Online Learning Benefits/Challenges

Online learning can have a positive impact on numerous lifestyle factors. Discover whether taking classes online is right for your lifestyle by selecting the factors below.

“I need to be home for my kids or other family members.”

  • 24/7 flexibility
  • Be available for family members who require care
  • Study while children are asleep or at school
  • Care for elderly or handicapped family members
  • Study days, nights, or weekends
  • Make a schedule that keeps you on top of coursework


Online learning’s 24/7 schedule flexibility-log into class at times that work for you. You can complete your coursework while your children are asleep or at school or when your spouse can be home to watch the kids. Stay home with elderly or handicapped family members, yet still continue your studies. Complete course activities days, nights, or weekends – whatever works best for your schedule. But with this flexibility comes responsibility. Many instructors set regular deadlines that limit when you can do assignments, so you need to keep on top of the class work and plan ahead.

“I need to work.”

  • Work part-time, full-time, nights, day, or weekends
  • Complete coursework during off hours
  • Take classes not offered near you
  • International learning opportunities
  • Military personnel can take online courses while on active duty
  • Can accommodate a travel schedule
  • Do your coursework anywhere
  • Requires reliable high-speed internet access

Whether you work part-time, full-time, days, nights, or weekends, online learning gives you the flexibility to complete your coursework during your office hours. You can also satisfy a degree requirement or take a class that might not be offered at your current college. In fact, online learning is available internationally. A recent G.I. bill pays for military personnel to take online courses. People working or living overseas for any reason can continue their education. If you need to travel, online learning accommodates your schedule. Complete your coursework in the airport, on a plane, or in a hotel. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you can find free internet access or be willing to pay for it at hotels or airports.

“Saving money is important.”

  • Reduce or eliminate transportation costs
  • Reduce or eliminate childcare costs
  • Use the time saved commuting on coursework
  • Consider laptop and internet access costs

Online learning saves you money in all of these ways:

  • Reduce or eliminate car expenses or bus fares.
  • Work around your kids’ schedules so you can reduce or eliminate child care costs.
  • For some, saving time also means earning more money. Use the time you save commuting to school to spend more hours on the job. You should consider costs of buying and mountaineering your laptop and internet access, though.

“Saving time is important.”

  • No driving or commuting to campus
  • Eliminate traffic or weather challenges
  • Parking and walking to class
  • Eliminate time lost between classes
  • Direct access to the instructor with prompt responses.
  • With online learning, you seldom, if ever, have to go to campus. this eliminates a lot of time wasters including:
  • Driving or commuting to campus.
  • Getting stuck in traffic or dealing with bad weather.
  • Parking and walking to class.
  • Eliminate time lost between classes.
  • Direct access to the instructor with prompt responses.

“I can’t or don’t want to commute to school.”

Commuting can be a problem for many reasons:
  • You don’t own or have access to a car
  • You’re not on a bus route
  • Your lifestyle or work includes travel
  • There is no college campus within reasonable drive time
  • RCTC is too far to travel
    • Commuting can be a problem for a lot of reasons. Maybe you don’t own or can’t afford a car. You may not be on a bus route. Or the college is just too far for you to travel. You might desire to travel during the school semester! With online classes, your classroom is anywhere you have access to high-speed internet. Remember that you might have to come to the campus occasionally for some online classes. Check each course requirement carefully and plan accordingly.

“I want to gain experience working with technology.”

  • Enhance computer and virtual technology skills
  • Learn to collaborate with colleagues globally and across time zones
  • Learn to apply new computer and web applications
  • Online classes can help you learn computer and other technology skills needed in the workplace. Learn to work with others globally and across time zones by using the internet to attend class, research information and communicate with other students. Use browsers, word processing, spreadsheets, multi-media software, social networking tools, and other applications to complete your coursework.

“I prefer to learn and communicate online rather than in the classroom.”

  • Choose your place and time to study
  • Interesting ways to learn
  • Time to think before answering
  • Increased student interaction
  • Increased diversity of option
  • Online friendships and networking opportunities
  • Accessible instructors
  • Communicate any time
  • Online tools make group activities easier
  • Fewer problems with schedules and meetings
  • Diversity of course materials regardless of geographic location
  • Up-to-date course materials and current news events.
  • Combine online and campus options


Let’s read a conversation among these online learnings talking about why online learners suit their learning and communication styles.

Student 1:

My online classes have been really interesting. They included videos, group projects, and internet research, not just lectures and readings.

Student 2:
Online classes give me the time I need to answer discussions questions. I like being able to think about my answers for a while before I post them.

Student 3:
I agree. I think I actually talk MORE in online discussions. I do in the classroom. Everyone gets to participate, too.

Student 1:
I’ve made a lot of friends online, and it gives me more access to my instructor and classmates.

Student 2:
Yes, in fact, it’s easier for me to talk to instructors online than in the classroom. I can use online chats or e-mail to ask questions at any time without waiting for office hours.

Student 3:
I used to think that I’d miss working on team learning projects, but online tools actually make group activities easier in lots of ways. We use e-mail, chat tools, document sharing sites, and discussion groups for meetings and joint work. I don’t have to deal with finding meeting times and locations that work for everybody.

Student 1:
I like that I can take courses that wouldn’t be available to me where I live. The technical college nearest me doesn’t offer all that classes I need, but I can take them online right from my home.

Student 3:
I like that the instructors can use up-to-date information on the internet, including current news events.

Student 1:
Most of all, I like that I can take both online and campus classes for the best of both worlds.


In this information, you’ve considered how online classes can work with your lifestyle. They can help you:
  • Be available to care for kids or other family members
  • Balance school and work
  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Reduce or eliminate commutes
  • Gain experience working with technology
  • Learn using your preferred style