Can Online Learning Make Higher Education More Manageable?


Have you considered continuing your education? It is not easy to go back to school as an older adult for a number of reasons. First and foremost, your obligations have changed drastically. You may have a job that takes up most of your day; a family to care for; and social commitments. After those pieces of your life are taken care of, then finally you’ll have to find time for studying.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of books out there on how to better manage out time. The truth is that there is plenty of time for the things we deem important. This can make planning your day less fun, but it is a necessary step.

Don’t let time constraints deter you from expanding your skill set. Even professionals will take a course or two to increase their competitiveness in their respective fields. In fact, one study found that 63% of all working adults have attended at least one lecture in the past year with the aim of improving their skills for career advancement.

Would you like to join that group and improve your likelihood of future success? Do not falsely assume that there isn’t enough time for you to devote to studying each week. About 32% of current college students have taken at least one class online, and 68% said that an online course allows them to find a better balance between school, work, and family/ friends.

A common concern with taking an online course, especially for first timers, is the fear that there will be a lack of support from the teacher and other students. Essentially this means that it may be harder to get answers to questions in a timely manner. The easy solution is to plan ahead, which may be easier said then done.

The good news is that most schools have an orientation specifically for students who are new to online learning to ensure their success in the class has more to do with adequate studying, and is not hampered by trouble navigating the online modules. The first few days are usually spent with the instructor ensuring that each student understands where to find a syllabus, the assignments, and lecture notes. Usually a forum where questions can be asked and answered is also present.

One survey asked students about their motivations for choosing an online class; about 46% admitted their purpose was an effort to help propel their careers forward. While an “A” in any class is seen as a success, it cannot be to the detriment to your work. Finding a good work -studying balance will be essential. Therefore classes that meet on a physical campus might prove to be difficult as you may need to slightly alter your work schedule.

It is not easy to put oneself back in the role of being a student. A learning environment requires a certain amount of patience, receptivity, and perseverance. Online learning can make the process easier by allowing you to attend lectures on your schedule. While there will always be assignments and tests, online classes can help you better manage some semblance of work- school -life balance.

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