How does Online Learning Work?

Online courses are a great opportunity to advance your career or to supplement your personal growth if you can’t relocate or adjust your schedule. Online courses allow you to achieve your goals at home, on the road or while traveling—without disrupting your lifestyle.

Online learning is not much different than learning in a classroom setting. You will still have an instructor to guide you through the course and classmates to interact with. You will still complete coursework, have the opportunity to participate in class activities and have assigned homework.

With online learning, all you need are basic computing skills and convenient internet access. Other than that, the skills required for successful online learning are the same as those needed in a more traditional classroom setting: preparation, organization and self-discipline. The difference is how you apply them.

Types of Online Learning

  • ONLINE classes consist of fully produced, original content that is designed, developed and released specifically for online consumption. These courses make use of Canvas—an online learning environment where you interact with your instructor and peers—and may include pre-recorded lectures and live webinar sessions. Online courses generally stick to a prescribed schedule and are guided by an instructor.
  • REMOTE LEARNING classes generally consist of content and curriculum that is taught using research-based best practices for both live and self-guided learning. Live class sessions are scheduled on specific days/times, which allow students to have virtual interactions with the instructor and other students. Live lectures may be recorded so students can access them later.
  • SELF-PACED classes feature online curriculum designed for a self-guided experience, with students viewing pre-recorded lectures and completing assignments within a more flexible timeframe.

Resources to Help You Succeed as an Online Student