Online learning continues to surge in popularity, not just because of us all staying at home more. Several factors play a part. Notably, how distance learning better fits modern life. Especially given the average American now spends 24 hours a week online.
Online learning can also reduce costs for students. And, as institutions look into how to engage students in online learning, data offers invaluable information. Analysts can use this to learn how to optimize curriculums for greater engagement.
This remote style of learning is already well-embedded in workplaces. Pharmaceutical and fin-tech companies often use module-based online learning as core training. The sort of training required by their regulatory bodies, and necessary for staff to complete as part of their onboarding.
As for how to do a job, getting trained on this is no longer commonplace—learning on the job is. The more you can do to prepare yourself for that, with qualifications and autonomous learning, the more competitive edge you’ll have. Especially when you’re job hunting.
What does online learning mean?
So, what is online learning? Online learning means that you study remotely. It’s also referred to as called Distance Learning or E-learning. It’s an alternative way to study at university, and instead of going to classrooms, you study at home, or wherever you choose, via the internet. Classes, teaching materials, support, and assessments are all delivered online. Often, these are also recorded so they can be re-watched.
You’ll find everything from degrees, to short courses, and practice tests online. It’s important to look for credible places to study, so definitely do your research.
Why is online learning important?
Boil it right down and the answer is simple: change is constant. You must move with it.
The true beauty of online learning is that it lends itself perfectly to your lifestyle. By its very nature, it can fit around you.
Also, no longer are we taught how to do a job, it’s usually a case of figuring it out for yourself—and that’s where online learning can amplify your skills. In the same spirit, gone are the days when you pick one industry or role and stick to it for the rest of your life. It’s much more common—and accepted—to move from company to company, or even industry to industry. Keeping your skills up to date is essential if that’s the path you take.
The more you learn, the more you open your mind
Learning is a little like the continual need for money in life. For example, we spend dollars every day, so working means we replenish our funds. Similarly, we share our knowledge every day, and absorb new things as time progresses. It’s natural and instinctual, and the more we expand our knowledge, the bigger our worlds become. The more you learn, the more you open your mind. Importantly, on a simple, human level, learning is healthy. Keeping the brain active can even play a part in staving off age-related cognitive and memory decline–you are never too old to learn.
What are the pros and cons of online learning?
Let’s start with the pros—and the biggest, most obvious one. Online learning means you can do it from anywhere, wherever you are in the world. And you can often do it at a time that suits you. Some lessons are pre-recorded, depending on the subject and format of what you choose to study. Some also give you homework to complete in your own time. This means you can go at your pace.
Next, It’s cost-effective. Classroom-based learning means no commuting. Driving, parking, relocating—it all adds up. And if you’re a parent, you may also have to factor in childcare for campus-based learning. These costs almost vanish when you learn online. You’ll also likely save on textbooks, with a lot of course material digitized.
And now, the cons …
There’s a social side to classroom learning that’s hard to recreate online. However, digital meeting software like Zoom has adopted a ‘rooms’ feature, where students can break into small groups. This can help people feel more connected. Here at Hult, we have students joining live classes online from all over the world and have managed to create a sense of community and teamwork through Virtual Breakout Rooms where students can chat, share, and learn in smaller peer-to-peer groups.
Next, self-motivation can be tricky with online learning. It requires good time-management, and an element of routine to keep going. With an increasing move to teaching online, professors, too are up-skilling. They’re continually looking into how to make online learning fun and more engaging. Reminding yourself why you’re doing the learning can be useful. Taking a walk ’round the block for air can often restore your motivation too. It’s about discovering what works for you.
Another thing to watch out for too is screen fatigue. It’s real. So take that walk ’round the block. Schedule breaks, installing blue light filters – like f.lux – on your screens can really help.
Where Hult sets the standard
Hult professors teach in state of the art tech-enabled classrooms. Intelligent speaker-tracking cameras capture professors and students every expression, as 360° ceiling microphones block out background noise for an immersive, interactive learning experience–on or offline.
You can now study everything from a degree to short courses online–and in almost any subject. Educational institutions are investing heavily in how to make online learning more engaging. Here at Hult, we designed our interactive virtual classrooms to make you feel like you’re in class, wherever you are. Why not check out our new range of online and hybrid programs today?