Online learning is growing in popularity year-on-year with the number of students enrolled in online education continuing to rise. However, many students are unfamiliar with online education which has led to the proliferation of several myths about this mode of learning.
Below are five myths about online learning, let’s separate the fact from the fiction.
Myth 1: Online courses are easier than face-to-face courses
This is a common misconception about online learning. Although online courses are designed for flexibility and convenience, they still have the same expectations as face-to-face courses; online students are still working towards a degree which does not mean the content will be any less challenging. Online students are free to choose when and where they study, but they still have the same amount of work to do, essays to write and exams to pass.
Myth 2: Online courses are low quality
This couldn’t be further from the truth; online courses are held to the same standard as traditional face-to-face courses. Online learning institutions must go through a rigorous certification process to ensure they understand the academic standard that all online courses must meet. Their programmes must maintain high academic stands to keep their accreditation.
Myth 3: Online students never communicate with a lecturer
Learning online does not mean you’re left alone in your self-study environment. While online students may not meet their tutors in person, they do have the opportunity to interact with them. Students are encouraged to contact tutors by phone, e-mail, Skype or during online webinars.
Myth 4: Online learners do not interact with other students
This is false; online learning is not an isolated activity. Online courses encourage students to engage in ‘social learning,’ whereby students are expected to interact with their peers in discussion forums and take part in group projects using web conferencing tools. Most course providers have apps which enable students from all corners of the world to work together and exchange ideas.
Myth 5: Online courses aren’t valued by employers
False again. Employers’ attitudes towards online education tend to be positive as online programmes have overcome the stigma they had ten years ago. We’re in an era of educational transition, online learning has become a legitimate mode of learning and employers are moving with the times. Employers don’t dismiss the value of a degree based on its delivery mode, they recognise the commitment and discipline it takes to juggle multiple commitments to study for an online degree.
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Do you ever forget to take care of yourself?
When life gets busy, it can be difficult to find the time to look after yourself but self-care is essential in helping you stay at the top of your mental and physical well-being.
The following ideas are self-care activities you can fit into a short amount of time, usually with little cost.
- Go for a walk
One of the best ways to relieve the stresses of the day is to simply walk them away. Walking triggers the release of endorphins, which work to relieve stress hormones and stimulate relaxation.
- Read a book
Take some time to unwind with a good book – reading is a wonderful (and healthy) way to escape the stress of daily life. Reading for just six minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels by 68%, according to new research.
- Take a digital detox
Technology has invaded our lives to the extent that we are constantly plugged in. Many of us can no longer focus on a simple task without reaching for our phones. Choose a weekend and try to unplug from technology – no phone, computer, laptop etc. Or if that seems too difficult, try setting aside 30 minutes for technology breaks. Temporarily disengaging from emails, social media, and the internet is a wonderful way to recharge.
- Take a nap
Taking an afternoon nap can reduce the amount of stress hormones present in the body so you’ll wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Research has indicated that a daily nap of between 20 and 90 minutes before 4:00 pm will also increase your mental performance.
- Listen to music
Listening to music can have a relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, it lowers blood pressure, reduces muscle tension and decreases the levels of stress hormones. A slower tempo can help to clear your mind, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day.
An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a Master’s degree designed to develop the skills required for a career in business or management. Many busy professionals are opting to study for their MBA online as it is the most flexible option; reading material and assignments are administered over the internet and completion can take as little as 18 months or as much as three years. Here are the top benefits to earning your MBA online.
- Greater flexibility
The best part about an online MBA is the flexibility to balance your studies with your career and family. You can fit your MBA education around your own schedule, so that you can study at your own pace without having to attend classes,
One of the most obvious benefits of studying the MBA online is that you can study from anywhere, at any time, whether at home or on the move. Online MBA programmes are 100% online and asynchronous, which means there are no fixed times to be online, and you can complete work at the time that is best for you.
- Lower cost than traditional university
Online MBA programmes offer excellent value for money. Tuition for an online education is considerably cheaper than traditional education because there are no infrastructure costs required. Aside from base cost of the degree, online learners save money because they don’t have to pay for university accommodation or commute to class.
- No GMAT requirements
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is not required for admissions onto an online MBA programme, which means that students can move forward with their MBA without worrying about entrance exams.
- International opportunities
Online MBAs attract students from all over the world, which enriches the course with the knowledge and differing viewpoints of a diverse demographic. It provides the opportunity to connect with students and professionals in international settings and offers business immersion opportunities.
Earning an online degree is a positive experience for most students. While online learning doesn’t suit everyone’s learning style, the vast majority of today’s students thrive in an online environment. So how do you know if an online degree is right for you? Here are four sure-fire signs that online learning could be the right path for you.
- You need flexibility
Online learning is an ideal choice if you want to study but you need to juggle multiple priorities. You want to work studying around your schedule and need a course that is flexible enough to supplement your life outside the classroom. Many online learners enrol on distance learning courses so they can balance their education with family responsibilities and work commitments.
- You are proactive
Online students must be proactive learners who are motivated to study on their own initiative without needing direction. Online courses promote autonomous learning, which means there is less direct guidance. Online learners are required to take a proactive approach to their studies; they seek out information and research around their topic. If you’re a self-starter with a strong desire to learn, an online degree could suit your learning style.
- You are self-disciplined
Online courses require more self-discipline and independence than on-campus courses. There is a lot of freedom and flexibility with online learning, which requires you to stay focused and manage your time effectively. You set your own study schedule and learn at your own pace, which puts you in control of your own learning process. Those who are self-disciplined, motivated and organised get the most from online learning.
- You have strong reading and writing skills
Strong reading and writing skills are critical to success in an online course as nearly all communication is written. Most of the material in the online environment comes from text-based tools such as virtual lectures, eBooks and discussion forums. Unlike campus education, online courses generally rely on written work for assessment purposes. If you’re comfortable expressing yourself in writing, then online learning is a good match for you.