What are the advantages of online study compared to time spent in the traditional classroom?
Past generations in Australia originally only had the opportunity to study in a classroom environment, such as those still offered nationwide by TAFE higher education colleges and institutes. As time passed, correspondence courses became another option in many areas, and these were welcomed for some of the same reasons that now apply to online studying. Of course, this newer opportunity offers much more than the past alternative and is worthy of careful consideration.
Although every benefit doesn’t apply to each individual or set of circumstances, here are just five key points worth considering before reaching a decision:
- Not having to spend set times in a classroom environment offers a terrific degree of flexibility for those who want to study as an addition to holding down a job. The coursework can be scheduled to meet any deadlines, though a greater degree of flexibility is offered and in a way that suits each single individual and how they live their life. Study times can be melded into a plan that covers all other daily activities
- The range of subjects and options offered online is huge and varied. Classroom studying usually involves a set menu to pick from, in terms of both location and timing. Using online courses is a more a la carte choice, bringing the desired key subjects together into a completely personal learning plan
- Online courses can also be a terrific study option for those who have chosen, for whatever reason, to take a break from the workplace. This can mean that, when ready to return, previous skills have been updated or a range of new ones added thus enhancing future employment opportunities
- It’s much easier to cope with any other problems and yet still be able to study. Whether caused by personal circumstances or other causes, it’s not always possible to complete a classroom learning schedule. Again, the flexibility offered online allows such hurdles to be overcome
- They offer exposure to a wider range of teaching or learning styles, and a greater diversity of knowledge and skills. A classroom learning experience often relies on a single or limited number of tutors. Online courses can offer a much greater variety of expertise and experiences, leading to a wider breadth of knowledge. Often, this can then be further expanded through online networking possibilities with others who are seeking to develop their knowledge and skills in similar areas
Of course, across Australia, in strictly practical terms there are also many students in truly remote locations. Online courses offer an opportunity to match or better even the facilities or opportunities immediately on hand in larger towns and cities without either the transport or relocation worries.
A couple of thousand years ago the Greek philosopher Plutarch suggested that: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” In packed classrooms it can sometimes seem to be more of the former, online you have your own opportunity to develop the latter.