Online learning benefits each student differently. Some students may need the time flexibility, where they can hop online and submit materials after hours or early in the morning before work. Others gravitate toward the location flexibility, being able to work from home, a coffee shop or anywhere else that fits into their lifestyle. And for those who need a hands-on element to their education, many online programs have the best of both worlds, allowing for remote coursework but including campus-based or other on-site laboratory experiences.
Forums were originally used in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire as a place where the public gathered and discussed the latest news, politics or philosophy. When the World Wide Web gathered popularity and Internet access became something normal and not a luxury, forums saw a second coming. Online forums, or discussion boards, are widely popular, since they allow everybody, connected to the web to share their opinion on a certain topic. And while in the beginning forums were difficult to maintain, with the introduction of databases, such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, and scripting languages, such as PHP and Perl, forums became very easy to create, maintain and manage.