Not sure if it’s a good idea to attend an online short course? While a lot of people would argue that on-campus degree studies are the best, there are some definite advantages to e-learning that simply cannot be overlooked. Let's explore the main ones:
1. You'll enjoy a unique study experience
With the development of e-learning methods and constant technology innovation, as well as a growing interest in higher education, online degree courses are adapting to meet the diverse learning needs for all types of students.
Short-term distance learning degrees adapt to learning styles for auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners through classes making use of multiple types of media like printed, video, audio, class assignments, discussions, written essays, and much more.
Recorded class materials can be used for future students creating reliable learning standards while class interaction creates a unique learning experience for each individual class. This way, online classes mix subject consistency with the uniqueness of each study group.
Advice: Even if you prefer one specific type of learning, try to diversify your learning experience as much as possible, by trying as many of the provided materials as possible. Don’t forget about the extra resources!
Check out a few top institutions offering online short courses:
- International Career Institute (ICI)
- UZH International Summer School
- Harvard Business School Online
- Stanford University Summer Session
- The Open University UK
2. You'll study at your own pace
One major advantage of distance learning is the course flexibility, a great advantage for people with a busy schedule. The opportunity to organise your work as you see fit lets you take your own time with the things that really interest you, or review things you’re still unsure of whenever you feel like it. There are a lot of extra resources right at your fingertips.
Self-paced e-learning enables advanced learners to speed through or bypass instruction that is redundant while novices take more time to progress through content.
Advice: Make sure you don’t skip large sections or entire chapters as you may also overlook some important points. Try to at least review the conclusions summed up at the end of each section.
3. You'll become a motivated self-learner
Distance learners have to stay motivated to complete their online course, figuring out how to best organise their learning schedule. While this type of learning might not be for everyone, it answers the exact needs of students who want to get maximum effectiveness out of their studies. Ambitious online learners step up to the challenge engaging in over 2-5 weekly hours (or more) of learning and student interaction or taking extra projects.
Advice: Recommended weekly time spent on learning for a short course varies from one programme to another. However, dedicating less than the minimum amount of time will force you to fall behind, and may result in poorer results.
4. Benefit from welcoming global classrooms
While some may find online communication cumbersome, most distance learners thrive in the digital environment. You get to communicate with huge global classes while dedicated forums and social media are great places for out-of-class discussions. Online teachers are also ready to answer student questions outside of class. This also grants great access to diverse shared materials between students.
Advice: You’ll definitely get more out of your study experience if you engage as much as possible in class discussions. By posting questions and participating in debates you compensate for the lack of a physical class, engaging more in active learning.
5. Use versatile technology, available anywhere
Modern technology makes every minute of the day count. Handheld gadgets provide easy access to learning materials while travelling, or during work breaks. Make sure you choose the right device for your learning needs, according to your personal lifestyle. Take your class with you wherever you go.
If you’re not already an expert of using all types of media, online platforms and apps, an online short course will help you build up the technical prowess that will be very useful for your career.
Advice: The bulk of the reading and assignment work (usually over 50% of assessment) is done offline. So make sure you always have plenty of quiet time to really go through the most essential information.
6. Save up on costs
Online courses are usually significantly more affordable than other on-site classes. Universities provide lower study costs by not having to invest as much on a physical study location, or on teacher salaries. Study materials also cost virtually nothing and they are easy to re-use and update.
Advice: Even if you save money, don’t overlook the time investment. Commitment is, once more, the key!