Online courses are becoming very popular. Most colleges and universities offer online courses either as degree courses or to supplement college education. Also there are many Internet based institutions that offer online courses.
When online courses are compared with conventional classroom courses they are found to have both advantages and disadvantages. The greatest advantage that online courses provide is flexibility. There is no set time for the class. The student can read the material and complete the assignments as per his or her convenience as long as it fits within the overall schedule. This is very important to those who are working while taking the course. They can study early in the morning or late at night. And that they can do so from their homes is an added advantage.
An unimaginable range of online courses is available. They cover the standard subjects taught in colleges. Professional online courses (such as portfolio management) as well as vocational online courses are also available. One simply has to enter the subject in a search engine and a list of web sites offering the course will appear. Online courses are accelerated courses. They are focussed and compressed and often take less time to complete than conventional courses.
The major disadvantage of online courses is their acceptability by employers and conventional educational institutes. Many courses are a course in miracles offered by credible organizations and would be acceptable, however many would not. Hence if the online course is being taken for furthering ones employment potential or for gaining admission into a conventional college its acceptability should be ascertained. The other problem with online courses is that they require a lot of self-motivation. The student is not being supervised on a day-to-day basis and if he or she fails to turn in an assignment a zero would be given and few questions would be asked.