What you actually learn in online classes

September 6, 2019

When beginning an online course, you can expect to learn about general subject areas like English or Math. You expect that, through assignments, papers, exams, and discussions, you will have ample opportunity to practice and then demonstrate your abilities. Although these basic abilities are vital to your specific field, they are not all you learn in an online setting. In fact, as an online student, you acquire several marketable skills that are highly celebrated in both personal and professional environments.

A successful online learner demonstrates a strong work ethic, more specifically, tremendous self-discipline. You become diligent about balancing your assignments and readings with the other demands in your life (family, work, friends). When you enrolled in your online course, you made the decision to return to school and expand your skills and it’s you alone who must motivate yourself each day. Furthermore, “strong work ethic” is often listed as one of the most sought-after skills in today’s job market—but it can be difficult to measure, as there are few tangible ways to prove a person works hard. However, succeeding in an online course is one small, but significant piece of evidence for a future employer.

An online classroom also provides ample opportunity for you to hone your communication skills. Without the traditional non-verbal opportunities of an in-person classroom, it becomes paramount for you to use written communication in a way that demonstrates your knowledge of the course material and respect for your peers. More specifically, you learn to speak clearly and precisely, conveying your ideas using appropriate tone and word choice. As you communicate, you also build rapport with your peers and instructor. Exemplary written and verbal communication skills improve both personal and professional relationships.

Although having a strong work ethic and excellent communication skills inevitably give you an edge in the professional world, computer skills are equally important. Computers and technology are an integral part of nearly every industry and, as an online student, you are demonstrating your ability to use technology as a learning tool. To succeed in your online course, you’ve had to master basic computer skills. As you progressed, you learned to ask questions and grow curious about innovative ways of approaching communication and problems. Perhaps you even learned to troubleshoot. Most importantly, you’ve been willing to try something new, something outside of your comfort zone, and you’ve succeeded. Many industries will continue to utilize technology and expect that employees are computer-savvy. Rest assured, you are.

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Enrollment Coaches are here to help you get started with the application process and to guide you through registration for online courses this upcoming semester. We can also connect you to an advisor, as well as refer you to services available to online students.

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About AlamoONLINE

AlamoONLINE represents the range of opportunities for students pursuing degrees, certificates, or awards delivered online from Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, and St. Philip’s College.

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