Considering Online Learning? These are the Basics

Online learning is a great way to gain new skills, explore subjects, earn qualifications and boost your resume, all from the comfort of your own home. There are numerous reasons as to why you may be considering studying for an online degree and many factors to consider before you do so. You may be keen for a change in career or subject field, wanting to brush up on skills to improve your resume, or just have a particular passion that you want to learn more about. Whatever your reasoning, here are just a couple of the basics when it comes to learning online.

Why use the internet to help you study?

Many people choose to study online, whether the course is taught 100% remotely or through blended learning. You can choose a style of teaching that works for you to help you schedule your classes around your other commitments and ensure that you complete your tasks to your highest ability. There are numerous benefits to online learning, such as:

  • Costs

The financial element can put a lot of people off of pursuing further study. Being a student can be very expensive, with costs involving accommodation, commuting, tuition, educational materials, and other living costs. However, many of these costs can be reduced or removed when you are studying online. For example, tuition fees of many online courses can be cheaper than their in-person counterparts. Furthermore, when you are studying online, you may spend the majority of time learning at home, which means you won’t have to worry as much about renting campus accommodation and traveling to classes every day. Many online courses are also designed to be completed around your daily schedule, which can mean you are able to work and earn money while you are studying.

  • Courses

Another benefit of using the internet as a learning resource is the huge number of courses that are available to be studied. If you are going to be spending your time and money studying a course, you want to make sure that you are making the right choices. With online courses, you can search for a course that works for you and your requirements. These could be subject, length, cost, qualification level, commitment level, career outcome, location; the list is almost endless.

  • Flexible Learning

Self-paced and flexible learning are perfect ways to make your course work for you while practicing important personal skills like time management and self-motivation. Learning at home gives you the opportunity to create a learning environment that promotes positivity and productivity, helping you to enjoy the course and absorb the information better. You will also have the chance to learn what type of learner you are and how your brain best retains information. This is a valuable skill that can be used in the future, whenever you need to learn something new.

What types of courses are there?

There is such a huge variety of courses to choose from, and it is important to make sure you know what you want to study. If you have a particular goal in mind, whether this is personal or professional, do your research and ensure you are taking to correct steps to get there. Some people also choose to study an online course to help them brush up on their skills or knowledge in an area they have previously worked. For example, the Laurier policing degree is designed by police officers and aimed at those who are working as police officers or who have retired. This is a great way to use an online course to ensure your knowledge and skills of a field are up to date, even if you have already worked in this industry.

Who can take online courses?

Anyone can study an online course, but you need to make sure you reach the various requirements for your course. This is where prior research comes in, and it can help to have a plan for your educational journey. There are many unique challenges that come with completing an online course, and overcoming these will help you grow both personally and professionally. You will need to be organized and motivated to ensure that you can complete your work in a home environment, without the constant supervision of tutors or your peers. This can be a challenge, but once you discover a system that works for you, you can use this any time you need to learn something new.

Regardless of the subject that you choose to study, you will have the opportunity to develop various transferable skills. These are called soft skills, and they help you stand out in a pool of applicants and make you a great addition to any workplace.

Soft skills include:

  • Communication: The way in which you speak to and listen to others, as well as noticing body language. 
  • Teamwork: Your ability to work as part of a larger team, whether you are in a leadership role or a team member.
  • Conflict resolution: Being able to identify or settle any problematic areas in the workplace or know how to escalate them to the correct person.
  • Time management: Organizing your time, being able to prioritize and schedule, as well as delegate to ensure that tasks are completing timely and to a high standard.
  • Self-motivation: The ability to remove distractions, manage your time, and set goals to ensure that you stay focused and complete your tasks.

These skills are all incredibly useful in any industry, and some may be used more than others, depending on your role. You may also already have many of these skills under your belt, but they can always be developed. Some soft skills are important when completing an online course, for example, time management. You may be completing your course while working and will need to schedule your time to ensure your work and study tasks are all completed to the best of your abilities. Not only does this help you develop these skills and find methods that work for you. It also gives you plenty of practical examples of times when you have used your soft skills, which you can mention in an interview setting.