When used effectively, online classrooms can increase communication, enable student-centered teaching, provide flexibility and can cost less than normal higher education facilities, according to the Open Education Database. Other benefits of online learning include a comfortable learning environment, a variety of programs and courses, and quick evaluation of students' progress.
Online courses rely on the communication between students and faculty. Through tools like blogs, online chats, discussion boards and email, students can share their perspectives easily. Shy students are offered an equal opportunity to participate in discussions while other students benefit from the lack of distractions caused by other students or classroom activity found in a lecture hall. According to University of Washington, online classrooms also allow instructors to create a course that integrates more resources that encourage students to learn through their own unique learning styles. It also allows them opportunities to explore the material further before making an educated, well-researched contribution to the class discussion. Students have access to the course material at all hours of the day and are therefore able to study and complete assignments at whatever time they work most efficiently.
Students can also benefit from the lack of everyday frustrations like finding a parking space or a seat in class, according to Tom Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College. With colleges and universities unable to fill the demand for the amount of students seeking higher education, online classrooms allow more people to get a higher education, often at a lower cost, while maintaining employment.