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How Do I Know Whether Online College Is Right for Me?

Whether you're working a full-time job, unemployed, a high school graduate or a stay-at-home parent, online college can fit your lifestyle. Distance education has changed the face of learning over the last few years as people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds find themselves taking courses online. The enrollment numbers demonstrate the increasing popularity of online education. It has reached thousands of people around the world because of its accessibility, convenience and improving quality. The accommodations and flexibility it offers are helping to meet the needs of many people looking to further their education and career.

If you're not sure whether online college is for you, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do you enjoy working on computers and being on the Internet? Many people spend hours a day on the computer or Internet working, checking email, networking or researching information. With all of that daily Web exposure, it seems fitting that those people should go to class online as well. In distance education, you can expect to spend a lot of time on the computer working on projects, taking quizzes, emailing your instructor and listening to lectures. This is the format in which all work is done. Therefore, if you do not enjoy working on the computer or using the Internet, this may not be the best educational track for you. However, if you do like working that way, online education may be a good alternative for you.
  • Are you able to learn outside of a classroom setting? None of the work in online education is completed in a traditional school venue. Instead, it's done at home, in a library, at a coffee shop or wherever you can take your computer. Some students can focus on lectures, take notes and absorb important information only when they are sitting in a classroom. That's where they are at their fullest attention and alertness. If that describes you, then Web learning may not be the best fit for you. One of the biggest reasons some students fail Internet-based courses is that they are not realistic about how much time they can devote each week to learning online. In addition, they struggle to remain disciplined while learning in nontraditional course structures. Online education is not for everyone, but thousands of students have been able to overcome the challenges of distance learning. To succeed, you have to remain focused so that you get your work done and turn assignments in on time. 
  • Are you self-motivated and enjoy working alone? If you struggle to get work done on your own, then online education could be a big challenge for you. In distance learning, you may have group projects or collaborate with classmates on the Web, but you will be doing the majority of work on your own and studying the course material by yourself. As in traditional colleges, you have to be able to push yourself to finish assignments, prepare for tests and turn in work on time. Although this is a common struggle for students, there are ways to improve production and stay focused. Check out these college study tips to help boost your academic performance.

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