When choosing an online education program, there are many factors to consider. Because most students have never tried online learning before, it can be easy to overlook the details when comparing programs. However, sometimes it is the smallest details that can make the biggest difference in an online education experience. One detail that is often overlooked is whether or not a distance program utilizes textbooks or online reading materials. This small factor can actually make a huge difference in the way a student will participate in coursework, and all students should take the time to consider how the course materials in a particular program will suit their learning style. Here are a few things to think about when comparing textbooks and online reading materials.
Online programs will usually disseminate course materials in one of two ways. Either students will order required textbooks to be shipped to them, or all reading materials will be available online, with no physical text books required. For courses that require textbooks, students will read sections, highlight and make notes as they would for any traditional college course. With online reading materials, students will log in to the school website and do reading on their computer. They can also print sections out if they want to have the physical pages.
The great thing about online courses that use textbooks is the fact that students will have their course materials in hand. As convenient as it is to be able to access materials online, some students prefer the feeling of being able to physically handle and read from a real book. It is easier to make notes in the margins and highlight passages. It is also easier to mark particular pages. Another bonus is the fact that you don’t need internet access to be able to do your course reading. Students can bring their books with them without having to depend on a computer to study.
The advantage to online course materials is the fact that they can be accessed without having to carry around a huge textbook. Students with mobile wireless devices can easily access their assigned reading at any time. Also, since reading is online, students can get to their course materials from any computer. There is also a huge benefit to having course materials online because, in an online class, all class discussion takes place online as well. This means that students can have their reading material or course documents pulled up on their computer at the same time they are participating in an online forum or course discussion via chat.
No matter which method works best for each student, by taking a more in depth look into the kind of course materials utilized, all students have the potential to find a program that will fit perfectly with their needs.