Is Online School Right For You? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying

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Online school is an enticing option to get the most value out of your education. The class schedule is flexible, and the cost is typically lower than in-person classes. What’s not to love?

Effective online learning is all about self-discipline and time management. Before you apply for any online college courses, you should ask yourself these critical questions. The more honestly you answer, the better off you’ll be!

What’s your learning style?

You have to take your learning into your own hands if you go to school online. The nice thing is that you can take advantage of your learning style by adjusting your school day accordingly. You have total flexibility in how you work, when you work, and who you work with.

Perhaps you work better with other people around. Listen to lectures with a friend and hit a local coffee shop to get your homework done! Maybe you’re competitive and you thrive in high-pressure situations. Set daily goals for yourself to help you perform at the top of your class. There are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success if you think ahead.

How well have you done in school so far?

Online school is a great fit for anyone who has the drive it takes to get things done. If you’ve been a solid student so far, you’re likely to continue on your path to success. You’ve already gained the necessary learning tools and study methods that help you retain everything you need to know.

However, there is a caution for under-performing students. According to Susan Loeb, a professor of education and public affairs at Brown University, “Students who struggle will likely struggle more online.” This statistic seems to be the common pattern in those who struggle academically. The benefits of in-person education involve more hands-on guidance and social encouragement. Some people need a more interactive environment to motivate them in their coursework.

 Can you limit distractions?

Professor Susan Loeb also warns against distractions during study time. She said, “In the online setting, students may have more distractions and less oversight, which can reduce their motivation.” Your motivation is the most important thing for you to protect as an online student. Without it, you won’t be able to get your degree in the timeframe that you’re aiming for.

If you’re looking into online education options, you’re likely trying to give your schedule more flexibility for other activities. Enjoying that margin means that you’ll have to have enough self-control to ignore distractions. Limiting distractions becomes significantly more difficult if you’re not in a controlled environment every day, such as a classroom. All it takes is some extra grit and willpower!

Do you chronically procrastinate?

Some professors allow online assignments to remain open all semester. This flexibility is especially helpful for busy students who have full-time commitments on top of their courses. You’re given the space to work at your own pace to help prevent burnout.

However, if you tend to procrastinate, having open assignments may become a potential problem. A common reason for procrastination is believing you don’t have what it takes to complete a certain task. If you want to conquer your online classes, you’ll have to be mentally ready to overcome the temptation to put off your work.

Even if you aren’t naturally suited to an online learning format, there’s always a solution! Identifying your weaknesses allows you to work through them so that they can eventually become strengths.

If you know your answers to the questions above, you’ll have all the information you need to start successfully going to school online!