The Advantages of Online Learning
If you’ve not yet taken an online course, you may be wondering what it’s like. Northeastern University–Toronto is currently offering online courses within three master’s programs: Project Management; Information Assurance and Cyber Security; and Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics, and Medical Devices.
An online course can be just as much work as an in-class format and take the same amount of time. The online format gives you a lot more flexibility, however. You don’t have to plan to sit in a classroom every Tuesday night, for example, and you can work around your own personal and professional schedule. You can do your readings and participate in online discussions whenever it’s convenient for you, wherever you are—at home, commuting, or on breaks at your workplace.
In general, each week the instructor in an online course will ask you to complete several tasks, such as reviewing the learning objectives, reading the course text, studying online lecture materials, participating in discussion boards, and perhaps submitting an assignment.
If online learning is new to you, discussion boards may not yet be familiar. Think of these boards as akin to participating on a virtual team, where you really need to communicate clearly and succinctly, and listen to and engage with your peers on a consistent basis.
Your online studies also give you a chance to boost your technical skills. Your instructor may ask you to record your introduction using video, set up your own blog, or narrate a presentation and upload it to YouTube. You might need to download software and learn how to use it to complete an assignment. And your textbook might only be available digitally. These are all skills that can help you in the workplace.
With an online degree experience, employers know you’re comfortable learning new technologies, building rapport virtually, tackling tasks independently, and knowing your way around a computer and a virtual workspace. Beyond the rich course content itself, the online learning experience can offer useful and long-lasting benefits to you in your career.
To learn more about the benefits of online learning from a Northeastern graduate who completed an online master’s degree herself, check out our Graduate Studies blog.