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Online Learning: An Alternative to Crowded Lecture Halls

Online Learning: An Alternative to Crowded Lecture Halls


By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Learning Tips

One of the biggest advantages of online learning is you can fit your studies around your job and your family life. You are not required to be in an actual classroom at a specific day and time to achieve your educational goals. You learn at your own pace.

One of brick-and-mortar students’ common complaints is the impersonal nature of many lecture hall courses. These classes are usually required introductory courses like English literature or American history. Well-known or popular instructors on campus also attract large class enrollments.

Jessica Brondo, founder and CEO of The Edge in College Prep, says that “attending a very large school may result in 400 person lectures, while a smaller school may only have 100 person lectures or fewer.”

Perhaps that is why online learning has been increasing in popularity during the past few decades.

As EZ Talks points out, online learning “encourages you to motivate yourself to learn due to the absence of a traditional teacher to guide you. You will have to create a learning environment and control it effectively so that a band of self-motivation develops in you to inspire you to learn for your personal growth. You can cultivate this band in you by engaging yourself in distance learning methods.”

Over Five Million US College Students Are Enrolled in Online Learning Courses

In fact, “The most recent (2014) data reports that out of 20.2 million total college and university students in America, almost 5.8 million of them, close to 30%, are enrolled in some form of distance education,” according to The Online Schools Center.

“The proportion of all students who were enrolled exclusively online grew to 15.4 percent (up from 14.7 percent in 2016), or about one in six students,” Doug Lederman wrote in Inside Higher Education in 2018. “The share of all students who mixed online and in-person courses grew slightly faster, to 17.6 percent in 2017 from 16.4 percent in 2016. And the proportion of all students who took at least one course online grew to 33.1 percent, from 31.1 percent in 2016.”

Online Learning Offers Numerous Benefits

 As The Complete University Guide enumerates, online learning has numerous benefits, including:

  • You can usually set your own pace of study.
  • It is your decision as to when and where you study.
  • It doesn’t matter where you live – you can gain a degree from anywhere in the world.
  • As with a full-time degree, students may find that they gain useful, transferable skills such as planning and research.
  • A distance learning course often costs less than a full-time degree.

The Complete University Guide acknowledges that some online students might feel isolated and lonely without the physical and intellectual stimulation of face-to-face contact with other students. But those feelings can be “avoided however by frequent online contact with tutors and taking part in virtual forums, virtual help groups and discussion rooms.”

Online Student Support Is Available from the University

Students at AMU and APU receive dedicated support from professors, counselors and advisors to overcome any feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The University’s new Success Center provides access to institutional resources, training videos, podcasts and other educational materials. You can also reach out to university support staff for help in planning and achieving your academic success.

“Preparing students today for tomorrow’s workforce has a lot to do with teaching about how to use and evaluate knowledge,” the Web-Based Education Commission says. “The Internet is rapidly becoming the biggest repository of information we have ever known. The key will be our ability to find, evaluate and use the information it provides…Students must know how to evaluate data.”

Making the decision to obtain a degree online is a big step, and you’ll need to maintain your motivation throughout your educational journey. Connecting with your Academic Advising team is a good way to stay on top of your courses right through to Commencement. To reach your academic advisor, email counseling@apus.edu or call 877-755-2787.



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At American Public University, students are priority one. We are committed to providing quality education, superior student resources, and affordable tuition. In fact, while post-secondary tuition has risen sharply nationwide, the university continues to offer affordable tuition without sacrificing academic quality.

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