Here are five reasons why online learning can be more effective than enrolling in a face to face training course.

 

#1. Students learn more than they do in traditional courses

IBM have found that participants learn five times more material in online learning courses using multimedia content than in traditional face to face courses.

Because online courses give students full control over their own learning, students are able to work at their own speed. Generally students work faster than they would do otherwise and take in more information. They are able to move faster through areas of the course they feel comfortable with, but slower through those that they need a little more time on.

 

#2. Retention rates are higher with online learning

Many offline courses struggle to retain students throughout the length of the course. The Research Institute of America have found that this is not the case with eLearning. Rather, online courses have increased student retention rates from anything from 25% to 60%.

It’s been suggested that more engaging multimedia content, more control over how they take in the material and less likelihood of classes clashing with other commitments all contribute to this rise.

 

#3. Online learning requires less of a time investment

Many students are put off enrolling in a face to face course due to the time investment it will require. This generally involves the time to get back and forth to classes, plus the time spent waiting for tutors and other students. A Brandon Hall report on eLearning within corporations found that this style of learning typically requires 40-60% less employee time than learning in a traditional classroom setting.

It’s also key to note that eLearning options generally allow students to split the time they are investing in the course in whichever way works for them. They don’t need to be able to dedicate large chunks of time to the course: it’ll work just as well if they can set aside half an hour from their lunch break each day.

 

#4. More frequent assessments can reduce distractions

One of the great things about online courses is that assessment can become more of an ongoing process. This is good news for students as interspersing multimedia content and learning materials with regular short tests can improve student engagement. In fact, research from Harvard showed that using these short, regular tests halved student distraction, tripled note-taking and students’ overall retention of the content improved.

It’s also worth noting that the mort often students are assessed, the better their tutors are able to keep track of their progress. Increased student tracking means that tutors are able to step in earlier when assistance is needed.

 

#5. eLearning is the greener option

Online learning is certainly the more effective option for students, but it’s also better for the environment.The Open University in Britain have found that online courses equate to an average of 90% less energy and 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than traditional in person courses.

This certainly makes online learning and multimedia content a more effective method of education overall. Promoting and engaging in this kind of learning can help both individuals and corporations to do their bit for the environment and stick to their own personal environmental goals.

Interested in finding out more about the most effective way to learn languages? eLearning courses utilise high quality multimedia content to increase student understanding and provide an impressive virtually immersive experience.

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The Facts and Figures About Online Learning

  • More than 6 million students are currently in online courses as part of their higher education program
  • Almost half of all students enrolled in online courses are educated exclusively through distance education
  • 85% of students think that online learning is the same or better than the traditional classroom experience
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Resources for Online Learning

In general, when taking an online degree program you might encounter resources like:

  • EBooks;
  • Journals;
  • Videos;
  • Recorded lectures;
  • Quizzes;
  • Discussion forums
  • Live Q&A sessions; and
  • Interviews.

The resources offered to you for learning online will depend on the institution where you take your online program. Some online learning programs may require you to order physical textbooks in advance by in the mail, but these are generally being phased out in favor of eBooks and online-only methods of delivery.

For those institutions that have made the transition to using 100% online resources, students can expect to study using a combination of cutting-edge technological resources with no need to travel to attend lectures, exams or in-person discussion sessions!

Taking an online learning program, you’ll be an officially registered student at your institution and have access to the same resources as an on-campus student, like your institution’s digital library, learning management system (like Blackboard), student union membership and more! An online degree is similar to taking a degree program on campus, but you have the freedom to direct your own study schedule. 

Your school and your course instructor will determine the format for each individual course and will select delivery methods that are best suited to your course or program. What a Biology major needs to learn successfully online will differ from what an Art History major needs!

Online learning may be a completely new experience for you. If you’re coming from a more traditional learning background, read on to discover how to make the most of the resources you may encounter in your online learning journey!

  • eBooks, textbooks & journals

These written materials are essential resources in almost every course you’ll take when learning online.

Using the reading list for each course, or on the advice of your course instructor, you’ll need to dedicate the amount of time you need to reading and understanding the topics in the literature. The main advantage of using this medium (particularly eBooks) is the fact that they are completely portable, allowing you to study on the go from your computer, phone or tablet.

Pro tip:

When you’re researching a course or program, remember to check whether your textbooks are included in your tuition fees! You may have to pay extra for your textbooks, or they may be available as eBooks from your institution’s library.

  • Recorded lectures

An essential way of absorbing a large amount of information in a relatively short amount of time, lectures are a staple of online and campus-based learning. With online learning, you can attend lectures from your bedroom!

Pro tip:

If you can, make notes throughout your lectures; this will make it easier to review for exams, and any assignments you’ll need to complete throughout your course.

  • Interactive sessions

The greatest challenge an online education provider faces is how to replicate the face-to-face interaction and in-person discussions that on-campus institutions can easily provide.

The solution? Online degree programs often use a combination of discussion forums and interactive question-and-answer sessions to give you the interaction with other students and instructors you need.

Pro tip:

Before beginning an online discussion forum or interactive session, make sure you read the rules and requirements; some institutions may require you to create posts that have a minimum word count.

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How Will Online Learning Be Delivered?

Online students often think that their learning resources will be delivered via email, or even by snail mail! Most online institutions are moving away from this unreliable method of delivery.

The course or module’s learning resources will be delivered via the institution’s online learning environment or platform. The learning platform will vary depending on the software used, but it will usually consist of a central online platform that students can access from their personal PC, mobile or tablet.

One of the major benefits of utilizing resources that are hosted entirely online is unending flexibility!

As an online student, you can choose to access your course information and complete your assignments at any time. This allows you to fit study time in around your work, family and other commitments. This also means that students who wish to continue working while studying do not have to put their careers on hold. Get the best of both worlds!

 

How is Online Learning Assessed?

Students taking a degree program or an individual course online will still be tested at regular intervals throughout their study period to assess their understanding of the course materials.

For those new to online education, this process can be intimidating. But there’s no need to worry! Online institutions are experienced professionals, they’ll ensure that your assessments are fair, comfortable, and designed to help you make the most of your learning experience.

Discover the assessment types you’re likely to encounter when taking an online degree program or course:

  • Individual Assignments

These are probably the method of assessment that students will have the most experience with. For each assignment, you’ll receive your topic, deadline and word count. You’ll be required to produce a structured, reasoned argument within the boundaries set out by your course instructor.

  • Discussion activities

Face-to-face discussions between friends and colleagues is something that we all do every day. However, an online academic discussion requires a different set of skills, and might not come as naturally when your first start your online learning journey. Not to worry, you’ll get the hang of it!

These activities will differ depending on the institution, but your course instructor will generally start each discussion off with a question or topic for debate. Students then need to research the topic and post their responses to the task demonstrating their own knowledge and understanding. Often, you’ll end up in a debate with the ideas and views posted by fellow students.

  • Journal activities

Like discussion boards, journal activities tend to be specific to online courses. A journal entry is an ongoing update giving you the opportunity to reflect back on what you’ve learned during the period under review, and how you’ll apply what you’ve learned in the future. Online learning doesn’t take place in classrooms, and journal entries are straightforward ways for course instructors to get a grasp of how you’re progressing through the course and if you’re gaining knowledge in the right areas.

Unlike other assignments, it is acceptable to use a subjective, personal style of writing in journal entries and refer to yourself in the first person. Think, “Over the last week, I’ve learned how to …” Journal entries are often required, but ungraded – be genuine!

  • Exams

Although they can be nerve-wracking, exams are a key way to test your learning.

Institutions may choose to allow students to complete their exams on their own personal computer, in a location of their choosing. Because tutors have no way to oversee a virtual exam or test, they are typically open-book and open-note. As a viable alternative, many institutions will offer the option of completing ‘take-home’ examinations in the form of an essay or final assignment. Some institutions may use exam software like virtual proctors, or tools to monitor if you visit new webpages.

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