Online courses can provide students with discussion boards and chat
functions that allow them to share their own perspectives. Students can
view responses from others, and learn through exposure to different
ideas. This benefits students because they can evaluate new opinions
alongside their own, and develop a solid foundation for learning.
2. Students experience a sense of equality
Web-based learning tools give all students a reinforced sense of
equality. Each student has the same opportunity to "speak up" without
fear or embarrassment. Shy and anxious students feel more comfortable
expressing their ideas via online posts; studies prove that online
discussions provoke more direct communication between students.
3. Instructors are more accessible
Online learning also benefits students by providing an additional
avenue for instructor contact. This is particularly helpful when a
student's schedule conflicts with a teacher's or tutor's hours, or when a
question arises at the spur of the moment. Additional online tools, such
as ALEKS, a Web-based math program, can provide one-on-one instruction
that follows the student's schedule for just a fraction of the cost of
an in-home tutor!
4. Accommodations for different learning styles
Every student has a unique learning style. Some students are visual
learners and some learn better with a "hands-on" approach. Web-based
learning environments often incorporate a variety of resources into a
single course, allowing students to utilize materials according to their
5. Provides opportunities for exploration
Online learning provides an increased opportunity for student
exploration and activities by incorporating related Web sites into daily
lessons. When courses reference these types of Web sites, content
reinforcement is provided as students can see how course material is
utilized in "real world" situations.
6. Encourages additional information rehearsal
Additional benefits for students who learn better with a hands-on
approach occur when students participate in online discussions since
they are exposed to an extra period of information rehearsal. Typically,
students rehearse information when they study for exams or complete
assignments. However, they also rehearse information when forming
thoughts into sentences and typing those thoughts into the computer.
This results in reflection and articulation of content, as the very
process of reporting and writing about what they have learned engages
students in an active learning experience.
7. Provides 24/7 accessibility to course materials
Some students work best in the morning, some in the evening, and some
throughout the day. Scheduling time for homework and projects can be
difficult depending on each student's classes, outside activities, and
personal responsibilities. Online learning eliminates the need to
conduct lessons at a specific time and allows your child to work when it
is convenient for her/him. ALEKS, for example, is available 24/7 over
the Internet, with unlimited online access from both PC and Mac
computers. This provides a flexible, mobile educational solution for
8. Continual access to materials
When course content and activities are provided online, students no
longer need to worry about accessing course materials in a traditional
manner. Continual access to course documents ensures that students can
obtain materials at any time, removing the opportunity for frustration,
such as "The library was closed."
9. Provides just-in-time methods to assess and evaluate student
Assessments are essential in education; results inform the parent
whether teaching methods and course structures are successful.
Assessments also determine if student progress is satisfactory. ALEKS
provides personalized assessments to determine exactly what your child
knows, doesn't know, and is ready to learn next. The assessment results
are displayed in a color-keyed pie chart, creating an individualized
learning path for your child that introduces new concepts gradually, and
at the precise moment that he or she is ready to successfully learn the
10. Added educational benefits
Web-based testing features also have many other educational benefits.
Practice exams and end-of-chapter reviews can be quickly analyzed to
provide you with immediate results. Students can access these tests at
any time, and since grading is computerized, students receive immediate
feedback. This may also help students who suffer from test anxiety to
relax and help to minimize embarrassment for those that do poorly.
Although online courses are great in any subject, they are especially helpful
with complex subjects such as math. Math can be a challenging subject for
homeschoolers, especially as the content becomes more advanced. A strong math
curriculum offering individualized learning tools can be critical for success,
while also providing homeschoolers with peace of mind that their mathematics
needs are being met. ALEKS, a research-based online math program, uses an
artificial intelligence engine to provide individualized assessment and learning
for grades 3-12. The integration of Web-based learning programs such as ALEKS,
bring added value to traditional education. Parents benefit from the assessment
tools and robust reporting features available from the ALEKS Master Account,
while students receive a customized approach to knowledge acquisition that suits
diverse learning styles and busy schedules.