The Top 7 Benefits of Online Education and Learning (and Why it Trumps ‘Offline’)

You might already be convinced that online learning is the cat’s meow. On the other hand, you might be struggling with the idea or the delivery of it. Maybe learning online doesn’t quite fit what you want to teach.

Let me give you some real benefits (and solutions) for online education.

Here are the top 7 reasons to consider delivering your course online:

1. CONVENIENCE

Bar none, the main benefit of online education is the convenience of accessing the learning at anytime, anywhere. However, delivering effective and satisfying online learning requires about 3 months of planning to build your program well.

See my blog post on starting the course building process at Mirasee Blog.

2. LARGER COMMUNITY

You can reach more people and build a learning community with online education. Just think of the peeps YOU will help with your methods, ideas and advice. Cultivate and nurture a learning community that is worthwhile, but does not drain all your time or energy. Love your students, and they will love you back. :0)

3. TOUCH ON ALL LEARNER TYPES

The mix of mediums, such as visual, auditory, interactive content, presentation & productivity tools, communication venues, etc. cater to different learning types. Each one of us has heightened senses in some form or another that help us learn better (mine is visual all the way – colours, imagery, content in charts). Offer a variety throughout your course designs. Learn how to create learning that is engaging for everyone here.

4. SELF-PACED LEARNING

We are all busy. How many courses have you taken and not finished? To help your students learn, create chunked manageable pieces that are dripping in significance (i.e. not just fluffy content). Expect that your students will enter your course as they can and need, so try not to pressure them. It’s okay to have an end date, but people need to learn at their own pace so keep the course open-ended.

5. EXTEND THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

The cool thing about online is that it offers oodles and oodles of amazing resources, like virtual tours, interactive museums, connections with experts, etc. Add these to your course to get your students “out of the classroom”. This could also include having them work offline on a creative or personal assignment. Read here about creating great learning experiences.

6. COLLECT FOLLOWERS and FANS

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the number of people you get to follow you on any kind of social media account, websites, newsletter, etc. Your students will become your fans, if they aren’t already. This is an extension of your learning community, so keep the love flowing.

7. CREATE MULTIPLE COURSES

Once you’ve nailed down one course, replicate it into another. Course and website software allow for copying of any digital asset. It’s best to offer your courses in a similar look and feel to deliver the clearest learning experience. If your learners enjoyed your first course, they will like your next one, too.

If you are considering creating an online course, take baby steps. That is, test out the delivery of your content online by:

  • Offering a webinar and inviting a handful of people.
  • Creating a lesson or mini-course in a PDF format, email delivery or a single webpage.
  • Trying your hand at a short video (under 10 minutes) with a wee instruction sheet attached.
  • Creating worksheets and offering them for free as opt-ins. Decorate them nicely.

Happy course creating and I’ll be watching for your work out there!

  • Kaliko Trapp May 14, 2015, 5:50 pm

    I love your new site, Dr Kelly! And thank you for all the great content you share with all of us aspiring online educators!

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds June 1, 2015, 9:46 am

      Sorry, I just saw your lovely post. Thank you so much!

  • Malli Karjuna February 29, 2016, 7:19 am

    I would like to say online classes are much better than attending any institutes and classes. Here, you can achieve your desired goal without leaving your home comfort. TIBCO Online Training

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds February 29, 2016, 10:25 am

      Agree! Thanks, Malli for your comment.

  • Jessica Williams April 29, 2016, 6:15 am

    Good Read ! No matter what students wish to study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find online all the courses or degree programs they need. Course material is always accessible online, so there’s no need to schedule special trips to a library either.

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds May 4, 2016, 12:47 pm

      Right you are, Jessica! While online learning has challenges to replace face-to-face classrooms, the convenience outweighs it quite a bit.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Kelly

  • Amanda Drew August 2, 2017, 5:45 pm

    I like how you say that online courses can have things like virtual tours and connections with experts. I don’t feel like my schooling should be over, but I don’t really have the time to go to hard and set class times. This sounds like the perfect solution. Now I’ll just need to find some biomedical tech classes because that’s what I’m interested in.

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds August 14, 2017, 2:41 pm

      Hi Amanda. Thanks for your comment! I hear that some of the bigger online universities, like Coursera, have great programs. Maybe check them out. Just saw they have biomedical at https://www.coursera.org/

  • NWAC Board December 13, 2017, 6:31 am

    Helpful Tips.

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds December 13, 2017, 12:48 pm

      Glad you liked it!

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