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Online Continuing Education – Benefits and Platforms

From the time continued education was first introduced in 1907 to the past ten years, people would further knowledge and expertise by taking additional courses through a conventional brick and mortar college or university. While this is still an option available and one that some people prefer, thanks to the internet, online continuing education has quickly become “the way” for a person to learn.

The concept and principles between the two learning options are much the same yet there are very distinct differences, which will be addressed in this article. In fact, there are actually many more advantages to furthering education via the internet than sitting in a classroom. Although it would be impossible to cover every benefit, we did pull some of the more impressive ones together to show exactly why online learning makes perfect sense.

Online Continuing Education – Learning Platforms

One of the most unique aspects of online continuing education is the different opportunities to learn. The two primary platforms on which this is made possible includes Synchronous and Asynchronous. These platforms and systems are very different yet they both make online education possible, effective, and fun.

To begin, for the person who finds it difficult to stay motivated or simply prefers a more conventional classroom setting, the synchronous platform would be ideal. In this case, some type of audio and video system would be used whereby a person could be at home but still participate in classroom studies, conferences, seminars, etc. From the person’s viewpoint, this would be almost the same as going to a live gathering at a brick and mortar educational institution but with the luxury of being at home.

Although many people appreciate the ability to be involved with other students and instructors by using a synchronous platform for online continuing education, there are some negative aspects that should be considered. For instance, it would be imperative for the right school and program to be chosen in that this would help determine the type of computer systems are used and conference calling services.

Unfortunately, if online continuing education were offered through a service called Webinars, the person trying to learn would likely experience problems with video quality. In fact, there are some people who state playing a video at all is impossible. Another consideration would be cost. Now, while there are some online colleges and universities that include any synchronous platform costs with tuition but not all do so if a person had to pay for a video conference calling service out-of-pocket and depending on the number of connections that would be needed, it could get expensive.

The other option of platform for online continuing education is called asynchronous. In this case, a person would still have the ability to see instructors go over lessons or hear conferences and seminars but rather than everything being in real time, videos would be recorded. Along with this, lessons, as well as tests would be in the form of interactive computer quizzes. Even activities for online continuing education would be through some type of interactive system.

Although these things do not seem to interfere with the educational process, the one aspect of the asynchronous platform that most people do not like is that the only way of communicating with an instructor would be via email. In other words, rather than have the chance to ask a question in a live forum or even instant message, the individual would need to send an email message and then wait for the instructor’s response.

For this particular platform, one of the oldest methods of presentation is text. There are still some schools that offer online continuing education that do handle everything in text but thanks to modern technology but also more effective teaching, most use some type of video and audio system. The individual would of course need a computer when taking online courses but in the case of using a synchronous platform, the quality, speed, memory, and graphics would need to be at the top end.

Online Continuing Education – Additional Benefits

Not only is it easy to learn online, continued education via the internet offers many other benefits. Below we mentioned those that people love and the top reasons that online continuing education is still growing.

  • Convenience – Without doubt, the number one reason that online continuing education works is that it provides a level of convenience that other learning forums cannot provide. Classes and activities can be completed in the privacy and comfort of the home, which allows a person to spend time on courses when it works with schedules.
  • No Hassle – There is a certain attraction for many people to attend college classes on campus but with so many people living extra busy lives, getting to and from school is more of a hassle. For professionals using online continuing education, spare time is simply not available so being able to get everything done at home and via the computer eliminates issues associated with more conventional education.
  • Reduced Cost – Along with the cost of education online typically being cheaper than standard education, again being able to complete all the necessary curriculum at home eliminates the need to put gas in the car or even pick something up quickly for dinner. While the savings might not be substantial, in the current economy being able to save any money is worthwhile.
  • Quality Time – A huge challenge for people who are married, in a relationship, with children, or even caring for elderly parents is that with conventional education, too much time is spent at school instead of with loved ones. Thanks to online continuing education, a person can spent quality time when and with the people wanted.
  • Fast Completion Time – Most courses offered online for continued education are created on a faster schedule. This means a person could still gain the same high level of knowledge and expertise but in less time. Again, with so many people living busy lives, being able to get a recertification or licensing, or simply learn to advance in a particular career but without wasting time is a huge plus.

Platform Advantages – Finally, there are many learning platforms that provide incredible benefits for online continuing education. For instance, a person could review coursework as many times wanted and whenever convenient, not only would there be opportunity to interact with students attending class on campus and the instructor, but in the same of conferences and seminars, guests speakers, and with an interactive type platform, a person could ask questions to gain a better understanding on a topic but without leaving home