Individuals who actively participate and are enrolled in online learning courses, or e-courses, are trying to improve their careers and online expertise – and generally succeed. In the US, in 2012, 5.5 million students took at least one online course (National Center for Education statistics).

However, if you’re thinking of joining the ranks of the e-informed, you’ll want to consider these factors.



Learning at your own pace is a perk of online learning courses. Your online professors and teachers will provide you with documents and retargets for you to learn from. Most classes allow you to get assignments in via a virtual submission system, giving you the freedom of working on them when it’s most convenient for your.

Not only does online learning allow you to choose what time you work on your courses, but also your location. You can log in from work, from home, or from the local coffee shop. The only requirement is a reliable high speed internet connection.

Individualized attention from professors, teachers and teaching assistants is easier to get online. When questions arise about your subject of study, it’s simple to formulate questions and then send them to your instructors via email. Quick, efficient and painless, you’ll be able to seek the attention of a professor who is dedicated to your online learning experience.

Pressure to answer questions in a public space is alleviated. If you have a fear of public speaking or simply raising your hand to speak in front of classmates, the Internet shields you from the sweating palms and generalized anxiety. As the online learning community has grown, more instructors have developed engaging ways to keep student education in the forefront while reducing tensions within online peer groups.

According to University of Washington President Michael Young, online learning courses offer superior benefits to traditional academic environments. In his report Tomorrow’s University Today Young lauds online learning. Young wrote that “students can often re-watch recorded lectures, repeat exercises, re-read peer discussion comments, and take the time they need to master concepts, which could be particularly advantageous for English language-learners.”



If you’re all about hands on learning, making the transition to an online learning environment might be a challenge. Not having the one-on-one personalized attention that comes with an in-house educational experience can be tough for some students. To maximize your chances of online learning success, use tools provided by most e-courses such as student forums and professor/teacher-to-student virtual communication boards.

General access to the internet or having limited access to a computer or laptop may be a problem for several would-be online learning participants. To alleviate this, libraries and community centers do offer free access to students seeking an online education. It is important to note however that these facilities often times have a time limit on the use of their computers.

Having to rely on faulty Internet connections can be a con of online learning. Preventing the loss of this valuable connection can be time consuming and frustrating. One of the many ways to ensure your e-course and online learning activities are working properly when you need them to, is by having internet service at home rather than relying on public connections.

If you like being the class clown, you can only showcase your newly inspired jokes via text. Online academic forums have various sets of rules and codes of conduct that must be respected at all times. If you’re used to joking about with classmates in person, remember that intonation and inflections don’t necessarily translate well when typed into a forum.


Although there are several pros and cons of online learning, the maximum benefit comes with the educational experience. All you need to amp up your career or learn a new trade is a desire to learn and a few hours of free time to dedicate to studying.


Here are some myths and facts in an infographic via

Do you agree?