You’ve done the research and are attracted by the cost comparison and flexibility available with online programs.
What other factors should be considered to help you decide if an online program may best for you?
Let’s consider the negative aspects of online study programs first.
- Because the timetable is flexible, those who struggle with self-discipline may have a hard time maintaining a study schedule.
- Those who require social interaction with others may be intimidated by the loneliness of the venture. Unless you proactively involve someone else, no one is there to coach, push and encourage you along.
- Availability of teacher help will not be instantaneous. Depending on the availability of your clincial supervisor/teacher, it may take days to get a question answered.
- Personal supervision will not likely be face-to-face, but will take place via video meetings, phone calls or email (most likely).
You will most likely be successful in the online teaching world if:
- You are good at setting and maintaining a study schedule. The most common question we receive is, “How long does the program take?”. The stock answer: “It’s up to you. We’ve had students who complete the Masters program in less than a year while others have taken almost five years”.
- You do not miss the in-class interaction with other students or the teacher. This discussion element is missing in most online environments. Some distance learning options include scheduled video sessions but once again, the flexibility element is missing here. What’s important to you?
- You are able to note the questions that you have, submit them to your teacher/supervisor, and then press on while you wait for a response. Some students get bogged down when they are stuck and cannot move ahead until the question is answered.
- You are able to study on your own. Those who need a study group environment will not do well here.