Distance learning courses have become increasingly popular with both companies and individuals. The Higher Education Academy reported that employers favoured distance learning as a way of delivering career-related study.
Investing in staff training encourages distance learning courses is not only beneficial for employee development, it also delivers real, lasting benefits to a business. It can however cost a lot of money and time – luxuries many businesses cannot afford.
Let’s explore the benefits of distance learning and how this can offer a valuable solution to both employers and employees.
Time is an asset many businesses don’t have enough of and taking staff away from the office can be a struggle. Employers are hesitant, or sometimes reluctant, to allow their employees a few hours out of the office to attend training sessions. The distance learning model circumvents the need to attend classes at a set time every week; employees can fit learning around existing professional responsibilities and gain a new qualification.
One barrier for employee training is often the financial cost; small business budgets mean that staff training is often the first thing to be cut. A very important advantage to distance learning is its cost-effectiveness; distance learning courses provide the same level of higher level learning opportunities as with larger companies, but at a fraction of the cost and with no travel costs or time.
Your employees are arguably your organisation’s most valuable asset. Training can improve business performance and profit by ensuring your staff are up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the business landscape. Distance learning programmes offer your employees the chance to develop their skills and knowledge, which gives them the tools to do their jobs to the best of their ability and therefore increases their contribution to the business.
Want your staff to stay? Make training a priority. Investing in staff training not only encourages employee engagement and motivation but it also creates a sense of loyalty to the organisation. Showing that you are willing to invest in your employees makes them feel valued – happy, focused workers tend to stay with their employers.
In-Company Training with Online Business School
Online Business School has developed in-company training courses which are mapped against OFQUAL RQF credits and provide access to top up university programmes. Companies can purchase access to the materials for their staff and the materials can be used as standalone CPD resources and can of course be supported by live training or mentoring. Read more here.
Online study can be daunting, especially since in many cases it is the student’s first experience with distance learning. With this in mind, we have put together some useful tips to help you get the most out of online learning.
Online learning students must take a more active role in learning than traditional students. As online learners have the flexibility to study when suits, it is a good idea to set aside a time frame for studying every week. Sticking to this schedule will make it easier to organise your studying and help you to become more disciplined.
Where you study is just as important as what you study. Numerous studies have found that the place in which you study affects how you’ll remember that information. It can be helpful to have a space set aside to help you concentrate on your work – it must be comfortable, peaceful and full of natural light. If you can’t find an ideal space in your home, escape to the local library or an internet café.
It is a common misconception that distance learners study in isolation. The advancements in technology (forums, social networks etc.) have made it easier than ever for online learners to get in touch with other students on the same course. Connect with other students on your online course and exchange study ideas – collaboration often leads to great results.
When you’re struggling to motivate yourself, remind yourself why you chose to work towards this qualification. Is it for a new job, a different career or a promotion? Write down these reasons or make a vision board with images that represent how you feel about your aspirations. Look at them every day to remind yourself that each day is a day closer to your end goal.
Rewarding yourself is a great way to stay motivated and keep your spirits high. Buy yourself a little treat when you reach milestones such as submitting work or passing an assignment – they will give you a sense of achievement and progress.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.