My Experience With Online Learning

  • Last Post 23 September 2011
dhandlos posted this 04 July 2011 - Last edited 24 February 2016

Hello All,

I'm a huge fan of online education. Not only does it help working adults with difficult schedules to get the degree they want/need, it enables people with physical disabilities to have the same educational opportunities as everyone else. As someone who has both a tight work schedule and physical limitations on his level of activity, distance learning has been key in helping me to advance in my career.

Just as a bit of background, I earned my bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from Kansas State University in 2003...although I nearly didn't. Early in 2002, a back injury left me with very limited mobility, unable to attend courses, or even leave the house for most of the spring semester. As I went through physical therapy during the following year, I was able to complete my coursework and exams on a flexible basis with the help a very considerate faculty.

A few years passed, and while I'd mostly healed, I remained limited with how many hours I could be mobile on a given day. I wanted to work towards a masters degree, but my back wasn't stable enough to allow me to sit through both my engineering job during the day and then graduate classes at night.

Then in 2006, I started to hear about graduate degrees that were offered online. I enrolled as a student, and started taking one course at a time. Throughout the next four years I learned far more than I expected. I was easily able to take my grad research and apply it in my day job.

Now, most of the tools used in our department are based on my coursework! As of December 2010, I graduated with an [url=/online-schools/dakota-state-university-college-of-business-information-systems-graduate/master-of-science-in-information-systems[/url] from Dakota State University Online, and I'd still like to go further. I'm researching two new masters programs and an online doctorate degree to apply for in the spring, and I'm looking forward to see what I can do next.

Distributing coursework online now opens up availability for education that wasn't easily available even 10 years ago. Being able to self-motivate and schedule your time for study is key, but just like with any on-campus program, if you put in the time, the rewards are worth the effort.


VickyPhillips posted this 04 July 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hi DHandlos,

Thanks much for taking the time to post your story. Your suggestions for new online doctorates are great also.

It's interesting that you found online learning bcs. of accessibility issues. I think that is true of many distance learners, though the nature of those issues are as varied as the learners themselves.

There are, of course, fewer online Phd programs than there are distance masters so it becomes a bit of a treasure hunt, eh?

I hope you will keep posting your experiences bcs. people need to hear from real online students what it is like to learn online and which schools real online students choose and what it is like on the "inside" of distance learning.

Are you planning to do a research doctorate and what is your opinion of a campus residency or visit for your PhD. You had mentioned Indiana State University's online doctorate with some campus time. Do you think visiting the college is essential or that it enhances the learning experience?

Happy 4th to You!

Vicky Phillips


dhandlos posted this 05 July 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Thanks Vicky, hope that you had a happy 4th as well.

And you're quite right about online Phd programs being much fewer than distance masters degrees...I'd like to think that their availability will continue to grow, but it'll probably be at a slow rate. Until then, I guess the "treasure hunt" is on! :)

In regards to your questions, I was already going to apply to Dakota State University ( this spring, but after finding the Indiana State University program (, I am considering applying there as well. While my first choice was DSU (since I received my masters degree there, all of those courses would automatically count towards the doctorate), I wanted to explore ISU's program as another option, since I could pursue similar coursework there.

As far as visiting's not necessarily essential, but it can definitely enhance the learning experience. One disadvantage of studying from a distance a sense of disconnect that can occur. As great as it is to be able to study remotely on a (relatively) flexible schedule, even short visits with face-to-face communication can help ground you, and keep you focused.

Bessie11 posted this 02 August 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

i am huge fan of online education as well as , because they give us answer of all question.

PeterNash posted this 22 September 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Where could I get a really good Online Education? Any thoughts?

VickyPhillips posted this 23 September 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Hi Peter,

Can you tell us more what you want to study or learn online and why? Are you looking for a degree? New job skills? Leisure learning? Free courses? A first college degree? Also, where are you located as this may help in making recommendations for you.

Thanks! Vicky

PeterNash wrote:

[size=2][size=4][color=#800000]Where could I get a really good Online Education? Any thoughts?[/color][/size][/size][color=#BF0000][/color]

PeterNash posted this 23 September 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

i'm interested in a Business field like Marketing or Human Resource Management and i'm here at Sylva, NC. Some few friends recommend me this site. Any suggestions? Thanks..[size=4][/size]

VickyPhillips posted this 23 September 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hi Peter,

Well you have the great fortune of living in a state that has low cost + high quality online education -- NC.

For a business degree consider some of the Get Educateed Best Buys in online bachelors:

SEE: Best Cheap Online Bachelors Business

And Cheap Online Bachelors Business Administration BSBA Online

Specifically, see: East Carolina University Online

Let us know if you have more questions!

Vicky Phillips

Founder - Get Educated