The continued popularity of online learning has perhaps surprised many people, but it offers a number of important benefits due to the medium of delivery. Not so long ago, online education was perceived as simply a novelty, but due in part to the mainstreaming of fast internet access, studying online has become an accepted method of educating oneself. Indeed, to universities and other tertiary education providers, online learning represents a great opportunity for additional income.
The Advantages of Online Learning
- Flexibility: Students studying online find that it is a very flexible medium of delivery. It is accessible from wherever you have a web connection, which means that you don’t have to travel to a physical campus to study.
- Access: The advent of quality online learning has been a godsend for people who live in rural areas of Australia. This nation is vast, and in many areas it is not possible to travel to and from the nearest tertiary learning facility each day. However, online learning presents an easy and accessible way to learn for anyone in these situations.
What to Expect When You Study Online
Studying online is quite different than travelling to a campus and sitting in lecture halls. In many ways it encourages students to study at their own pace, as it presents materials that are accessible at any time by students in a specific unit. Some people may find this disorienting at first, particularly if they have been used to conventional methods of learning delivery on campus, but it is growing steadily more popular over time. In fact, in the not too distant future, there will be students studying online who have simply grown up with the format, and it will simply be another mode of study.
When you enrol in one of the many online courses from a university or TAFE, here is what you should expect as part of your experience:
- Communication: Online learning is nothing without quality communication tools, and this is a key area in which the format has really developed in recent years. All educational institutions offering courses and units online provide a range of easy to use communication tools, including chat rooms, direct email with lecturers, and even video content. You can even visit a digital library and seek out the necessary texts for home-based printing. In this way, online learning truly shines.
- A single portal: Facilities offering online learning in Australia typically maintain a single portal that students can access. Here, the student will find all communication tools, texts, additional suggested reading, unit outlines, feedback from teachers and lecturers, and a way of uploading and submitting documents for assessment. The value of a web-based learning environment is that it can offer everything in a single portal, making it easy and intuitive for most people to use.
There is little doubt that online education represents the way of the future for many young students. It is flexible, accessible from anywhere, and diverse in terms of its offerings and communication tools.