The Guide: A Resource for Going to College as an Adult provides a detailed explanation of what to expect from online learning and how to choose a program that’s right for you based on your busy life. You’ll learn about different types of online, distance and blended learning programs; technology requirements; admissions and financing; transfer credits; and how to understand program rankings and accreditation status. Curious about how much time you’ll have to devote to school? The OhioLearns Time Usage Survey tool can help you determine how many hours you’ll realistically be able to devote each week to finish your education.
Just as eMail is mail delivered electronically, eLearning is learning conducted via electronic technologies, specifically over the Internet. In most cases, eLearning—also commonly called ‘online learning’ or ‘distance education’—refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.
That means it’s ‘outside of a traditional classroom,’ although you’re typically graded on participation, assignments and examinations. And just like in traditional classroom settings, eLearning is regularly delivered live, so you can communicate and interact with course leaders, teachers, and other students via your computer or a connected mobile device. In some instances, lectures may be prerecorded.
We’ve pulled together a comprehensive collection of materials and links to help you understand what eLearning is all about and get you ready for your adult learning experience.
One of the nice things about eLearning is that it’s typically less costly than traditional study. And since eLearners study on their own schedules, other responsibilities—like family and work—are still possible. This makes continuing education via eLearning affordable for many. Plus, online learners can take advantage of financial aid programs just like any other college student. Every eLearning institution has extensive financial aid information that’s readily accessible online. And before you do anything, be sure to complete FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student AID. This is the starting point in the financial aid process.
It’s possible to convert on-the-job learning experiences, special training, and certifications into credits towards both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. A variety of tools can help you prepare for a “prior learning assessment.” That’s what colleges will use to tell you if you can “test out” or waive particular course requirements.Try the College Credit Predictor for an assessment of your work experience or visit LearningCounts.org to get a better understanding of how you can get credit for your work experience. We’ve also compiled more details on Prior Learning Credits here. Once you choose a program and institution that interests you, counselors can usually help you estimate what kind of credits you may or may not be able to transfer – and how much time you should expect to spend completing your education.
Still wondering if you’re ready to become an adult learner? With so many options there’s bound to be an online program that meets your need. For tips on what to look for see The Guide: A Resource for Going to College as an Adult or visit our resource center for more information. Select a program from the Electronic Campus or visit the statewide initiatives listing.
If you’ve read this far, you’re obviously interested in pursuing an online education. You’re not alone. In 2013, one in every eight higher education students in the US studied exclusively online. And one in every four took at least one online course. The percentages have risen steadily since then. So, take the next step: begin your curriculum search here to find a degree program that meets your needs. Rest assured that only the best, accredited online education programs are listed. Begin your search.