Today you can be an international student without moving to another country by connecting to your courses via mobile, laptop, or tablet. You name it! But while online education has incomparable advantages in terms of the cost of education, you might still feel like you need the abroad-living experience to truly call yourself an international student.
In this case, blended-learning Masters give you the best of both worlds. These type of study programmes allow you to combine interactive online teaching through video conferences and debate forums, with short face-to-face periods on campus. This has huge advantages for your academic development, but it’s not short of challenges either. Let’s take a look at them together:
Advantages of blended learning
As a blended learner, you can enjoy the physical presence of other students and teachers, while taking advantage of the opportunity to upgrade your learning experience through distance-learning courses or by joining an online learning group. Some of the key advantages of blended learning are:
- It’s time-saving to be able to access all study materials online, which is the standard practice in blended learning. It is also time saving not having to travel to the university campus every day.
- You can enjoy quality education at an affordable cost. The costs with living in another country for the whole duration of your studies are drastically reduced, not to mention that tuition fees tend to be lower for blended learning programmes.
- Your communication with peers and teachers is more effective. The online part of your studies allows you to easily communicate through instant messaging, mails and video calls. But the best part is that you can clear all the “lost in translation” aspects by getting to meet you colleagues and teachers face-to-face.
Because more and more students are attracted to this type of studies, universities have introduced many opportunities for this kind of experience. Some example of universities that offer blended-learning options are:
- The Open University UK
- Aston University
- York University
- Southern Cross University
- James Cook University
- Emas Business School
- James Madison University
- De Montfort University
How to overcome possible blended-learning challenges?
Even though blended-learning programmes have numerous benefits, you should not start your studies expecting a totally smooth and easy ride. Instead, prepare to conquer some of the following challenges:
- You might be inclined to skips classes and readings. Try to attend or watch and read online training courses or seminars that give several instructions and advice on how to succeed in a blended-learning environment. For instance, a simple talk or e-mail to your teachers letting them know how you are progressing, are a step forward to your success as a blended learner.
- You will have slightly higher costs with your education then if you were to study exclusively online.
- Following the discussion threads that are going on between the classroom and the online discussion spaces may seem endless, confusing and difficult to keep track of. Confusion about which papers you are supposed to hand in class and which papers you should submit online.
- You might also get frustrated by technical issues related to the digital tools you use in your studies.
To manage such situations, you need to develop good planning and organization skills and learn to pay attention to details. While blended learning may take some time to get used to, the benefits are worth it, if you consider the fact that you will gain the knowledge you need for your better future!
Just imagine what these types of programmes can do for you. You could study Polymer Science from one of the best labs in the United States, while staying connected to your host university through a shared learning community that keeps you accountable for your work in Taiwan.
Popular blended learning disciplines to consider
One of the most interesting features of blended learning is that the educational offer widens every year, with more and more study subjects being available in a blended-learning format. Some of the most common fields of study available in blended-learning right now are:
- Business Administration – This field is particularly attractive if you are already working and you want to enhance your skills for advancing in your career or for changing your profession.
- Computer Science and IT – Computing degrees always include hands-on labs and activities to develop technical and business-critical skills. The advantage of a blended programme in computer sciences is you can directly check with instructors how much you progressed.
- Education – Teachers, researchers and administrators pursue online and blended programmes as these allow them to continue their current roles while building advanced skills required for high profile jobs in education.
- Social Sciences – You can find diverse study programmes in the field and specialise in areas like psychological science, occupational therapy, counselling, child studies, conflict management, criminal justice and more.
Choose a blended format that best suits you and start applying!
Blended formats are an adventurous way to start your career. Choosing a blended-learning format can help you gain the academic experience you desire without sacrificing the quality of content that you have become accustomed to in a classroom format. You can have a great learning experience that will facilitate the skills and knowledge you need to excel in your future. Find the right option for you and start applying!