The Five Hardest Challenges for Online Degree Students


Online degrees are not really new, but many people are still skeptical about their validity. That said; their value is undeniable as they provide a very convenient form of study. This makes them beneficial for working professionals who do not have the time to go back to school. However, there are obvious challenges that students studying online degrees face. Today, we’d like to highlight some of them so that you can get a clear picture of what you are getting into if you wish to take up an online degree.

1.     Academic Isolation

Academic isolation is one of the major challenges that online degree students face. These students do not get to interact with the academic community in the traditional way. They do not get to meet their lecturers in person or interact with fellow students and their study duration can get quite lonely especially when the students need extra help. In a traditional college, students can easily approach their professors for help and can also help each other out. It’s not that online courses deny their students this assistance. Students can still chat with their lecturers and have forums where they can interact with fellow students; however, the effect is not the same as they would get with one on one interaction.

2.     Course Limitations

The second challenge that students face is a limitation on the courses provided. Unfortunately, not all courses can be provided online, especially those that have a hands-on curriculum such as surgery or public speaking. Such courses require practical lesions and are best taught in a traditional face to face environment. Even when it’s technologically possible to train some of these subjects online, the learning experience does not always produce the best results.

3.     Technological Challenges

Students also face various technological challenges and this is because the student has to learn how to use new software programs. Internet connection is also an issue especially if the student does not have reliable connection since the work is largely online. There are heavy documents to download and videos to stream which require reliable connectivity.

4.     Time Management

This is arguably the major challenge students have to encounter and this is because you have the freedom to plan your own study schedule. In a traditional college setting, students have to adhere to the timetable. With online study, students know that they can study any time they want to and it’s very easy for students to poorly manage time and even procrastinate on their studies.

5.     Cost

Not many people realize just how costly online colleges can be. Tuition fees may be cheaper but there are other costs that may make studying online a more expensive affair. These include educational material, software expenses, exam fees and internet costs as well.  There are many hidden costs that come with online courses.

There is no doubt that online courses are convenient, however this convenience comes at a price.  Students deal with more challenges and you need to make sure that this is the right form of study for your chosen career.

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September 16, 2013 by

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