Self-Improvement just a Google search away!
Despite some significant scepticism in its early years, online learning has powered from strength to strength, with millions of students now enrolled on online degree programmes and other online courses. The expansion of online learning has been fuelled by a continually improving reputation where initial scepticism has faltered in the face of evidence showing that online learning can be just as effective as traditional face-to-face education.
From the happy employee, looking to continue their professional development (and perhaps improve their chances of promotion), to the full-time parent looking to a new career direction for the future, online learning is suitable and accessible to everyone, providing they have access to a computer or tablet and an internet connection.
So why consider learning online?
Most online learning programmes allow you to work at your own pace which means that you can complete your course whilst still fulfilling your other commitments such as an existing job or children.
Variety of courses
From traditional three and four-year degrees to free “mini” courses known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), online learning offers every level of education and almost any subject you could think of. Whether you’re looking for academic, vocational or hobby-related learning, the self-improvement you’re looking for is just a Google search away!
The costs of studying online can be significantly less than the more traditional alternative. Although some courses (degree courses particularly) do not have significantly lower tuition fees, the associated costs of studying from home are almost always lower. Online learning that is undertaken from the comfort of your own home removes the need to pay the cost of commuting to a place of study or the cost of accommodation if your chosen college or university is some distance from home. With online-learning there is often no requirement to purchase course material such as textbooks, either because they are usually offered as part of the course and available online.
In addition, as mentioned briefly above, many colleges and universities have begun to offer free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These are free online courses that usually offer an introduction or “taster” of a more comprehensive course offered by the institution. Such courses enable students to try a subject without any financial outlay to ensure that the subject and concept of online learning are right for them.
Convenience and flexibility of learning environment
Online courses offer students the convenience and flexibility to plan their study time around other areas of their life, rather than planning their life around their study time. Participating in an online course means that you can study at the time of day that suits you best. You may be the sort of person who retains more information and generally performs better first thing in the morning, whilst others are not morning people and prefer to study later in the day or even into the night! Online learning also avoids the need to leave work early to attend lectures, sit in traffic jams to get there, find parking spaces when you’re already late or miss anything that you would rather not miss in other areas of your life because of the inflexibility of lecture times.
There is no need to factor trips to the library into your schedule, to gather your course material because the material will always be available to you online. The convenience and flexibility of online courses makes studying a viable option for the millions of people wishing to study but needing to fulfil work and family commitments at the same time.
Improve IT skills
Every online course requires the development of new computer skills, as students will need to learn to navigate different Learning Management Systems (LMS) and programmes. The IT skills acquired when participating in online study, such as sharing and creating documents, incorporating audio/video materials into assignments and completing online training sessions, will translate to many professions.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your life in terms of your career, an online programme will always enhance your CV. It will show potential employers that you are enthusiastic and committed to increasing your knowledge and learning new skills. Students can take online courses and even complete entire degrees while working, while in-between jobs, or while taking time out to raise a family. Online courses are a great way to show prospective employers that you used your time wisely during any gaps on your CV.
Greater anonymity for the reticent student
Finally, if you are the more shy or reticent type of student who would avoid the face to face nature of participating in discussions within a traditional classroom setting, the anonymity that online learning affords you will likely give you the confidence you need to participate in online discussions with tutors and other students.
These are just a few of many great reasons to participate in an online course. No matter what age you are, what stage of life you’re at or walk of life you’re from, online learning is a way to overcome the countless barriers to traditional methods of studying and gives you the opportunity to better yourself NOW.
If you would like to find out what technology we provide through our schemes, visit our Benefits Page or contact us on 0330 2000 231 – we would be very happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.