With more people having access to the internet and devices like mobile phones and tablets, plus an increase in the number of online courses, more people than ever are learning online. Online courses aren’t new, but they are more advanced than they have been in previous years. Instead of having simple portals and limited options in terms of materials, they now support the learner in many ways.
While traditional classroom-based learning will always have a place, there are many benefits, plenty of establishments, LMS software options, and course types available for those who wish to learn online.
One of the obstacles for those who want to take a traditional course is the time it takes. Many courses are time-hungry, which means online part-time work is a real option. Add in family responsibilities, and it can feel insurmountable. Even with part-time courses, there can be time constraints that make it difficult for many. Online courses often come with the added bonus of self-directed learning. Those who take the course can do large chunks when they can and do less when they need to.
Overall, many online courses allow people the freedom and ability to work and learn.
A traditional learning environment isn’t for everyone. Many people, especially more mature learners, don’t enjoy the smaller desk space, hard chairs, or limited space. Learning from home means that the learner can create a space that works for them, even if that space happens to be the bed or the sofa. Learning in an environment that works for you makes the process more enjoyable and ultimately more productive, too.
Many learners who didn’t have the ability to study online needed to relocate to attend their chosen course. It could’ve been that they have the best reputation, the right grants, and scholarships, or a tutor or lecturer that was highly esteemed. No matter the reason, traditional learning often meant relocation.
Now, it is possible for a learner in any state and, in some cases, country to take a class at those highly esteemed establishments or find courses that certain lecturers have created online. Relocation is expensive, but it also means that you need to start over and will be away from friends and family. For some, this is ideal, or for others, staying put while still accessing these incredible courses is much better.
Online learning presents thousands of options for learners. There are courses for people to improve their career prospects (get a new job in a new field), upskill themselves, or advance in their current careers. There are also courses for people who want to learn how to do something recreational based on their hobbies or interests. And it is not just about the options of the course content.
An online learner can choose short courses, taster courses, free courses, MBAs, PhDs, and almost any other qualification and course type. Online learning offers more options than ever before, which means every type of learner is catered for.
Let’s say there are two or three types of people sitting in a row in a lecture. One is a night person, the other two are day people, and one doesn’t like talking much, but the others do - a lot. Then, add in that two are kinetic learners, while the other learns from listening. The three will disrupt each other unintentionally for the duration. In the end, not one of the three would have had the best learning experience, and this will impact how they do as the course continues.
When learning at home or whenever you choose to study, you can choose when you sit down to study, how you study, and when you need to take a break. Crowded classrooms also don’t suit everyone; some students have high anxiety or difficulty concentrating and benefit greatly from being at home.
Although many educational establishments have changed their physical layout, many aren’t as accessible as possible. This directly impacts how some students can learn - and if they can learn at all.
Online courses, in combination with the correct software, can mean that online courses are accessible to those who might not have been able to take their chosen course otherwise.
Having almost total control over your learning leads to a more positive experience for many students. And from that comes a decrease in the stress that many students feel with specific deadlines and limited study time. These restrictions heavily impact students who have other factors like work and family.
Learning is something that we should be doing for life, but many of us need to remember just how enriching it can be - and how many options we have: 3 Ways to Embrace Learning in All Walks of Life.
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