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Why Online Learning is Anyplace Learning

When we think of learning we think of going to school. For some of us that meant getting up early to wake the rooster, do some chores, and then head out for the school building. For others, it meant scrambling to get out of bed in the hopes of catching our ride to school that just pulled up at the door. The common denominator in either scenario was going from home to another location to learn.

Once we got to school, learning took place in one or more classrooms. We sat in our places with bright shiny faces—or droopy ones if you forgot to eat breakfast—and the teacher dished out the knowledge de jour. Between classes learning was supposed to take place in the reverent halls of the library. In that bastion of silence, we were expected to learn from the stacks of tomes about us, even if we did not actually open many of them.

When we eventually got back home, which seemed like an eternity later, we usually were asked if we had done our homework. Regardless of how you answered that question, it usually meant sitting down at the dining room table to study, or going to your room to study, which translated means, “try to keep out of trouble—I’m busy.”

Anyplace learning in those days was defined as the school classroom, the school or local library, the dining room table, your bedroom, or on occasion, a corner of the room with your face turned toward the wall because you avoided the other locations. But today the definition of anyplace learning has changed significantly, and in your favor!

Online Learning

Online learning is exactly that. Instead of having to go to a specific classroom at a specific time on a specific day or days, online learning begins online, at any time day or night. In online learning the student logs into a course, reads news and announcements from the instructor, and then proceeds to view and respond to the course materials provided for the current Unit of study. Course materials are usually in the form of presentations, media clips, web site materials, online articles, and discussion forums. These learning activities are explored when it is convenient for you. Anytime learning is also known as asynchronous online learning. If a course were to require meeting online at a set day and time, it is known as synchronous online learning.

But setting the time element aside, there is another benefit to online learning.

Anyplace Learning

Anyplace learning is another feature of online learning. Anyplace learning means that you do not have to be in a specific location to learn—you just need Internet access. You can study at your local coffee shop, your favorite park bench, your favorite chair at home, at your workplace during your lunch break—anyplace you choose. With anyplace learning your classroom is where you are, not where you have to be!

Using a smartphone or mobile device to access your classroom also expands your anyplace learning options. Using a mobile device means your classroom is always with you. Waiting in the car for friends or family to get done shopping—visit your online classroom. Sitting in the waiting room for an appointment—visit your online classroom. Your classroom is anyplace you are (except while driving of course).

Learn More About Our Anyplace Learning Community

Rockbridge Seminary would be pleased to help you determine if online anyplace learning is a good fit for you. To set up an appointment with an academic coach, call (866) 931-4300 or email

About the Writer: Dr. Mark Simpson is the Chief Academic Officer of Rockbridge Seminary, a fully online accredited school. He has served as Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies and Digital Learning at one of the largest residential theological seminaries, and developed fully online courses and programs as Coordinator of Online Learning for a Christian university. Dr. Simpson has been teaching fully online courses for theological education since the late 1990’s.