Do You Learn the Same Things in an Online Program as In Person?

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If you’ve only taken face-to-face classes in the past, you may not know what to expect from an online program. There are some differences in the format that might make online learning a better fit for adult students. But the convenience won’t be enough if you don’t learn what you need to pursue the career path you intend.

What Do You Learn in an Online Program?

A common misconception of online learning is that you won’t learn about the same content you would learn in an in-person environment. But unless the content specifically requires a hands-on component, you will be taught the same subjects and skills in an online class that you would learn if you were face-to-face. For example, if you take a class on accounting, you’ll still learn what cash flow is and how to track expenditures. Or if you pursue a career in healthcare administration, you’ll learn all the patient protocols and important regulations you’ll need to follow on the job. You’ll just learn about these topics from behind a computer screen instead of in a classroom.

The major difference is not what you learn, but how you learn. In an online class, you may be required to watch videos of lectures or participate in an interactive Zoom lesson. Rather than having an in-class discussion, your instructors may ask you to post a topic to an online discussion forum or video conference to discuss the material with your peers.

Differences Between Online and In-Person Learning

There are other key differences between an online and in-person learning environment. Here are the most important ones:

Online Learning is More Independent

In an online environment, you can help set the pace. You can create your own schedule and complete your assignments within a more flexible timeframe. There will still be due dates, but you have more ownership over your education—and more responsibility.

Online Learning Puts the Focus on You

In face-to-face classes, the star of the classroom is often your instructor. They stand in front of the class and deliver a lesson. You’re asked to pay attention, absorb the material, and then take assessments. But online, you can play a more active role; you’re in control. If you missed a lecture, or need to go over the material again, you can simply do so when you’re best able and ready to learn. If you need to re-read a passage of text, you can do so at your convenience. And when you’re ready to respond to a post, you have ample time to gather your notes, your thoughts, and your ideas, and present your best self without interruption.

Online Learning Adds to Your Skillset

If the pandemic taught us nothing else, it showed us that technology was critical to communication. An online program, with its multiple technologies and platforms, helps you to become more comfortable with it all. That can set you apart in a competitive job market and help you in your career.

Are you ready to dive into the world of online learning? At Charter College, we offer a variety of online programs in Business, Health Care, Information Technology, and the Trades. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.