The Benefits of Online Courses for Community College Students

by Megan Veschio

Online courses may not provide the right fit for every student, but for those willing to try them out, they can provide numerous advantages, both while in school and after graduation.

Work at Your Own Pace

While in school, online courses offer the ability to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Do traditional courses move too slowly or quickly for you? Do you feel like this prevents you from getting the most out of each course? Online courses allow you to move through each lesson at the pace that best suits your individual learning style.

This becomes especially apparent in classes that include video recordings of lessons used in an in-person class. While watching the video, you are able to pause and rewind parts you don’t understand as well as fast-forward through concepts you have already mastered.

Learn When it’s Convenient for You

Additionally, online courses enable you to learn when it is convenient for you. This could mean working on classwork and lessons at a time when you are most open to learning or fitting classes in around a busy work schedule.

For those working full time while in school, it can often be difficult to schedule classes around your work schedule. Taking online classes, means you don’t have to worry if your work schedule suddenly changes, you classes are as flexible as you are.

Distance No Longer Matters

An added bonus of the flexible schedule provided by online courses is that you don’t have to spend time and money commuting back and forth from school. Lessons can be viewed and coursework turned in from wherever you happen to be. If you live far away from your school, this can be a large motivator.

While many students at a community college live fairly close to the school they attend, what happens when it comes time to transfer to a university? Online courses allow you to choose any university without having to worry about relocating and uprooting your life, allowing you to choose a school based on the education you will receive and not how close it is to home.

Prepare for Life in the Workplace

Online courses even have the ability to better prepare you for life in the workplace than traditional classes.

When taking an online class, you must be self-motivated to complete your coursework in a timely manner to prevent assignments from piling up. Without a set schedule to follow or an in-person meeting to give you a boost of productivity, an online course requires devout commitment in order to complete the class.

Once in the workforce, there will no longer be a teacher providing friendly reminders when assignments are due. Instead, you will be faced with a boss who has little time for hand-holding and reminders about deadlines. Learning to be self-motivated and organized provides a great benefit to any college student.

Another advantage of online courses is that you learn how to interact and collaborate with others via email. Many online courses require students to post on a discussion board as well as reply to posts made by others. Additionally, teachers may only be available via email to answer any questions students have.

Relying on email and online discussions boards to interact with others teaches you to think about what you say before sending a message. Furthermore, it encourages you to start assignments early to allow time to reach out to your professor regarding any questions you may have. In this way, you will learn to avoid procrastinating because an immediate response may not always be available.

Ultimately, it is up to each student to decide if online courses are right for him or her. With the many benefits provided in an online class, it is worth it for every student to at least give them a try.

This post was written by Megan Veschio

Megan Veschio is the marketing coordinator for Inventive Technology/MediaCAST, a digital content management and video streaming solution for schools. Learn about using technology in education at or follow Inventive Technology/MediaCAST on Twitter - @MediaCASTstream.

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