Is online learning for you? Advice on studying a degree online

Tue 1 Dec 2020

There’s historically been some debate around whether online learning is “better” or “worse” than on-campus learning. But the question of whether online learning is generally better or worse than on-campus learning is futile – the fact is that it’s completely up to your own personal circumstances.

Whether you choose online learning or on-campus learning depends on your personal situation, including questions like:

• Are you a full-time student living at home?

• Are you in full-time employment?

• Does your lifestyle and/or work mean you’re often on the move?

• Do you have family or other personal commitments?

What is certain though is that online learning has become increasingly common around the world as technology continually advances and people look for more flexible, practical and accessible ways to study. Here are some important points to consider when asking yourself is online learning for you:

1. Do you need flexibility?

Are you:

• Working full-time?

• A stay-at-home mum or dad?

• Caring for someone with a disability or living with a disability that requires you to be at home?

• Living in a remote area?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then chances are you need some degree of flexibility in either where or when you study – or even both. One of the greatest benefits you’ll gain from online learning is that you will have a great deal of flexibility in both where and when you study. If you choose to study a 100% online course, you’ll have access to everything you need to learn – like your course materials, readings and lectures – completely online.

With many universities utilising online learning platforms that offer mobile apps, you can even access everything you need to complete your course via your desktop computer as well as your mobile device. So whether you’re at your most productive on your morning train ride to work, or late in the evenings when everyone else at home is in bed, you can study whenever it suits you.

Online learning also means you don’t need to live close to your university or college to learn – you can live just outside of town, in a remote town, or even on the other side of the world, and still be able to complete your studies and get your qualification. Unlike on-campus learning, since you don’t need to attend a physical classroom with online learning, you’ll be able to carry on with your work, family and other commitments without needing to worry about interrupting them to attend classes. With online learning, you’ll have the flexibility and freedom to be able to study whenever and from wherever in the world it suits you.

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2. Do you need to keep earning an income while you study?

Unless you’re living with your parents or have some other free living arrangement, you’re most likely paying for rent or a mortgage. That means you need the security of a regular income to make sure you can keep up with your payments. In many cases, people have to work on a casual or part-time basis to be able to work and study at the same time when they’re committed to on-campus learning. Their ability to work is restricted by the hours they need to be attending classes or exams.

With online learning though, since you don’t need to attend classes, you’re not restricted in the hours or days you can work. You can choose to work on a full-time basis and earn enough money to cover all your living expenses, and even have some left over to enjoy other things. Online learning gives you the financial freedom to be able to earn a full-time income while you study.

3. Are you looking to grow your professional network?

Without the physical boundaries of a classroom, online learning lets you build connections with other students from around the world. This opens you up to a wealth of knowledge and perspectives from people across a diverse range of cultural and social backgrounds. It also helps you grow your professional network to a much wider reach than would be made possible through on-campus learning.

Equipped with a professional network with global reach, you’ll not only be able to further expand your knowledge and expertise in your industry, you’ll also be able to stay connected with relevant job opportunities around the world. So if you’re looking to grow your professional network and make valuable global industry connections to help you in your career, online learning is an excellent option.

Falmouth Flexible offers a range of 100% online masters courses that you can study alongside your work commitments and can help you grow your global professional network. All courses are delivered through Falmouth University – a TEF gold-standard university – using advanced desktop and mobile technologies which you can access anytime, anywhere.

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