What Is a Virtual School?

The term 'virtual school' is used to reference a school that offers most or all of its courses online. Read on to learn more about the variety of courses and programs offered at these accredited online schools.

Virtual School

What started out at many schools as correspondence courses, completed via mail, have turned into virtual schools that provide distance education opportunities using technologically advanced online delivery systems. In a virtual school environment, students are able to communicate with teachers and other students over the Internet. Communication among participants may be enabled in a variety of ways, including using systems such as Blackboard or WebCT. Depending on the program, coursework may be delivered by:

  • E-mail
  • Video conferencing
  • DVD
  • Printed materials
  • Telephone
  • Web conferencing

Courses may also be delivered in a manner that requires students to be present at certain days and times (synchronous) or may be self-paced, allowing students to complete work at their convenience (asynchronous). Depending on the program, students may or may not have access to instructors and tutors to help them with their work.

Important Facts About Virtual Schools

Common Courses Depending on the program; most degrees are offered online
Programs Distance learning-based with computer courses
Degree/Certificate Levels All types (undergraduate and graduate)
Continuing Education Licensure or certification for a career may be obtained online.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Virtual School

There are many advantages and disadvantages to completing coursework through a virtual school. Ultimately, which one is best for you depends on your personal preference.

Advantages

Some of the advantages of a virtual school include its flexibility. Additionally, there is no need to travel to a classroom. Aside from the convenience, students are also able to work at their own pace while participating in programs that may otherwise be unavailable due to location or scheduling. Reduced cost is another advantage, since students don't have to pay for room and board.

Disadvantages

Virtual schools also have disadvantages, such as requiring self-discipline on the part of the student in order to complete coursework. Students must also have access to a personal computer equipped with a high-speed Internet connection. Additionally, students enrolled in a virtual school miss out on the benefits and social interactions campus life can provide.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Loyola University New Orleans

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    Popular programs at Loyola University New Orleans:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regis University

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    Popular programs at Regis University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint John's University

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    Popular programs at Saint John's University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Seton Hall University

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    Popular programs at Seton Hall University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

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