In recent years the option to study online has been increasing in popularity. Then with the COVID-19 Pandemic restricting student access to on campus study, more and more education providers and students are choosing the online study option for many reasons.
Here at Monarch Institute, even before many of us knew what the word coronavirus was, we’ve been offering flexible online study options across a range of courses and industries. As leaders in the field, we thought we’d share with you some of the benefits, and how you can make the most of studying online.
Advantages of online learning
There’s plenty of great benefits associated with studying online, and from our experience we’ve noticed that each individual student will discover different benefits that are applicable to their own personal life.
But for now let’s take a look at some of the main advantages that most students will find they could relate to.
Flexibility over your own time
Studying online provides a greater degree of flexibility. Which is a huge benefit to students who require a little extra wiggle room due to other commitments and busy lifestyles.
Online learning providers usually save recordings of the classes, lectures, and other learning materials to their online learning platform. This means students can access their study material and self-pace their study, while caring for their kids, fitness routines, attending appointments, and going to work. Without having to schedule their commitments around their class times and study commitments.
Control your own study environment
In addition to the benefit of time flexibility, online study also provides students with freedom of choice over their study environment.
The options are endless. Enjoy a hot coffee while accessing your online learning platform or get cosy and watch your lectures from the comfort of your own room.
Being able to create your own learning environment would be a desirable benefit for any student, but increasingly so for those students that may have disorders such as Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students may find that learning on campus is distracting, over stimulating, or even somewhat triggering and overwhelming.
Some education providers have reported a rise in student engagement during their online Zoom classes as it may be easier and less intimidating for students to speak up as opposed to when class is in a busy lecture hall where there could be potentially hundreds of people.
Freedom to access materials from any location
The entirety of your course materials, aside from any prescribed textbooks, can be accessed by you on the providers online platform.
This means that no matter where you are or what time it is, so long as you have a laptop, iPad, or PC, and an internet connection you’ll be able to access your online study.
Essentially, you’re able to take trips, move house, and change locations without it having an immediate impact on your ability to attend study.
Online qualifications are often more affordable. You’ll save on costs of the actual online program as well as travel and housing expenses. So go on, treat yourself, you can afford that avo on toast!
But don’t worry. You’ll still get the same high-quality education that on campus students receive, just at a lower expense.
Why? Because the overheads for online study are lower. On campus study may come with all the excitement of a large building, a bustling campus and dorm parties, but they all come at a cost.
When factoring in the cost of on-campus tuition, the maintenance costs of the grounds, printing costs, and administration expenses, are all included. Because online courses have no physical presence at a campus, these expenses aren’t attached to the online student’s tuition costs.
Online study allows you to advance your career while studying, without having to take time off work to do so.
Studying online allows you to save those hard earned annual leave hours and progress in your career simultaneously, because you’re able to work from home in your own time.
The impact of COVID-19 has seen a push in employers offering professional ‘trainee’ positions in industries that would have otherwise required you to have completed your degree before applying.
Some businesses are offering ‘apprentice or trainee type’ positions, allowing students to earn money, gain physical experience in the job they’re dreaming of, and continue their studies online.
Alternatively, advance your career and earn brownie points with your employer by studying an online master’s degree, or updating your skill set with alternate online courses.
Challenges of online study
In order to successfully complete an online course of study, you’ll need to have a specific skill set. But never fear, this is a skill set you’ll develop over the course of the program without realising it.
Remember, your education provider wants you to succeed. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask your trainer for some help, after all, that’s what they’re there for.
As for that required skill set that we were talking about? Let’s take a look.
For some, being a self-discipline master comes naturally. For others however, it’s a skill they’ll have to develop.
So, what actually is self-discipline?
It’s your ongoing ability to have control over your own emotions and actions, your ability to stick to plans and routine.
Some tips that’ll help you improve from self-discipline trainee to self-discipline master are as follows:
Know your weaknesses
- Identify how you might slip up.
- Determine how you might proactively combat these weaknesses and prevent yourself from slipping up.
- Don’t set the bar too high. This could have detrimental effects on your confidence.
- Set smaller goals and be patient.
Remember why you started
- Repeat, repeat, repeat, remind yourself fortnightly, weekly, daily if you need to.
- Why did you start in the first place and what will you have achieved by the time you finish?
Look at your goals everyday
- Write down what your goals are, create a vision board, print images, and put it somewhere that you can see it every day.
- Set reminders, messages, or motivational quotes from people you admire in your phone to encourage you to keep going.
- Organise your tasks and prioritise them in order of what’s worth dedicating the most amount of time and effort to down to which requires the least.
- Set yourself a study plan. This will reduce the probability of you procrastinating.
- If you set the tasks you like the least at the top of your to-do list you might be surprised to find how relieved and successful you feel when they’re finished.
Tell your friends and family
- You’re less likely to slack off if you have people holding you accountable or watching.
Find what motivates you best
The ability to act and take initiative in completing tasks and pursuing goals is known as motivation. It’s what pushes you to keep on going even when the going gets tough.
When you first set out toward achieving a goal it can be easy to feel motivated, determined, and full of vitality. But in the long run you’ll need to be disciplined and persistent if you want to remain consistent.
If you’re losing track and need to find your motivation, how exactly do you do that?
Keep your distractions to a minimum. This can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and allows you to breathe.
Break down big goals into smaller ones. This makes it easier to make progress.
Have a support network. Having a group of people around you that see you, support you, and help you stay positive is essential.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Every educational provider has a committee designed specifically to help you with your studies.
Remember, they want you to succeed!
It might feel like you can’t afford to rest because you have deadlines to meet, or tasks to complete. But rest is essential to keep your motivation strong!
Celebrate your achievements. Get your assignment in on time? Complete the task you didn’t want to do? Celebrate!
When you have goals to achieve it can be easy to lose track of your progress and overlook the goals you have achieved already.
Create a visual aid that represents your progress and put it somewhere you can access it easily.
Although many educational platforms had already been introducing flexible study methods, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to study from home, or study online has become more possible than ever.
It has its advantages and challenges for sure, but for those who may have contemplated study in the past but haven’t been able to sacrifice one of their other commitments, or had other issues with attending on campus, then online study may be the perfect solution to your dilemmas.
Here at Monarch Institute, all of our courses are online based and you can check out the course options online. Our courses are developed for the real world. With leading academics and industry associations contributing to the content, you get the quality you need for the best career opportunities. And our brilliant trainers work with corporate leaders to give our students the best outcomes.