The Challenges Of Getting An Online Degree

It’s true, you can get an online degree in the comfort of your pyjamas. Yes, you can schedule your study breaks around The Young and the Restless. And, no, you won’t have to schlep your way across town on a crowded bus. But don’t let your favorite spot on your couch impact your decision. Embarking on a course of online study is not as easy as it sounds.

Challenges on the way to an online degree, advantages and disadvantages for student life online

If you have been blinded by the supposed perks of studying for an online degree, it is important that you also examine some of the pitfalls.

The Hermit Effect

If you thrive on social interaction, you may find your online degree studies a tad lonely. Without the camaraderie of fellow students embarking on a shared mission, you may grow weary of working in isolation. While many online programs include chat rooms and other platforms that encourage online sharing, they fail to quench the need for actual face-to-face interaction. If you are determined to take an online course, but long to interact with fellow humans, you may wish to seek other ways to experience authentic college life.

The Moth Effect

The moth is compelled to fly into the light–even if it means getting zapped. Online students must also resist the allure of attractive, but harmful bait. One of the greatest temptations faced by individuals who spend vast amounts of time in front of a computer is the urge to play. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, web-based games, and surfing Google are all highly enjoyable activities–and, admittedly, much more fun than studying–but they also waste a lot of time. If you have the attention span of a red squirrel, you may find online studying difficult.

The “I want to kick my computer” Effect

We’ve all experienced the frustration of computer woes. It’s bad enough when you can’t access your social media accounts or finish a level in your favorite game, but being unable to engage in your online degree course work can have serious consequences. Server troubles, network foibles, and jammed connections can all cause you grief–not to mention problems with your own system, itself.

The “Head-ache” Effect

Not all online degree programs are created equal, especially when it comes to the software used. You have enough to learn when it comes to your studies without having to figure out complicated programs. Before you sign yourself up for a steady dose of migraines, ensure that you are able to take a course demo for a test run.

The “Square peg in a round hole” Effect

We all learn differently. If you learn kinaesthetically, or by touch, you may find online learning extremely challenging. Visual and auditory learners will also find it difficult if the course selected fails to incorporate video conferencing or other mediums that will enable them to “see” and “hear” important course concepts.

The “What the hell happened to my physique?” Effect

The reclusive nature of online studies–and the close proximity to your kitchen–may lead to overeating. When this is coupled with the fact that you will be parked in front of your computer for hours on end, it could lead to weight gain and related health problems. It is important for online learners to take breaks to engage in physical activity–preferably outdoors–and avoid the temptation to snack.

If you still have your heart set on an online course, here are 7 tips for succeeding in your online education program.

There are a myriad of benefits associated with online learning; however, it is important to examine the challenges associated with this path as well. If you don’t feel that any of these pitfalls will have a negative effect on you and your academic success, an online degree may be the perfect option for you. Just go into it with your eyes wide open and don’t listen to your comfy couch–no matter what it tells you.

What are some ways to overcome any of the negative “effects” of online learning listed above?

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Stephen Jeske shares interesting stuff about content marketing, personal branding, social media and startups. He loves cooking and growing his own food.

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