Choosing where and how to learn can be a daunting task, so it’s important to understand what online and on-campus learning has to offer. Below are the essential features every student should familiarise themselves with before deciding to commence studies at home or on campus.
Why people choose online
Online learning is a fantastic alternative to face-face learning for several reasons that originate from its high level of flexibility:
Travel is a common reason for favouring online learning, especially for those who live in outer suburbs or a rural community where acquiring transport to a university or TAFE may be a difficult and lengthy task. In many cases, online learning proves to be a saving grace to those who cannot make it to campus. If you are studying part-time, then travelling at night is less appealing to many – making online study an easier and safer alternative.
Online learning completely bypasses the greatest flaw in face-to-face learning, that you have to commit to being physically present at lectures and tutorials. The flexibility that online learning provides ensures that you can continue to work. Alternatively on-campus students are constantly having to chop and change working shifts or even miss classes to accommodate study and employment expectations.
Whether it’s your local library, your desk at home or lunch break at work, online courses allow you to study in any space at any time. If learning in isolation is what works best for you, then online learnings tailor-made feel can satisfy that need for you.
Why people choose face-to-face
One advantage of on campus, face-to-face learning is the capacity to clarify information at any moment. If you are unsure about something your lecturer just said, you can quickly raise your hand and gain clarity. While staff generally reply to emails within a day, the speed is sometimes not at the standard of face-to-face learning.
For some people, interpersonal learning is highly valued. They find being in the same room as other learners where conversation flows and ideas are workshopped to be more engaging than learning from a screen. However, with the joys of technology – virtual classrooms and chat groups can somewhat mimic this interpersonal communication in learning.
Extra-curricular and Social Benefits
Studying on campus can help to engage you socially with your peers, where you can join clubs and even engage in volunteer work. If you find it hard to interact with people outside your bubble, then studying on campus could be the kick-start you need to force you outside your comfort zone.
Why online learners are attractive to employers
When seeking employment, it is not enough these days to rely only on your qualification, even if you do boast exemplary marks. Employers are also looking for people who possess 21st century soft skills. When applying for a job, make sure to use your online learning as an advantage. Highlight how without constant reminders from tutors, you were forced to develop your own initiative, knowing how to work effectively and independently. You might mention that while completing your diploma you still continued working,showcasing both your drive for success, and time-management skills. All of these skills are just as attractive to employers as high grades and it is essential that you have the confidence to prove you possess them.
While online learning does require discipline, focus and time-management, it is important to acknowledge the many upsides as well. The flexibility, freedom and cost-effectiveness of online learning continue to make it an attractive choice. If online learning suits you better, than there is a range of online providers who provide high quality courses. While it seems cliché, the best learning style is the one you feel most confident you will at achieving your best results.