The Benefits of Online Learning

Education is changing form and taking a new shape, and the list of benefits of online learning is growing. There have been many innovations, especially among online-based accelerated nursing programs. In the early years of online learning, students used to listen to or watch a recorded version of their professor’s lecture, which is a one-dimensional and sometimes boring way to learn. However, the online courses in Northeastern University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program provide students with a much more immersive, interactive experience.

the benefits of online learning

ABSN Program Structure

The ABSN program has a three-pronged learning approach:  online courses, on-site skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations. Students take part in all three components at the same time, so they’re able to put the skills they have learned in one area into action in another.

  1. Online coursework teaches you practical nursing concepts through interactive learning modules.
  2. The on-site skills and simulation labs provide you with experiential learning in a low-risk environment. You are practicing the skills you learned in your online coursework on high-tech medical manikins using real hospital equipment.
  3. In clinical rotations, you practice the nursing skills you have learned online and in labs in a real-world setting. You’ll work at some of the area’s top healthcare institutions alongside instructors and other medical personnel to treat a wide variety of patient issues.

Online Learning Benefits

There are many benefits to the innovative online learning platform used in our ABSN program, including:

Northeastern University - online accelerated nursing coursework - student working on laptopFlexibility

The online portion of the ABSN allows for more flexibility in terms of where and when you study. Since coursework is online, you are not constrained by in-person class times. . You can view lectures and complete assignments when your schedule allows, and there are no worries if you are not able to complete this work at the same time every day. If you’d like, you can watch lectures in your pajamas right before bed on Mondays, and then take your quiz on the material at 10 am on Thursday..

Also, location is not an issue with online studies. You can study and submit assignments from home, from the local library, from your vacation destination, or wherever you choose. Your study area can be anywhere you find a computer and an internet connection. This removes the burden of traveling to a classroom or office to participate in a discussion with your instructor.

However, the flexibility of online instruction does not mean you can be lax about your studies or miss deadlines. As an ABSN student, you’ll have to make sure you stay on track with your course requirements and submit your work on time.

Learning styles

Not everyone learns in the same fashion, which can create roadblocks for students in on-campus based programs. In traditional campus programs, a student attends a lecture in a giant hall and tries to write down everything the instructor is saying while also digesting the visual aids that are presented. This is a lot of content to absorb at once, and if you don’t understand the information the first time around, you can become more and more lost as the topic moves on. However, the online portion of the ABSN allows you to view and review lectures and course materials as many times as needed until you fully understand the subject.

Here’s how online courses appeal to different learning styles:

  • Images and graphics benefit visual learners.
  • Audio lectures appeal to aural learners.
  • Simulations and 3-D graphics benefit tactile learners.
  • The discussion forum benefits social learners.


Interaction with your faculty and other students is a key element of the ABSN program. While there is no physical location or face-to-face interaction with the online learning component of your program, there is a high level of virtual interaction and collaboration through the learning management system. Plus, you complete your labs and clinical rotations at the same time as your online courses, and those offer significant amounts of live feedback and interaction.

You use the learning management system to access course content and activities, like chat features and discussions. This format and information is organized the same way for each class, so students do not have to worry about re-learning how to navigate the learning management system each time they start a new online course.

Using discussion boards

Discussion boards play an extremely important role in online courses. In the traditional classroom, interaction frequently involves an instructor calling on an unsuspecting student to explain a concept. This process can be very intimidating. However, in an online environment, all students have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion, and all students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of concepts.

In the discussion boards, students get a chance to know one another, challenge their beliefs, process information, and form new ideas.  This social aspect of engagement helps foster interest, growth, and understanding. The discussion board is often the center of the course’s community.

Kristen Mathieu-Gonzalez

Kristen Mathiue-Gonzales

Working with Course Mentors

Kristen Mathiue-Gonzales is a clinical instructor for Northeastern University’s ABSN program; she thrives off watching her students succeed. She meets with her students once a week online, on Blackboard Collaborative. They do case studies, talk about the course content, clinicals, and what they are currently learning.

In speaking about her students, Kristen says, “I am in touch with them regularly. We have cohort mentors, so each cohort has a faculty member who tries to support them. We get them into community service and other community events that is a little bit outside of what they are doing but still relevant and fun, and it keeps them together.”

Over time, interaction via the e-Learning platform has evolved to become more than a list of names and long replies.  Now student pictures are loaded next to the names.  The ability to put a face with a comment helps build the community and connections.

Online Innovations

Online-based accelerated nursing programs at Northeastern University are flexible, adaptive, and interactive, but that is only one part of our learning model, as the ABSN is not 100% online. If you want to learn more about our innovative blended learning model and how it could help you become a nurse, contact our admissions team today.

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