The benefits of online classes include convenience for instructors and students, providing a more effective learning environment for some students, and often reducing educational costs. As many students are unable to take time off from work, military service, or family responsibilities to physically reside on or travel to a school campus, online learning may be the only reasonable option for providing the education or training that these students need. In addition, because online course providers do not have to maintain a large physical building, it is possible to reduce the cost of courses, making education and training more accessible to students.
One of the primary benefits of online classes is the fact that students can attend school from anywhere in the world so long as they have a computer and a working Internet connection. This means that individuals who must travel frequently; who are homebound due to illness, disability, or family responsibilities; or who live far away from a college campus can still get a quality education. The benefits of online classes are particularly strong for working professionals who need to earn a degree or obtain additional training but do not have time for commuting to and from classes because they already have a busy work schedule. In addition, individuals who live in areas that are prone to bad weather are less likely to have to miss classes due to conditions that make it dangerous to drive to school.
Individuals who may have difficulty learning in a traditional classroom environment may find that online learning is a better way for them to get the education they need. For these people, the benefits of online classes include the ability to learn from reading and writing text rather than having to learn from listening to lectures. This means that students who have auditory processing problems or who are simply visual learners may find it far easier to participate fully in online classes. Other benefits of online classes include the ability to interact with students and faculty from all over the world. As neither teachers nor pupils are constrained by geography, it is possible for students to learn from faculty who are experts in their fields but who live far away. In addition, the learning process is enhanced by being able to study with students from different cultures and geographic regions.
While course providers are at liberty to charge what they need to for online classes, the costs of operating an online school can often be significantly less than operating a traditional, brick-and-mortar institution. These institutions have the option of charging significantly less than other schools of similar quality that must maintain buildings and classrooms. In addition, students are spared the cost of transportation to and from school or having to pay for on-campus housing.