Considering an online degree? First consider yourself — and what type of learner you are.

 

Contrary to public perception, schooling from afar isn’t just for the self-secluding, learn-it-alone types, Michael G. Moore, editor of the American Journal of Distance Education says. But before you peck your credit card digits into an online university’s billing page, he warns, you ought to take a close review of your study habits.

 

“Get a college advisor or teacher to help you look at your own capacity for structuring yourself,” he offers. “Not everybody is able to work alone without the kind of external structure and stimulation that you get in class.”

 

Tradition classroom learning — the sort you’ve grown accustomed to since your pre-K stint — “tends to focus on the social animals among us,” according to Moore.


“Unfortunately, our education system rewards the impulsive, quick classroom people,” he notes. “A lot of people are actually better off on their own and they don’t need other people to motivate them.”


If you qualify for that latter category of inwardly driven bookworms, Internet coursework could be a revelatory experience.


“Ask: How self-directed of a learner are you?” suggests Rena Palloff, author of “Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom.” “Because working online takes a fair amount of discipline.”


Plus, a fair amount of time.


“You have to have one or two hours a day,” author Keith Pratt of “The Virtual Student” says.