Understanding Your Style—Learning, that is
Online Education Saves Money
Every year more colleges across the country offer online degree programs. While there will probably always be traditional college classrooms, the growth of the online movement is being driven by economics—both for the student and for the college. A professor can prepare one lecture and reach students at all times of the day—or night. Professors as well as students can and do work at a distance as the college is able to hire professors who work out of their own homes or private offices.
Online Students Must "Take Charge"
The professors have one disadvantage when teaching online that they do not have in a traditional classroom. That is, it is nearly impossible to teach to the many learning styles when one student might be in Japan, another in New York City, and still others in England. Students often are also from a variety of ethnic backgrounds—even more diverse than those in a classroom. You have a particular style of studying and learning as well as particular needs that arise from your environment. In a classroom, the professor can meet you at least halfway to accommodate your learning needs. In an online setting, you have to understand your own learning style and look for a program that will allow you to make the most of your own abilities.
The term "learning styles" relates to an approach to education that came to the forefront in the mid to late 20th century. In a nut shell, people learn in three basic ways which are visual, auditory or tactile. The activities that take place in a classroom can all be identified as one of the three types of learning. For example, reading and/or watching are "visual" activities. Listening and talking are both auditory, and practicing, experimenting, and performing are tactile, or "hands on" ways of learning.
Furthermore, the actions performed in relation to these learning styles can be classed as active or passive. While watching and listening are passive, reading and speaking are active. A good classroom teacher makes an effort to include both active and passive activities in all three styles at some point in the course.
Learn According to Your Own Style
You have a particular learning style—or approach to material that is most effective for learning for you. In searching for an online degree program, you want to be alert for opportunities to take advantage of your own preferences. Online classes often involve a lot of watching and listening via the computer. If you need a more active approach, look for programs that include peer chat sessions, writing, or community activities that provide an opportunity for putting new concepts into practice. You can also purchase computer programs for simulated experiments in the sciences or for creative practice in math courses such as physics. You will no doubt save money over what you would have to spend if you were an on-campus student. Plan to spend some of that savings on mechanisms that allow you to learn in the way best suited to you.