Online vs. Traditional College Programs

With this new age of technology, you can access almost any information in the world with the stroke of a few keys on your computer.  The rise of the internet has given way to new means of doing things, hence the evolution of online college programs.

In the past, attending college was always thought of as attending an on-campus class, which was instructed by a live professor.  Today, with technology and the development of instant communication, a formal college education can be gained online.  If you are trying to determine if an online college is the right choice for you, here are some things for you to keep in mind:

Class Set-Up – Typically online classes are managed by some sort of classroom manager website.  Students generally create a user name and password to gain access to class assignments, syllabi, readings, and chat-boards.  This is also where you will have to download and turn in all of your assignments.

Communication – Most communication will be through instant messenger, chat-boards, and emails.  Chat-boards are where everyone (instructors and students) interacts with each other.

Accessibility – This is one of the main differences between an online and traditional education.  Since all you need is a computer and internet access to take classes online, you can set your own schedule and study around your other commitments (i.e. full-time job, kids, etc.).  You have the freedom to decide when you want to study, consult with your professor, or reach out to other students.

Individual Instruction In an online environment, students learn things in their own way, at their own pace.  Lessons are not taught live in an on-campus setting, but rather learned by listening to pre-recorded lessons or reading printouts that have been downloaded from the classroom manger site.

Academic Advising You will have an online education counselor who is responsible for guiding you through the program and helping you make decisions.  These counselors will work with you to help you create the best class schedule.

Is an online education a better alternative than a traditional education? Typically, an online education works best for students who have difficulty in traditional learning environment.  People with full-time jobs, other family commitments, or disabilities could also benefit from the flexibility of an online education.

Take some time to evaluate all of the things that were discussed above and determine if an online college program is best for you.

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.


Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

Latest posts by TheCollegeHelper (see all)