When you’re deciding what you want to do with your future, the decision between studying & online l earningor face to face is a big one. Naturally, you want to get the most out of your investment, and this means you should take your time with the decision.
Here are some differences between studying online vs face to face and some helpful tips to help you get the most out of an online education.
One of the main reasons online learning has become so popular in recent years is the flexibility it affords students. In many cases, you have much more control over your schedule when studying online, and this fits with modern lifestyles.
In the past, the majority of people would go to university straight out of high school and study full-time. Today, this has changed, and many people are coming to education at different stages in their lives.
This means they have to be able to schedule their learning around work, family commitments, and other things. When you’re bringing together a professor and a large class all in one place, there just isn’t that level of flexibility.
Different online courses will allow students varying levels of flexibility, so it’s worth putting in the time to find the course that suits your needs.
While the added flexibility of online studies can be a big bonus for students, there are also some drawbacks.
When you’ve got a classroom full of people all working towards the same goal and a professor who is there in person to keep you accountable, it can be very motivating. Ultimately, motivation has to come from yourself, though, and this is particularly true with online learning.
Coming home from a day’s work and having to open up your laptop to study isn’t easy. There are going to be lots of demands on your time, and when you’re sat at home on your own, it’s easy to think “not today.”
Studying online means you’ve got to take complete responsibility for motivating yourself, and this can be challenging for some people.
As you can imagine, the way you communicate with your professors and fellow students is slightly different with online degrees.
When you’re in a physical classroom, you have the opportunity to approach your professor and have a face-to-face conversation (something that’s no doubt very beneficial). With online studies, it’s slightly different, though.
You’re unlikely to ever get that real-life face-to-face interaction through online learning, but the alternative isn’t far off. Video conferencing technology is improving all the time, and today, you can communicate with your professors almost as if you’re in the room.
What’s important is that you’re active in your communication. You are not sat in a room with the professor, so instead, you might have to take a little bit more initiative and be proactive. Online teachers tend to be extremely reachable because they understand this is one of the challenges of learning online, so make the most of this by maximizing your communication skills.
Studying online might require you to use slightly different forms of communication, and it will also utilize different styles of learning.
In days gone by, education was all about a teacher standing in front of a class and lecturing. With time we’ve recognized that learning requires much more than this, and today’s classroom incorporates lots of different ways of learning.
Online courses are built off the back of these developments. They recognize the ability for technology and elements such as video and images to help the learning process.
Everyone learns in their own way, so whatever course you choose should utilize many different learning techniques. Both in-person and online education can do this to a high level.
Technology has moved on so quickly that now online courses can integrate different learning styles extremely seamlessly, helping all types of learners.
Feedback is an essential part of any education.
You need to be able to understand where you’re doing well and where you have room for improvement. This is where your relationship with the instructor is vitally important.
When you study in person, you have a clear link to the professor. You see them virtually every day and can easily approach them after class or during office hours.
While you don’t get that in-person connection with your teacher when studying online, there is still a lot of opportunity for personalized communication. Again, online teachers understand they can’t give that in-person feedback, so they make up for it by making themselves available.
You should be looking to make the most of virtual office hours to schedule one-on-one chats with your professor to get feedback. The great thing is, with the online element, you can make this work with your schedule.
The flexibility an online education offers doesn’t end with scheduling classes; it also transfers into your communication with teachers.
Flexibility allows for individualization.
In a face-to-face class, a teacher may be able to offer individual help to the odd student, but they’ve got to think about the needs of the entire class. With online learning, there’s much more scope for students to learn at their own pace, and this allows educators to give students the help they need when they need it.
Life isn’t always straightforward, and for some people, an in-person education doesn’t offer enough flexibility to account for this. Online studies can allow you to work at your own pace and even design your own study path in a way that’s much more difficult in traditional education.
Many people want to learn at their own pace, but when you’re in a classroom with 100 people, that’s not so easy. While online study does involve other students, it offers greater opportunities to work at your own pace, and this suits many students.
It goes without saying that you do need some basic digital skills to do an online course. However, they certainly don’t require high-level tech skills, and you will always have tech support to help you with any problems that you should encounter.
Digital skills are something you need where you are studying online or in-person, but of course, they are slightly more important to an online course. You will need to be able to log in to your online portal and access the course materials, so you will also need the right equipment.
Again though, you don’t need the latest and greatest laptop to do this. A simple laptop and basic internet connection should be enough for your to complete your degree.
If you are not comfortable with your digital skills, then this is a great opportunity to look to improve them. Most jobs require basic digital skills as well, so you’re practicing for your future.
When an instructor is teaching a large class of students, they have to be able to stay on-point and keep things moving smoothly and get their point across succinctly. This can cause lessons to become very formal and scripted.
Online courses can give the instructor a little bit more freedom and allow them to innovate in different ways. This can lead to new and exciting ways of learning and can add to your experience.
Good teachers are going to find ways of making their courses great, whether they’re online or in-person, but with online courses, they’ve got a little bit more time to incorporate technology and do different things.
As technology has improved, the quality of online education has increased, and today, you can find lots of innovative, industry-leading courses that are completely online.
For the reasons mentioned, online education is different from in-person studies, and it requires some slightly different skills.
Investing in your education is a great decision, but if you do choose to go with online study, then you’ve got to know how to get the most out of it. Here are some tips to help you succeed with your online degree.
There’s so much choice out there when it comes to online courses.
One of the reasons people choose to study online is because of the flexibility it offers, so make sure you take advantage of the wide variety of options to find the course that best suits your needs.
Choosing to study shouldn’t be an impulse decision, and it’s one you should put plenty of research into.
If you’re going to invest in improving your skills with something like an online MBA degree Accounting Principles, then make sure you get all the information you need to make an informed decision. One of the best things to look at is what alumni are saying about their experience, so use this info to help you decide what you want to do.
Studying for any degree isn’t easy, and this is certainly true with an online education.
You will likely be studying for your degree while balancing other work and life commitments, which can be a challenge. There will be some days when you wake up and just don’t feel like putting in the extra work, but it’s important to find ways through this.
A great way to do this is to set clear goals for the short-term, mid-term, and long-term.
If you’re setting SMART goals, then you always have something to work towards that can keep you inspired:
When things do get difficult, then you can always look back on your goals and see how far you’ve come. They remind you of why you started this journey and what more you’ve got to achieve.
How often do you see an advert where someone is studying or working from home, and they’re lying on their bed as if they’re on holiday?
If you are going to study for a degree, then you’ve got to take it seriously, and this means creating an environment where you can thrive. A big part of this is creating routines that allow you to get the most from your time.
Life can be complicated, especially if you’re working full time or caring for family members, but you’ve got to be able to carve out time for your studies. If you don’t have set routines, then it can be extremely hard to stay disciplined. However, once you’re used to doing certain things at certain times, they tend to become a habit, and you don’t have to think about them as much.
One of the most important skills you need for any degree is time management, and good routines can be a great help in this area.
Communication is key to anything you do in life. If you’re not communicating well with the right people, then it’s going to be much more difficult to achieve your goals.
While your degree should help to facilitate good communication between you and your instructor, the responsibility ultimately lies with you. When you have doubts, questions, problems, then make sure you’re reaching out to the right people.
Your educational institution can have the best intentions for communication, but if you don’t use the services they offer, you only have yourself to blame.
It’s important that you’re active with your communication, and are open and honest with both yourself and the people who are there to help you. You’ll be surprised at what challenges you can overcome when you communicate and accept the help of others.
Studying online is clearly different from studying in person. Each has its pros and cons, but it’s generally the same skills that are going to allow you to be successful.
When it comes to choosing which option is best for you, it will come down to a personal feeling. Look at your goals, your life commitments, and learning preferences, and make sure you’re putting research into your decision.
Not all courses are created equal, and it is important you’re investing in a high-quality education, whether that’s online or in person.