Gaining More than a Degree by taking Online College Courses

Many students who decide to participate in the Linfield College Adult Degree Program are looking for an opportunity to earn a degree at a mid-career stage in life, through an online program that provides them the flexibility they need. However, in the end, these students come away with much more than just a degree. They build a set of skills and abilities that can best be mastered through online courses.

Enrolling in an online college course as an adult requires that individuals balance their professional and family lives, along with the demands of school, in order to achieve a higher education. Though learning to create this balance is important and a recipe for success, there are more lessons that come from online courses that are beneficial results of participating in the online classroom. Perhaps the most valuable is simply the ability to learn online. This ability has become essential in our technologically advancing world. Frequently corporate training is done through webinars and video tutorials. Students who gain this experience through Linfield’s online courses, become more comfortable in an online environment and can easily adapt as new technologies evolve in other aspects of life.

Online education teaches students to be proactive and independent in their studies. Without the physical presence of an instructor or a campus classroom, students have to be self-motivated in order to take full advantage of their learning opportunity. Instructors still have a presence through an online platform in order to guide and teach, but the responsibility for interaction is placed in the hands of the student. Being proactive allows students to maximize their learning, and impacts not only their grades, but also what they gain from the experience. This lesson goes beyond the readings and tests, to build a skill that directly translates into helping advance one’s professional life.

Effective and efficient online communication is another skill learned through online courses. Again, as classes take place through the use of a computer, most forms of communication take place online. This requires that a professor be able to effectively communicate a lesson or teaching over the Internet in order for students to understand what is being asked of them. Concurrently, students must be able to electronically provide, answers questions or discussion points, which are clear so that the instructor can fairly judge their input. As our world advances its online capabilities, effective online communication is a vital skill to develop.

Linfield College’s online degree program is offering adult students much more than just the opportunity to earn their degree. Through taking the initiative in one’s own learning, being proactive in communication, and practicing good time management, adult students are building skills and gaining added benefits from their online learning. These abilities will help them advance in both their academic and professional lives.

Linfield Adult Degree Program Professors Jeff Edwards and Ryan Madden contributed to this article.