It was not all that long ago that online learning, or distance education as it's also known was just a supplementary way of taking more classes via an offline campus. As technology advances, and software and web page creation get better this market has grown into offering online college and high school courses as a very viable way of getting an education without ever having to leave home.
For the person who might not have been able to attend college after high school, or the adult who did not think it was required they now have a second chance. Even for those who have no form of transportation to or from the school, have children at home, hold down one or more jobs, or possibly even have a physical disability that keeps them from attending classes at a campus, online college courses give them the chance to learn.
People who choose to take advantage of online college courses use technology such as video and audio lectures, email, instant messaging, and chat rooms to attain the required information needed. Then there are online research and study sources that use to make up the reminder of the online college courses.
One fantastic thing about online college courses is that they are one hundred percent equal opportunity. Any person of any color, religion, race, location, or learning ability who has the mindset to study and willingness to learn is able to do so. Often times even an accredited and transferable course.
Before you apply, enroll, or pay any online college be sure to do some background checking. Some supposedly legitimate online college courses are not always what they appear to be after researching. There are a few online schools offering online courses that are not qualified to do so. They are not accredited. What does this mean? If you're looking to take your online course load and use it as accredited coursework towards for instance a degree, it must be accredited. This means that the school must meet the requirements of the accreditation body in your area. In the US it is the Department of Education, they watch over and regulate American colleges and universities.
You may read a websites claim that they are accredited, or possibly they display the official images and links to suggest they are. Even the way a website might be worded often suggesting that they are accredited, when they are not. You'll pay high fees, and sign all the required documents, but unfortunately all for nothing when it comes time to graduate, or transfer you bogus courses or degree.
With all of this being said, remember not every institution is bad. There are a lot of schools right across North America and Internally that are legit, registered schools offering accredited degrees and courses. So when your searching consider legitimate offline schools that have an online presence and course offering. Also look for the accreditation information for distance learning education, if you do not see it or can not find it just ask. One stupid question up front is better then spending a lot of time on something that is worth nothing. Simply put protect yourself, it's wonderful that you want to better your education but be sure you do it with a licensed school, and not just a scam out to take your money.