As an increasing number of people become comfortable with technology, more and more people are deciding to study online. Virtual learning has several exciting benefits, making it an excellent choice for people studying everything from short courses to advanced diplomas and degrees.
That said, whether online learning is suited to you will depend entirely on how you like to learn. Some individuals thrive in a self-motivated, independent online learning environment, whereas others love the motivation and accountability a collaborative face-to-face setting offers.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the core benefits of online learning and explain why a digital course may (or may not) be the right choice for you.
How does online learning work?
Online learning is just as it sounds. It involves studying, revising, communicating and completing learning and assessments entirely online.
There is no one size fits all approach to online learning. Some courses are taught in virtual seminars on a rigid schedule. Others are self-paced and entirely self-taught. The learning style depends on the course you’re taking, the education provider, and the complexity of the content.
Most online lesson content is delivered in varied formats, such as videos, audio clips and text documents. Some online courses may also include live webinars to facilitate real-time discussions.
Assignments may be delivered and marked manually by your instructor. Alternatively, they may be automatically graded, providing you with instant feedback.
Here are the Top 13 benefits of studying online
There are many obvious pros of digital learning. Let’s look at 13 key benefits that come from studying online.
1) Working to your own schedule
Virtual learning is all about flexibility. If you work full-time, have family responsibilities or have personal obligations that make it difficult for you to travel to a classroom each day, online courses are a great way to study on your own schedule.
While many in-person classes also offer flexible learning opportunities, it can be difficult to juggle your studies if you have a lot on your plate. Online learning is structured around the availability of students, meaning you can study whenever it suits you.
If attending an in-person class for the day isn’t an option, online learning lets you break your work into manageable chunks, so you can always work your studies around other commitments.
2) Working at your own pace
Studying online allows you to work through course content at a speed that suits you. If you’d prefer to commit extra time to your studies and work through content quickly, digital learning allows you to do so.
Alternatively, if you’d like more time to work through a challenging module, you can study content at a slower pace. This gives you extra time to grasp and revise key concepts. If you thrive on independence and love working at your own pace, online learning is an excellent way to stay in control of your training.
3) Unlimited access to course materials
On-campus learning is an excellent way to pick up hands-on skills and practical knowledge. That said, if you’re an individual that likes to read and reread course content to build your understanding of key topics, an online course is a great way to do so.
If you miss any critical information in a virtual seminar, you can re-listen to the lecture whenever you want. Your online instructor can also be available to offer advice via email or a live call.
In need of a refresher before a big test? Online learning allows you to revisit all course material as much as you like, so you’re always ready to take on key assignments.
4) Study from wherever you are in the world
Online programs let you work through course content anytime, anywhere.
Whether you want to study while away with work, catch some sun at a local café, or get some peace from noisy roommates, online classes let you learn from anywhere in the world.
All you need to get started is a stable internet connection. Once you log in to your learning platform, you can attend lectures, review course materials and complete assignments on the go.
5) Cost savings
Studying online can be a great way to save money while you learn.
Online courses are typically cheaper than in-person classes because the costs required to organise and run them are lower.
Additionally, digital learning is more cost-effective because online learners don’t need to pay for housing or transport. If you’re looking to cut costs while you build your expertise, an online environment is a great way to get certified for less.
6) Opportunities for collaboration
Many people imagine online learning to be solitary and independent, but this doesn’t have to be the case. While in-person lessons offer an excellent opportunity to meet people face-to-face, digital technology provides new and innovative ways to connect that can’t be achieved in a traditional classroom.
Whether sending emails back and forth, joining a course discussion forum with your course-mates or scheduling a one-to-one with your training program leader, the online format provides opportunities to meet, network and collaborate with like-minded people worldwide.
7) Technical skills development
With so many jobs across Australia now emphasising technical skills and remote collaboration, an online class is an excellent opportunity for learners to get to grips with the virtual world.
Online learning lets you get comfortable with new software, practice virtual collaboration, and build an understanding of technology. With many businesses now incorporating technology into their daily operations, there’s no better time to develop your technical skills in an online environment.
8) Networking opportunities
With online learning, you have the opportunity to meet hundreds of people from different walks of life.
Although in-person learning is the best way to make valuable friendships and professional connections, online learning platforms let you connect with people worldwide. This gives you the perfect opportunity to build a diverse network of like-minded individuals, providing you with exciting collaborative and professional development opportunities.
An online program offers an excellent way for eco-conscious online students to study in an environmentally friendly setting. When you learn at home, you’ll use less fuel, print less paper, use less energy and reduce plastic waste during mealtimes.
While many on-campus learning centres are taking essential steps to reduce their emissions, studying at home is an easy way to be confident you’re doing your part for the environment.
10) Personalised education opportunities
While many students love taking a hands-on approach in an on-campus setting, some find it tough to learn in collaborative in-person environments. Online learning lets you tailor your course experience to suit your needs.
You may prefer to learn independently instead of in a group. Perhaps you prefer to work late in the evening. Even if you simply want to study outdoors when the weather is nice, online learning lets you personalise your learning experience to meet your needs.
11) Build time management skills
Online learning is all about self-discipline and time management. You are required to set your own schedule, complete tasks at your own pace and manage your time productively. You will learn how to work independently, collaborate as part of a team, and build on your problem solving skills.
A self-paced online learning program isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you thrive in a structured in-person learning environment, consider opting for one of our accredited in-person courses.
12) Instant feedback
When completing coursework and assessments in a traditional classroom setting, you may need to wait for an extended period of time to get their results back. With online learning, many assessments are marked and graded automatically.
Your instructor can send you detailed feedback at any time, meaning you don’t need to wait until the next class to find out how well you did on a test.
13) Career advancement opportunities
Just like in-person learning, online education offers several exciting opportunities for career advancement. This makes it an excellent option for those who want to start a new career or move into an advanced position in their current role.
Many accredited courses by Universities and Vocational Education Providers are now delivered 100% online. Some of these courses are essential for your professional growth based on your industry.
Accredited online courses, like those from Sage Education, are an excellent way to get an edge over the competition. To learn more, visit our course pages, or contact us to discuss your options.
Is online learning right for me?
Deciding whether to choose online learning or classroom learning can be tough. It’s important to consider how you like to learn best, what you hope to achieve, and how much time you’re willing to commit to your course.
If you are a disciplined, self-motivated individual but don’t have the time to travel to a campus or training centre, online learning can be an excellent way to advance your career.
Additionally, for people that prefer to work at a slower pace, online learning offers many opportunities for students to work through content at a speed that suits their needs.
That said, online learning isn’t for everyone. If you prefer face-to-face contact or want the additional accountability and motivation that comes from a classroom setting, in-person learning may be right for you.
Face-to-face learning is ideal for you if you want to improve your time management skills by studying in a a structured environment. You may struggle to study online if you like physical human interactions.
When enrolling for an online course, be sure to check what you’ll learn, how you’ll learn and how long the course will take. It’s essential to have clear expectations about what you want to get out of your studies so you can choose a learning style that’s right for you.
Where can I find online courses?
Sage Education is one of Australia’s leading providers of accredited certifications. Since our launch in 1998, we’ve helped over 4000 graduates start relevant careers in rewarding industries.
We offer a range of online learning Certificate III, Certificate IV and diploma courses. All of our courses are fully accredited, meaning they are valuable certifications that count as recognised qualifications on your resume.
Whether you need some extra time to spend with friends and family, work a full-time job, or just want some time for yourself, our selection of online courses can be adapted to meet your needs.
Still not sure whether an online learning environment is right for you? We also offer a range of in-person and blended learning programs. Our face-to-face classes are perfect for those that enjoy in-person learning.
However you learn best, our selection of accredited, nationally recognised courses can help you gain the career-ready skills and practical expertise you need to thrive in a vocational role.
Want to learn more about the courses we offer? Get in touch today. Our team of helpful advisers is on hand to help you find your perfect course.