Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Aloha Friends-

Sorry you missed my live class. We are in our third day and it is INTENSE. Not for everyone that's for sure.
I am receiving many calls asking me when I am planning to give another live class. It will not be soon, I am not planning on another this year.
In the meantime, have you thought about an online course? Here are 10 Reasons why you might want to take one.

Ten Advantages of Online Learning

By Jim Luger

A friend, and fellow real estate educator of many years, told me that he had misgivings about the growing trend of online education. “I build a relationship with my students,” he said. “I can tell by their body language that they are enthusiastic about my class. Synergy develops in the classroom.”

I responded to his concerns: “If you are asking whether a computer can duplicate those classroom experiences, the answer is no. But if you are asking whether a student can learn as well online, the answer is yes—provided the course material is well-written, the educational objectives are well-designed and executed, and the student is properly engaged.” 

I didn’t want to push the point with my reluctant colleague, but there are significant advantages to online learning compared to traditional classroom education:

1. Within the same amount of time, you can cover more material online than in a classroom.
According to a report from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the range at which people comfortably hear words is between 150-160 words per minute. In another study that measured reading speed, Aaronson and Colet found the average reader could read 342 words-per-minute, with a range from 143 to 540 words-per-minute.
Because average reading rates are considerably faster than normal speaking rates, much more content can be included in an online course within the same amount of time.

2. Classroom teaching has not proven to be superior.
Thomas Russell, Director Emeritus of Instructional Telecommunications at North Carolina State University, analyzed 355 studies on distant learning that span 70 years. In his book, The No Significant Difference Phenomenon, he wrote:  “For those charged with creating programs, the good news is that a wealth of evidence supports the position that distance education programs match conventional, on-campus, face-to-face courses in both rigor and quality of outcomes.”   He observes, however, that “…it is abundantly clear that faculty and administration tend to feel that the quality of the instruction for the distance student is inferior to that given to the on-campus, face-to-face student.”

3. Administrators can easily manage the content and quality of online courses.
Other than approving lesson plans and outlines, administrators of classroom schools have limited control over the quality, content and delivery of classroom lectures. With online courses, however, every word, image, and activity can be scrutinized, researched, tested, and edited before being presented to students.  Moreover, instruction can be standardized.  Real estate regulators do not have worry about whether online instructors will deliver required information consistently and professionally.

4. There are no student disruptions while taking online courses.
In a classroom, it is possible for students to monopolize discussions or create. Confused or ill-prepared students can paralyze a classroom with questions. To capture attention, instructors can be tempted to entertain students with humorous stories that digress from substantive content. With online learning, the learner controls his or her learning experience without distractions, digressions, or interruptions. Instructors are able to engage students with content and activities that focus on learning objectives.

5. A self-paced format lets the learner control the information flow.
During periods when students ponder, take notes, or are confused by the teacher’s lecture or class discussion, they miss meaningful information. With online learning, the student controls the flow of information.  Online courses allow students to disengage from instruction and return when they are ready.  Online courses stop and wait for students to take some action. They must interact with the course to move it forward.  In contrast, a classroom lecture continues on even if the student is answering emails, reading magazines, or falls asleep.  Also, if a student is tired, distressed or preoccupied, little learning takes place. With online courses, students can take classes when they are most ready to learn.

6. Online course content can be saved and reviewed by the student.
The online student can move back and forth through a course or return to any part of a course that has been taken.  In many cases, online schools allow students to download or print every word of a course for future reference.  Traditional classroom instructors often provide outlines, expecting the student to take notes.

7. Online courses are self-contained.
When classroom instructors reference websites or reading material, they expect the student to read them outside of the class experience. With online learning, all websites and supportive text are immediately available to the student. Instructors can be assured that students will benefit from these outside resources because they can be made part of the course.

8. Online learning can be less expensive.
Quality online learning can be delivered less expensively than classroom instruction. There is no cost for classroom space. Registration and scheduling is managed by the student. Administrative and support staff requirements are minimal. Because delivery is asynchronous, instructors do not have be repeatedly scheduled or required to travel. There are no costs for printed outlines, property insurance, custodial services, parking, and so on—all overhead that must be passed on to students. With online learning, students share the benefit of overhead economies.

9. Online class size is unlimited.
When classroom enrollment is at its limit, students are often forced to choose courses that are less interesting or less relevant to their needs. Online classes, however, are accessible to all students all the time. Students who live far from schools do not have travel expenses. Individuals with disabilities also find special benefits to online education since they do not have to be concerned with physical classroom limitations.

10. Online students can schedule classes around productive work time.
Because online students choose when to participate in learning, they can avoid conflicts with productive work time—an expense for both licensees and their companies. Online learning, in contrast, allows students to balance their continuing education needs with income opportunities, as well as time with friends and family.

Students are learning the advantages of online education.  A Pew Internet Project report shows that 45% of Americans on the Internet– 60 million – say the Internet has played an important role in helping them make at least one critical decision affecting their lives, with career training the leading life element.  According to the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) Web site, over 4 million students are currently enrolled in their certified distance learning institutions, in over 500 fields of study ranging from accounting to yacht design. Educational institutions now offer instruction from kindergarten to doctoral degrees.

Educators are learning, too. Instructors can also enjoy benefits from online education, including a greater audience reach, more lifestyle freedom, and ongoing royalties. School owners can gain additional revenue and long-term student loyalty by offering quality online continuing education courses through an affiliate program.

My friend, like many classroom instructors, is struggling with the efficacy of online learning. But he recognizes its growing popularity, and he intends to better understand why. To me, his curiosity and open-mindedness are marks of an outstanding educator who is weighing the possibilities of a new era.

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Williams, J. R. (1998). Guidelines for the use of multimedia in instruction, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 42nd Annual Meeting, 1447–1451 (Suggesting books-on-tape speaking rates.)

Aaronsn, D. and Colet, E., Behavior Research Methods, Instruments and Computers, 29 (2), 250-255 (1997).

The Pew Research Center, Real Estate Intelligence Report 1/30/06.

Russell, Tomas L., The No Significant Difference Phenomenon. The International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC): 2001.

The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) History: Over Eight Decades of Service (

Jim Luger is an instructor for, which is owned by his daughter, Liz Luger Anderson. Jim has taught agents at his own real estate brokerage since 1976, and was a certified trainer for an international real estate franchiser for three years. He has also owned a mortgage brokerage and title insurance agency.   Jim can be reached at