It is not an exaggeration to say that the Internet has changed some people’s lives completely.
It is now possible to do all kinds of things online remotely when previously it was necessary to be in a location in person. The range of possibilities is huge, from doing the grocery shopping to studying for a degree.
More and more universities are discovering that they can attract a wider range of students via online teaching tools, thereby making learning accessible to those who are unable to attend a college in person.
Benefits of online learning
Today’s world is a very fast-paced one, and an individual that thought about going back to college may have dismissed the idea when considering the practicalities of attending regular lectures and seminars. For those who are working this is often completely impossible; however, with online learning all of this is achievable via the Internet. A student is able to choose the times that they study rather than be tied down to strict lecture timetables.
Via online learning, students are able to study whenever and wherever they want and learning online also means that assignments can be submitted directly to tutors. Tutors and lecturers can be contacted by email if their advice is needed and most courses ensure that students get a high level of support from their tutors.
Online learning can also mean part-time learning so that nobody needs to be put off by the amount of time it can take to get a degree or take a course. A full-time degree course might be three or four years in length, depending upon the subject, but the courses can be taken over a longer period of time and the same result can be achieved. This is much more fitting if a student has a working or busy family life. Another benefit is that the student does not have to live in the same area as the college, and can even take courses with colleges abroad if desired.
The range of subjects that is on offer is also now much broader than it used to be, with IT training being just one of the options available alongside traditional academic subjects, such as history or literature. IT online training courses are designed to be easy to follow and offer qualifications that are not only recognized by employers but will give the student more exciting prospects in terms of choice of a future career.
Accessing learning materials
While some universities still send out hard copies of learning materials to students taking online courses, most opt to simply put them on the website or college intranet so that the student is able to access them as and when they wish. This means that coffee breaks can become more productive – studies have shown that learning in short bursts can be very beneficial.
Lectures may be presented in the form of written notes, although many colleges and universities are choosing to record lectures in either audio or video format that allows students to stream them online or download as a podcast.
One of the most important aspects of college life is the chance to meet other students, make friends and talk about courses. This can still be possible for online learners as most universities have forums where students can chat online and make friends.
Universities need the right systems in place to facilitate online learning. See how online learning tools like TOPYX® learning management system are changing how students gather, interact and learn. Request a free LMS demo today.
Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications