I’ve been an online learner, both formal and informal, pretty much since it was possible. Nowadays I find that convenience is the most obvious benefit. With the vast amount of online courses and other resources out there in internet-land, I can pick out what I want fairly readily. I choose stuff that I can do at my own pace, mainly to fill in perceived gaps in knowledge or understanding. Occasionally I’ll find interesting material through serendipity.
I don’t label myself “online learner”. I’m a learner (always!), who happens to make use of online resources as a principal source of materials. I’m just as happy with books, off-line digital media, with face-to-face, and so on. It just happens that online is now very convenient.
Importantly I think, online learning is not special – it’s learning that happens to use online resources.