7 Killer Advantages of Live Chatting for Online Students – Reaping the Benefits

Online education offers numerous advantages to students taking part in it. From the flexibility to the independence, there’s a lot to love about it. But instead of isolating yourself in your home office, utilizing live chat is becoming a standard part of online learning. Not only is it often used as part of some classes, but it’s also utilized by many students even when they’re not in class. There are plenty of reasons that live chat is so important to your online education, and understanding the main ones is the best way to ensure that you get the best education possible.

  1. In the classroom, live chat encourages discussion between students and teachers. This helps ensure that ideas and facts are getting through to the students and allows them the opportunity to ask questions if there are certain parts of the lesson that they don’t understand. It’s a better option than just reading the basic lesson plan and trying to figure it out on your own, and one that is becoming a standard part of online education.
  2. It’s also great for working through issues. Whether you contact a professor or fellow students, it’s the fastest way to connect with someone and get the answers you’re looking for. Instead of forums or message boards where you can wait hours or days for a response, in most cases logging on to a chat room or an IM connection will give you fast responses you can count on.
  3. Another reason that live chat is a great addition to online education is simply the fact that it encourages students to become more involved in their education. Shy students or those who are unsure of the subject matter are much more likely to ask questions and participate when an informal method of communication is being used. Chat is a perfect way to communicate without feeling too exposed and as a result students are more likely to use it.
  4. Chat can also help students feel a bit less isolated. One of the big drawbacks to online education in the past has been the feeling that you’re all alone in your efforts. By using chat rooms students can connect with their classmates and develop a better, healthier connection to their school. This improves motivation and satisfaction with the program.
  5. Thanks to chat, it’s easy to find conversations that are actually relevant to whatever subject you’re studying. Online searches and forum boards tend to drift a good bit, but when you join a chat that is focused on one specific thing the chances are that you’ll be able to actually glean much more useful information from the conversation than you would a freewheeling internet discussion taking place elsewhere.
  6. Chat can also challenge the way that you think. Since it connects people together that may have differing opinions, you’ll get to read different viewpoints on the same subject. This can have a huge impact on your overall opinions on a subject and help you see things in a new light. Challenging perceptions and having meaningful, questioning conversations is one of the hallmarks of higher education, and thanks to chat rooms it is now possible in an online education as well.
  7. Most people don’t even think of this advantage, but chat actually helps with writing skills. Since online symbols and ‘text language’ are largely frowned upon in a classroom, chat helps to encourage proper writing and typing skills even when students aren’t thinking about it. It’s a side effect of using chat that is very important and will actually have a subtle impact on a student’s overall career as they progress forward.

References:

  • http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/onlinediscussions/benefits1.cfm
  • http://www.ehow.com/list_6635046_benefits-online-chatting_.html
  • http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20090516112801582
  • http://www.live2support.com/newsletter/2009-07/a_study_on_empowering_education.php