An online course is a collection of materials (videos, podcasts, assignments, etc.) organized into units that you can access from anywhere in the world. The format of online courses can vary, from focusing on one-skill workshops to advancing to degree programs. Online courses differ in that some offer a more structured syllabus, while others let you set your own pace and drop in and out of the class as it suits you. Some classes are interactive with scheduled live discussions over video conferencing, while others simply record lectures for you to access at your convenience. Benefits: Online courses are a great option for those who want to learn new skills, but who lack the time or financial resources to attend a conventional college or university. Online courses allow students to learn at their own pace, and can be taken from anywhere in the world; if you have a demanding schedule, this flexibility is especially valuable. Since anyone can teach an online course, they can also be an excellent way for students to learn from experts in specific fields—for example people with creative talents might not be able to pursue conventional teaching careers but may have valuable insights into their field that could benefit other aspiring artists.