these broad differences in mind and technology, “history, research, and experience tell us that the two are intertwined in a number of ways” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375).

Media Presence in Daily Life

The current focus on media and media types certainly is justifiable, given the environments in which many children grow up in today’s society. Video games exist as the modern siren call; their effects often can be traced to the types of games children are allowed to play. If children are so drawn to video games, then it follows that the same medium would be beneficial in teaching children knowledge they need and that adults want them to assimilate. Moreno and Duran (2004) investigated the value of this position to find that multimedia games did indeed enhance some children’s learning but cautioned that “multimedia games may not be equally effective for all learners” (p. 492). Even so, Moreno and Mayer (2005) found that multimedia games can be quite effective among those learners who respond well to them.

The Evolution of Learning in America

Learning more often than not was by wrote in most subjects well into the 20th century. Early in the century, progressives believed that public schools also should teach children to be citizens and wives, or to emerge with a viable trade if they were not destined to attend college, which remained an elitist concept in many respects. By mid-century there was little attention given to math and science in public schools. Then the Soviets shocked all of America when they launched Sputnik in 1957. Sputnik’s existence highlighted the need for education reform in America.

It seems that American education tried everything except what would work for all students. We were liberal; we were restrictive; we encouraged high performers and then sought to minimize their accomplishments so not to discourage others. We came to the 21st century spending more than ever, but achieving poor educational results. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is the in-progress solution to underperforming schools. Public schools are required to show meaningful and measurable gains in educational achievement, regardless of demographic characteristics, economic conditions or any other external feature of the local area.

How the No Child Left Behind Act Affects Education

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act “aims to bring all students up to the proficient level on state tests by the 2013-14 school year, and to hold states and schools more accountable for results” (No Child Left Behind, n.d.). It establishes a variety of remedies for the children attending public schools that fail to demonstrate improvement for two to six or more consecutive years, and also receive Title I federal funds.

NCLB is the short-form result of revamping and redesigning the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title 1 of the act addresses the school performance, student achievement and teacher accountability that gain so much attention.  The act also requires that technology use be enhanced in schools, in addition to teachers being trained in technology through professional development initiatives.

Title II is “Preparing, Training and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals;” Part D specifically addresses enhancing education with the use of technology. Among other things, Title II Part D calls for:

  • “Development of an effective educational technology infrastructure;
  • “Professional development that promotes integration of technology into the curriculum and alignment with state standards;
  • “Use of electronic means for teaching and student learning;
  • “Use of technology to promote family involvement and school-family communication;
  • “Training on emerging technologies;
  • “Professional development to retrieve Internet-based learning resources; [and]
  • “Preparing teachers to be building-based technology leaders” (Graber, 2002; p. 8).

Graber (2002) notes that virtually every program requires “extensive professional development for teachers, principals and support staff, including the dissemination of best-practice models” (p. 8). These requirements span the entire range of public education, including in professional development those who staff early childhood programs.

Professional Development

Specific requirements for professional development are contained in Title IX of the ESEA. Recognizing that many public school systems lack great depth in the area of technology, Title IX states that in those areas where educational service agencies exist, state-level education departments “shall consider providing professional development and technical assistance through such agencies” (Graber, 2002; p. 5).

This section of the law is careful to define what does and does not qualify as professional development. It does “not include 1-day or short-term workshops and conferences” (ESEA quoted in Graber, 2002; p. 5). Addressable topics in this section include methods for teaching reading; methods for assessing English language proficiency; and training in effective instructional strategies based on research-derived best practices for math and science education (Graber, 2002).

Business-Based Training

For their part, businesses have cut costs, laid off employees, looked for internal efficiencies to build on and have taken a host of other steps to increase their opportunities to prosper in the face of ever-increasing competition. The value, development and retention of human capital has become the next aspect of business that organizations seek to define and manage to their benefit. It also links education and business as never before.

Human capital refers to the value residing within the individuals of the organization. Production workers know their jobs well and call attention to problems that arise rather than turning out products of inferior quality. Operational managers treat well those reporting to them and regard their own roles as providing workers with all they need to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. Senior management seeks to enhance the value resident within the human capital of the organization, and training provides a means of achieving this enhancement.

Training existing employees is straightforward. Certainly the organization needs to ensure that its training activities are relevant and transportable to individuals’ specific jobs, but it can regularly assess the value of its training programs and alter those programs where and when necessary.

Contributing to continuing education likely is the easiest approach to building human capital. If the organization helps with tuition costs and ensures that the employee has sufficient free time to make the most of continuing education opportunities, then the organization benefits from the individual’s choice of how to spend hours away from work. Alternatively, organizations developing and conducting their own training programs have greater control over content and can tailor training activities to precisely fit their own needs.

Business organizations must ensure that they become and remain employers of choice. Being an organization where “everyone” wants to work not only helps to retain developing human capital, it also helps the organization to attract valuable sources of human capital in the future. Training has long been recognized as a benefit (Clark, 1992).

The Growth and Future of E-learning

Buzzwords in education have been in existence since the on-set of formal education as we know it today. Many of these terms come and go based on their usage and their context but some terminologies have withstood the test of time. Let us take a look at some of the common terms along with the chronology of how they evolved.

Although often used interchangeably, there is distinction between distance education and distance learning. Distance education takes place using print-based and electronic learning resources. Learners are connected to resources, instructors, and to other learners, and they tend to be separated by time and/or geographic/physical distance. Distance learning on the other hand is the actual system and the process, which connects a group of learners with the distributed learning resources. Learning takes place in various different forms but in general learners, instructors, and the necessary resources are separated by time and space.

Distance learning has over the years transitioned to online distance learning, and tends to utilize synchronous and asynchronous tools, and learning and communication methods. Synchronous learning uses electronically delivered teaching and learning with participants simultaneously and directly connected and communicating. On the other hand asynchronous learning is characterized by a time lag in communication.

A while back, along came e-learning! Electronic learning (e-learning) is defined as the delivery of instructional content using electronic means such as the Internet, intranets, audio and video equipment, web conferencing, virtual classrooms, CD-ROM, and more recently Web 2.0 tools. Simply put, e-learning is another mode of technology-aided teaching and learning. In the last few years, it has come to replace terms such as audio-visual learning, computer-based learning, web-based learning, online learning, and other buzz terms of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

E-learning is moving toward total automation of teaching and learning processes using software known as Learning Management Systems (LMS). To facilitate the development of courses that utilize Internet-based technologies, more and more colleges, universities, and businesses have embraced both open source and proprietary LMS tools. A growing trend in e-learning is the use of “hybrid” or “blended” or “multimodal” instructional approaches that replace or supplement partial in-class instruction with technologically enabled teaching and learning, which in many cases utilizes many tools bundled in the LMS.

Along the same lines many students engaged in e-learning may not be geographically distanced from the institution. For example, learners may be traditional learners living on campus or nearby yet taking course partially or fully online. This is often linked to the need for flexibility in personal (family) responsibilities and work schedules. Taking advantage of e-learning adds an extra layer of flexibility. In fact some people see distance learning as not being synonymous with e-learning, argue the point that distance learning is a generic term that presently happens to use the Internet as a vehicle. Thus, the position presented is that while distance education and e-learning do overlap, they are not identical but complementary.

E-learning is growing rapidly and is often associated with the Internet. There are however other modes of learning that are growing at a considerable rate too. Mobile learning (m-learning) for instance, is a rapidly growing innovation that has the advantage of allowing learners to be “on the move while learning. In other words, multi-tasking, for example jogging or listening to recorded lectures while driving to work. Therefore, m-learning is an extension of e-learning, which uses mobile (cell) phones, Personal digital assistants (PDA), and MP3 players (with iPods and podcasting being the mostly widely used). In places where bandwidth is limited m-learning is growing at a rapid rate.

As the technology gets more affordable and readily available, educational options will continue to expand. For those looking for flexibility due to family and work commitments, e-learning and m-learning may be an option to consider. For organizations and institutions looking to train employees without having to trade-off on productivity, time, cost, or hiring a consultant, this is also an option to consider.

Becoming More Competitive With an Online Bachelor Degree

Many of students first enter into job market with an associate degree. The busy working life and family commitments have caused many of those students who started their career with an associate degree to stuck with the degree and limit their career advancement opportunities due to lack of higher degree in specific career field. If you are among those who intend to earn a credential with a bachelor qualification in your career field, but your commitments prevent you from quitting your job; then you could benefit from the advantages of online education to earn yourself a bachelor degree and become more competitive in your working field.

Although many jobs that required only associate degree to start with and then go through a series of on-the-job training and post-secondary training, but a related work experience with a bachelor degree can give you the competitive edge to work your way up to supervisor or management level. The employer always select the best candidate when they want to promote an employee to a management or higher position, you must be the one to be considered the best person for the position if you want to successfully being promoted, you will lose your competitiveness if you just have the working experience but without a bachelor or higher degree as your education background.

The online education has growth rapidly and the online degrees offered are widely spread to cover almost any career field. The most common online bachelor degree education programs pursued by most working individuals to increase their job competitiveness are:

* Business Management

* Criminal Justice Administration

* Information Technology Management

* RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

* Computer Science

* Software Engineering

* International Business Administration

* Human Resource Management

* Computer Network Management

* Sales & Marketing

Those are considered hot bachelor degrees that offered by many online universities. The same degree program offered by difference universities might be different in their courses; you must carefully select the bachelor degree program that contains the courses which best meet your career goals.

By pursuing your bachelor degree online, you could take advantage of online education that provides you the flexibility to study from anywhere and anytime. You can continue your job to gain your working experience while completing the bachelor degree course of study. The self-pace learning feature allows you to easily plan your time of study so that it won’t crash with your working and family time.

Most of online bachelor degree programs will take 1 to 2 years to complete, but there are fast degree programs that allow you to complete faster if you can allocate more time for you study so that you can grab for any career opportunity come to you within near future. On the other hand, if you are a busy working adult who only can allocate very minimum time for study, then you can follow you pace of study and take a longer time of completion.

Summary

Online bachelor degree program provides you with the flexibility and convenient way to earn your credential in career field and becomes competitive to secure any career opportunity open to you.

Forming an Online Study Group

Online learning is an excellent way to further your education. It can be done from anywhere: you can connect at any time you feel like connecting. You don’t have to schlep books across campus; you don’t have to put up with drafty lecture halls, or professors who turn up late. Just about the only thing you might miss out on is collaboration with other students. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to work, or if your online degree requires you to assimilate a lot of information, consider forming an online study group with other students.

Working with a well-organized study group offers many benefits. You can compare notes with your study partners to ensure you’ve covered all aspects of your material. You can collaborate on projects, get help with drafts of papers, and discuss difficult material productively. Study groups can keep you accountable if you’re procrastinating—knowing that you’re going to talk about chapters 9-10 in your economics text on Monday will help motivate you to read it by Sunday. Finally, study groups offer you the chance to practice working in teams and networking, both of which are skills that can be profitable in your day job. And you may just make friends or valuable business contacts, too.

Here are some guidelines for forming an online study group.

1. Limit the group’s size.:

To ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute, and to keep logistical headaches to a minimum, try to restrict your group to no more than four or six people. Big virtual groups can be just as unwieldy as big site-based groups. It will be easier to coordinate schedules and conduct discussions with a smaller group.

2. Set an agenda and a schedule for every session:

One of the major pitfalls of study groups is that they can become chat sessions (even online) that don’t actually get around to becoming study sessions. Head this off at the pass by setting a specific start and end time for your group meetings, and follow an agenda with time limits.

For example, you might agree to ten minutes at the beginning of your meeting to recap the last session, followed by forty-five minutes to discuss a reading, giving everyone time to contribute thoughts. Finish up with ten minutes to plan the next agenda and discuss whether or not you thought the session was productive, and what to do next time.

3. Assign roles to study group members:

While you’re all equals as students, setting up roles within your group can save a lot of time and headaches. A group of four students might include a leader, a recorder, a moderator, and a spokesperson. The leader sets the agenda, the recorder saves chat transcripts and distributes meeting minutes, the moderator keeps the group on-topic, and the spokesperson approaches professors with questions from the group.

4. Find a comfortable online meeting place:

One of the problems with online learning is where you can “meet”. Many instant messenger programs (Google Chat, AOL Instant Messenger, etc.) will let small groups chat simultaneously, although this can be confusing. There are some web-conferencing tools, such as Skype, DimDim, and Yugma, that are free for groups of less than 10 people, and offer more than chat—video chat and desktop sharing are available in some cases. If you’re lucky, your online university will provide you with a “virtual campus”: dedicated web space to discuss your work in real-time with other students, as well as message boards to post files to. Make sure that all your group’s members are comfortable with whatever setting you choose for your virtual meetings.

This article is presented by AIU Online. See how convenient online learning can be at http://www.AIUOnline.edu.

AIU does not guarantee employment or salary.