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Online universities specialise in distance learning, they allow you to earn your degree anytime and anywhere from your home, workplace, library or study centre.
They are suitable for both young new students and experienced mature ones who want to advance their education. They are an innovative learning solution for self-starters and ambitious people who really want to learn, and are perfect for anyone who wants to achieve their goals and fulfil their potential. Classes are designed to harness the power of the Internet and technology without lowering academic teaching standards. The subjects available online range from business and technology to health sciences, fire sciences, legal studies, nursing, education and much more.
Students will become part of a growing academic community that interacts with the course tutors and other students in a virtual learning environment.
Upon graduation you will get a well respected qualification and gain a competitive edge in the jobs market, all of which will give you a worthwhile advantage in today's global economy.
By widening the participation of people in education and making higher education resources available to more people, online learning has a much wider catchment area that most other forms of higher education.
Online courses are just as valued as campus based courses
These days qualifications gained at a online university are identical to those gained through on-campus study, and are just as respected and recognised. The sector has finally overcome scepticism about its ability to provide a learning experience for students equal in quality to that enjoyed by full-time students in conventional institutions.
How online university classes are taught
Today online courses are more than just reading pages of text on a computer screen. You will receive a high quality education through live lectures and interactive tutorials, online discussions, video chats and multimedia presentations - all designed for a truly interactive online learning experience.
Online study requires just as much work as traditional courses, you'll need to complete the same number of modules, and undertake any necessary work placement or additional training that forms part of the course.
You keep in contact with your teacher and other students, through email, phone, online forums, real-time group discussions, collaborative projects and study groups.
Key points to note about online university courses
- You will need a computer with high speed internet access.
- All course assessment tasks occur or are submitted online.
- Course materials can be delivered through university websites or via email.
- You will always be able to email or telephone tutors directly to ask them advice or information.
Enrolling at a online university will help students to
- Gain a career changing qualification.
- Build up their confidence.
- Improve their study skills.
Studying at a online university is ideal for
- Disabled people who have limited mobility.
- Anyone working full time.
Tutors on online university courses
- These will be experienced instructors drawn from the fields they teach.
Tips for studying online
- You have to be focused and disciplined to a high level.
- Work out how much time you need to devote to lessons and homework, and then make those hours a fixed part of your weekly schedule. The aim is to get into a study routine where you have fixed times for revising.
- Establish a formal study place area in your home or office. Make is as real as possible so that it has a classroom feel.
- Keep all your study material like books, folders and pens in your study area. This will help you to keep more organised.
- Have your study area in a quiet place where there are no distractions from say televisions, mobile phones, pets or children playing.
- Organise your work by keeping folders, notebooks and documents in a simple filing system.
- Make the effort to create friendships with other online students. This will help you to stay motivated and up to date with what is going on.
- Understand how online studying works. For instance find out when you have to submit essays by, access discussion groups, contact instructors and access library facilities.
- To keep motivated give yourself rewards for completing projects, revising or submitting work.
Benefits of an online university
The main benefits are firstly that employers now recognise the value of online qualifications and accept them in the same way that traditional qualifications are accepted. Secondly degrees are designed to let you fit study around your work and schedule whilst still meeting the highest academic standards. Apart from these the other core benefits are;
- You access the course when it is convenient for you.
- Allow under-represented groups access to higher education.
- Ideal for isolated communities and rural communities where there is no easy or quick access to colleges or universities.
- Ideal for people who may feel daunted or put off by the prospect of going to a residential university.
- Many different courses to choose from in a wide range of disciplines.
- Superb networking opportunities.
- Benefit from a collaborative learning environment, expert faculty, and high-quality programs.
- They are a excellent forum for online networking and international collaboration.
- Get round the clock 24/7 technical assistance through proven and easy-to-use software.
- There is no need to commute, thereby saving you time and money.
Disadvantages of an online university course
- You can miss out on many of the social elements usually associated with a brick-and-mortar college.
Setting yourself realistic goals
It is vital that you recognise your capacity and limitations and set yourself goals that you really can achieve. It is also important that you work at a pace that suits you and do not try to do everything at once.