Thousands of students are fulfilling their academic dreams by studying online – and you can too with help from Online Business School.
Looking for a good reason to study? To help inspire you, here are seven reasons you should start online learning right now.
Expanding your knowledge can make you feel good about yourself. When you are confident about your knowledge of a subject, you feel a personal sense of satisfaction and pride.
Higher education can provide a huge lift to a person’s self-esteem. Completing a degree is no small task, therefore it’s only natural that graduates should be extremely proud of their achievements. This boost in self-confidence can often propel graduates to apply for a new career and take on new challenges and opportunities.
Online learning requires strong self-reliance, self-motivation, time-keeping and organisational skills. As a result, online learning graduates can benefit from enhanced confidence in these areas that set them apart from traditional graduates.
Cost is often a barrier to education, but we offer competitive prices and flexible payment plans so you can invest in your future without breaking the bank. As you’re studying remotely, you won’t have to worry about additional accommodation or travel costs either.
When you study online, learning fits around your life, not the other way around. You can commit to a few hours in the morning, evenings or study in the weekend – whichever suits your personal schedule. Study from the comfort of your own home – no need to venture out on a wintry morning or miss the first twenty minutes of a lecture because of traffic.
Studying online means you don’t have to leave your job and uproot your life. It gives you the opportunity to up-skill in your chosen field and gain real world experience at the same time.
You can benefit from a wide range of student discounts and offers across many brands. Online Business School students are now eligible to purchase an NUS Extra Card.
What is EdTech?
Educational technology, often referred to as “EdTech,” is the study and practice for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological resources. In other words, EdTech is considered as the use of digital technology to engage learners in new and innovative ways.
How EdTech is transforming the learning landscape
The classroom of today looks markedly different to the classrooms of ten years ago; gone are the days of a single desktop computer in the corner of the classroom and teachers reliant on textbooks. Recent years have seen iPads and laptops fast becoming educational essentials with teachers turning to technology in an effort to enhance their lessons and keep students engaged. Today’s generation are digital natives who respond intuitively to technology so education is adapting to the way students learn best.
The impact of EdTech on online learning
It was inevitable, as technology has become more and more advanced, that online learning opportunities would grow. In fact, the advancements in technology have been a catalyst for improving the online learning landscape. According to a survey by the Online Learning Consortium, 77% of students believe that EdTech improves engagement with course materials. 94% of the University CIOs also agreed that digital curricular resources improve the learning experience for the student.
In what specific ways has EdTech made online university degrees more accessible? Here’s a closer look:
1. Widens access to higher education
Advancements in technology have enabled learning to move outside the classroom, which means that conventional university degrees are no longer the only way to learn. The rise of the internet means that students can learn from anywhere, whether that is at home, on the train or even on the beach. Online university degree programmes can overcome the boundaries of geography, time and money which makes higher education accessible to everyone, no matter where they are in the world.
2. Facilitates flexibility in education
The advances in remote-learning technology have made way for a change in the institutional form of university. EdTech has facilitated the learning experience; students aren’t bound to classrooms but instead have the flexibility to study on their own schedule. Some students are managing a complicated triangle of work, family, and school; new online learning methods mean they are not restricted to specific class hours, instead they can choose the day, time and place to study.
3. Overcomes financial concerns
Increasingly more students are finding it a challenge to afford the traditional university experience and with tuition fees constantly on the rise, prospective students look to be crippled by student loans debt for many years into their graduate life. The average UK graduate faces debts of £35,000 – £40,000 when they graduate from their university course; this level of expense is deterring students from following the conventional university path. Online learning degrees have become a strong alternative to face-to-face instruction as students are looking for ways to keep their tuition costs down. EdTech has played a fundamental role in relieving the financial burden associated with traditional education delivery with online learning degrees costing as little as a fifth of the price. Developments in technology have made it possible to access educational content online, which reduces the costs associated with traditional studying (including lecturers’ fees, textbooks and commuting costs).
4. Offers individualised learning
EdTech has changed the way people learn; the one-size-fits-all approach to education does not suit today’s learners. Higher education can now be tailored and personalised to accommodate the individual thanks to online learning degrees, which enable the student to progress through the course material at different speeds according to their needs.
We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Global Education Management Solutions (GEMS) which has enabled us to launch our online learning programmes in Iran.
Along with Undergraduate study programmes the Online Business School also provides affordable Postgraduate diploma courses with exclusive online modules fast tracking learners to a university qualification. All learning activities, materials and content are provided online using modern delivery models to make learning more engaging and cost-effective. On completion of a course, the student will gain university credits to then “top up” at one of OBS’s UK University partners, which include but are not limited to the University of Derby and University of Sunderland.
“We have been excited by the potential of the Iran student market for some time,” said John Holden, Managing Director at Online Business School. “We know there are high quality students with first class education backgrounds and this linkage will allow students some great options to develop their skills.”
At Online Business School, we believe in making education accessible for all irrespective of where you are in the world. With online learning, there are no geographical limitations or time constraints as the programmes are always readily available on any online device. As such, we have delivered online university pathway programmes with full Undergraduate and Postgraduate Diploma Awards to learners from all corners of the world.
“This is a great opportunity for Iranians to obtain internationally recognised qualifications from world class institutions at a quarter of the cost of face-to-face delivery,” added Dr Amir Saadati, Executive Director of GEMS. “It is also a chance for Iranian academic institutions to partner with us in order to attract international students to their institutions, raising the profile of education in Iran.”
One such institution who has partnered with GEMS is Mojtama Fani Tehran, the largest private college network in Iran with over 70 branches across the country. “While international qualifications have many benefits, perhaps the greatest benefit to Iranian students is the fact they can obtain world class qualifications without leaving the country, giving them the ability to excel and better compete with other job applicants on a global scale,” commented Mr Ali Rahimifard, Managing Director of Mojtama Fani Tehran.
We are pleased that the Mojtama Fani Tehran college network has recognised the benefits of online learning not only for students but also institutions across Iran. “This golden opportunity provides Iranian students with up-to-date and internationally recognised university qualifications at a fraction of the cost and the accessibility to study at their own pace,” added Mr Mohammadreza Darabi, project leader at Mojtama Fani Tehran. “Mojtama Fani Tehran is very proud to be the first private sector institution able to offer these programs in the country and we hope can serve as a stepping stone for Iranians to further excel in their professional careers.”
Distance learning can no longer be considered the preserve of working adults with many younger students now actively choosing this route. At one time distance learners were considerably older than the general population of students with online courses appealing most strongly to mid-career professionals. Recent years have however seen a rise in registrations from younger students which suggests that distance learning is becoming the preferred learning method for students of all ages.
Here are the three main reasons why prospective students are drawn towards this path of learning.
The dawn of the internet
Technological advances have succeeded in reshaping the educational experience for distance learners. New technology such as virtual lectures and interactive forums have enabled distance learning to establish itself as a dynamic learning model. Students can make video calls to their tutors or ask written questions, which suggests that distance learning can offer as much as face-to-face teaching. Students from all over the globe can enrol onto online learning courses as there are no geographical or time constraints. The growth of social media allows us to remain more connected than ever and has therefore eradicated the distance in the distance learning. With the availability of countless online communities and resources, it is now possible for all distance learners to interact and support one another.
Learn while you earn
Online learning is an appealing choice for cost-conscious students who want further education and good return on their investment. Increased tuition fees and living expenses mean that full-time university is not a viable option for all, whereas distance learning courses can cost as little as a fifth of the price of conventional university courses. Distance learning courses offer flexible payment options where you can pay as you study in monthly instalments which means that students can keep on top of the costs. This type of learning can give students the chance to learn and work at the same time which provides them with the opportunity to remain financially stable and gain work experience to boost their future career prospects.
Convenience and flexibility
The flexibility of distance learning makes it distinctive as students can fit their studying around their life. Many young students are attracted to this style of learning as they are given the freedom to study at their own convenience and pace. They can choose where and when they study – this is a flexibility which is hard to match. This is particularly valuable to those who cannot commit three years to a conventional university degree as they can shape the distance learning programme to suit their lifestyle.
Business schools have recognised the value of technology in teaching and learning and have quickly blended the two in order to enhance the student experience. Whilst some teachers may be reluctant to abandon conventional teaching methods, it is important that both student and tutor have the willingness to participate and therefore ensure a better outcome for the student. Some institutions are using technology in learning because it seems like the natural progression when society itself is becoming technologically reliant. However, technology itself needs to be perceived as a tool to help students instead of something that is just a natural transition for the school.
When a student makes the decision to attend a business school, it is often for the sole purpose of securing a job or progressing in their career. Therefore, institutions need to be willing to consider the needs of students and prioritise these in order to maximise the potential of students.
Some UK business school universities have already shifted their focus to the needs of the students by providing them with more support. For example through utilising tools such as Skype where students are able to interact with a tutor and therefore ask questions and receive both the support and encouragement that would take place in a classroom. When an institution is willing to go out of their way to ensure that the student’s needs are met, they are not only helping to improve the educational experience of the student but are ensuring that they will also go on to excel. The use of technology has been revolutionary in meeting the demands of students, for example by providing them with an almost online classroom to emulate the feeling of being surrounded by peers, making up for the lack of physical presence that comes with online education. Business schools are using these platforms to ensure that fewer students feel isolated which is something that can be common in online learning and can even go on to hinder progress.
Technology also provides students with access to the best UK business school universities without them having to commit to moving outside of their geographical location. It not only brings education to the student but ensures that this student is still able to learn from a top institution. Technology is making it possible for them to have a better learning experience, therefore allowing them to go on to excel. It is whilst studying that a student develops their understanding and foundations of the industry and this time is therefore crucial and should be used in order to broaden their knowledge. It is this foundation that the student will go on to build on and use as the basis of their future work, therefore institutions must ensure that they are meeting the demands of students.
Business schools that are already utilising technology have made it possible for their students to interact with global professionals. Students can even enrol on a course at an international business school because the use of technology means that they can study abroad without having to commit to moving. This will not only to make them globally employable but can enhance their future career prospects. Technology creates more opportunities for students and therefore business schools will continue to utilise this in order to improve the overall educational experience.
With students becoming more aware of the different routes of learning, they are now able to pick and choose between the different elements to ensure that their chosen route complements their career goals. Technology itself is becoming a fundamental part of everyday life and schools internationally are beginning to incorporate it into their teaching processes. However, technology itself can help to benefit institutions by bringing them together with another international business school, therefore creating more opportunities whilst allowing them to be able to comprehend a more global perspective of their chosen industry.
The future of business education lies in technology and with the continued development of devices and the internet, teaching and the business curriculum will evolve accordingly. This is a necessary transition in order to ensure that students are always gaining the most out of their education and business schools must continue to cater to this need.
Traditional education promises a classroom full of students which is an element that is not present in online learning. However, technology has made it possible to simulate this environment and therefore bridge the gap between school and college. By allowing a connection to a wider community in order to share resources and support one another, virtual-learning offers an interactive approach irrespective of geographical location. Through providing access to global instructors and exposure to countless invaluable resources in order to facilitate learning, students are able to learn through their peers whilst developing a more in-depth and critical understanding.
Collaboration and facilitated-learning
Although students have the presence of their peers inside a classroom, it can still be difficult to collaborate and share ideas. Classes do not always allow for group work or have enough time to participate in discussion which can sometimes hinder learning, due a lack of dialogue to further explore ideas. Whilst students are able to converse with each other outside of class, this dialogue often needs to take place in real-time in order to allow time for questions and clarification of their thought process. It is through this discussion of concepts and questions that students can work together to explore the things that they are learning whilst sparking new ideas. It is often during this back-and-forth process that students are able to fully grasp topics and it is therefore crucial for discussions to take place in a classroom setting.
A lack of this can sometimes cause traditional education to become a more solitary experience, therefore virtual-learning makes it possible to bridge this gap by creating a space for this conversation to take place. Students are able to converse in real-time as they learn through an online chat platform or social media. This makes it possible for them to share ideas and thoughts which will not only facilitate their learning but will support a deeper understanding of topics. Technology offers many opportunities for students to collaborate without having to interrupt a teacher in a classroom or become concerned about a time constraint. This is something that can also allow students to connect with their peers and mentor one another, which is integral to acquiring success. Classroom settings can often prevent this and virtual-learning is therefore crucial.
Shifting the focus from teacher to student
Virtual-learning shifts the emphasis of learning onto the student rather than instructor, therefore allowing students to carry out their own research and use their learning as a tool to be more independent. By allowing students to have the capacity to facilitate and be accountable for their own learning, a virtual education cultivates a well-balanced student and provides them with the right skills to go on to succeed within the workplace. Students are able to develop technical skills and navigate software to utilise learning through quickly becoming familiar with programs and content in order to understand and consume information. This will not only ensure efficiency and productivity, but will also allow for them to be engaged and go on to implement this within the workplace.
Students learn to seek out help or resources when experiencing difficulties, which will not only help to make them more well-informed but shifts the responsibility from the teacher to the student. By allowing the student to ask questions and clarify their own understanding, it provides them with the ability to broaden their own comprehension of subjects.
Education is individual to every student and therefore should cater to their needs. With the evolution of technology, it is now possible for students to distinguish their learning style and inevitably go on to pursue these, whether in the form of blended learning or through a course that is solely based online. By offering students a choice, it not only allows them to alter courses in order to suit their own needs but ensures that they are gaining the most out of their education whilst still being a cost-effective approach.
The internet presents countless opportunities for students to collaborate and gain access to a wealth of information, therefore it is crucial for institutions to recognise and use this to arm them with limitless possibilities.
Five trends that students might see in online education in 2017
Flexibility is often the most appealing factor of online learning, however it also makes education available to a wider audience. With more students of all ages enrolling on an online degree, technology has changed the face of education. Traditional classes have always been presented and targeted at a particular age group, whereas online classes are more inclusive and therefore available to the public, regardless of their age or other commitments.
Learning itself is continually evolving due to the ever-changing way in which technology develops and alters the way we access and consume information. Therefore, 2017 will see many trends in online education to cater to its audience.
More credentials – There has been an increase in the number of working professionals that are now pursuing an online degree from university, due to wanting to develop and broaden their knowledge or skillset. Therefore, institutions are recognising this and are using it to change and adapt their content and method of teaching. Instead of an online university degree, more institutions will offer online certifications and credentials which employers will use to train staff. Employees will be able to enrol in order to increase their qualifications and improve their skillset. These provided courses will be different to degrees and therefore require less of a commitment, making it easier to balance with full-time employment whilst also being a cost-effective route for employers.
Measuring performance – Institutions will begin to use data to measure and monitor student’s performance and progress throughout term. In the same way that data is used to tailor marketing campaigns, faculties will utilise data in order to tailor content and the way that is presented to students. Online learning allows institutions to measure things such as whether or not a student has logged in, which can help in deciphering whether or not an individual is on target. This access to data will also allow them to measure data in real-time whilst monitoring how a student performs in assignments and therefore assist their learning accordingly. This not only ensures that students are being offered the right support but also that their learning is altered to ensure that they are fully understanding information.
Specialist subjects – Online education improves accessibility and therefore allows students to gain exposure of countless courses. However, there will be an increase in the amount of specialised courses that are offered in order to cater to areas that are lacking a specific skillset. For example, a demand for nursing skills could lead to an increase in niche courses to teach these skills and therefore fulfil this gap in the job market. Courses will be more focused and tailored to the job market and therefore have a positive socio-economic impact.
Utilising artificial intelligence – In the same way that products such as Apple’s Siri operate using artificial intelligence, this technology will also be incorporated into teaching. For example, if a student has a generic question about a topic, they are able to converse and receive answers without the presence of an instructor. This not only helps to reduce cost but also ensures that students receive answers in real-time. By embedding these into courses, it will reduce the faculty’s responsibility and allow content to be presented in various ways. With users already becoming dependent and accustomed to this means of gaining information, it will be an easy transition for students.
The experience of gaining an online degree from university will be a more inclusive experience with the responsibility shifting from faculty to student. This not only creates a more engaging and overall beneficial experience for the student but ensures that they are still learning and retaining the information in a way that they are already accustomed to. As technology becomes more integrated into society, teaching will utilise this and therefore be more experimental in presenting information to students. With almost everyone owning some sort of electronic device, institutions will utilise this by ensuring that they continue explore innovations in teaching.
Students now have access to thousands of online courses from institutions across the globe, whether it is a niche subject or something as broad as business. However, institutions are finding that more and more students are dropping out of online courses due to the lack of interaction. In comparison to a class where students are surrounded by peers everyday, the experience of online learning can often be presented as an isolating process. However, it is important to note that online learning itself requires students to be more proactive and therefore the interaction is something that must also be sought out.
The internet is a pool of resources both for information and interaction. With the introduction of countless social media platforms, there are now online communities that can help to foster and facilitate learning. Whilst traditional education promises a classroom full of students and face-to-face interaction with a teacher, online learning offers platforms where students are able to participate in discussions and be a part of a wider and global community. Online education for learners does not have to be void of interaction. Students have the resources to ask questions and provide support to one another, with instructors available in just a few clicks. This accessibility differs from traditional education because students do not have to wait for office hours to see an instructor and can instead contact them instantly via email. They also have the option of posting their questions in a discussion board or on a social media platform where they are able to receive answers quicker than they would be provided in a regular education.
By having the capacity to ask more questions and interact with working professionals from all over the world, students are able to facilitate their own learning process. Online learning places the emphasis on the student to seek out a wider community instead of being presented with a classroom. This not only means that there is no forced interaction but that the students can build stronger bonds throughout the period of their course. There are also countless instructional videos circulating the internet, presenting opportunities to collaborate with students from all over the world.
Although students often find that they cannot quickly ask the instructor a question in the middle of a class or confer with someone in real-time, social media emulates this form of communication and allows students to quickly converse through online chat in order to clarify information when learning. This real-time interaction is integral to the process because it is often in the midst of discussion that ideas are sparked. Therefore, if students make the effort to seek out a platform where they are able to ask questions, online education can often be more enriching than the conventional route of learning.
Another concern that some students have is their overall lack of motivation or encouragement when not being surrounded by their peers. They often find themselves yearning for a sense of belonging, and so seeking out a role in a wider community is essential. Students have to be responsible for pursuing this form of interaction because online education for learners does not have to be a solitary process. There are study groups and countless interactive tools that can be utilised. In fact, an online education can be a more interactive and far less intimidating approach than that of being in a classroom. By allowing students to share their learning and ask questions without the fear of a time constraint, there is more space to develop ideas and a deeper understanding of subjects.
With technology itself contributing to the way that we absorb information and interact with other people, it has proven to be a successful way of emulating the dynamics of a classroom and it is therefore up to the students to both create and pursue a means of communication that works for them. Online education can be just as interactive if approached correctly.
With conventional education becoming more demanding and an array of online learning courses now being made available, more and more students are opting for the route of e-learning. In contrast to a regular education, this route is often presented as a more flexible and viable option due to not being confined to a classroom or timetable. However, online learning is still a commitment to education and requires you to possess certain characteristics in order to ensure the best results.
Which characteristics should you have to be a good online learner?
How will online learning benefit you?
Aside from convenience and being more suitable for your lifestyle, online learning also has many other advantages such as not restricting you to institutions within your geographic location. It also allows you to choose when you are going to study and therefore makes it possible to prioritise.
Learning can also be more effective, for example through teaching yourself concepts, you are more likely to both absorb and retain information. Therefore, when later reading material, your mind will make the association between the concepts that you may have taught yourself earlier. In fact, teaching yourself allows you to learn at your own pace and not move on until you are satisfied with your comprehension. In traditional education, teachers are often explaining to an entire class and there is no time to ensure that each student has developed the full understanding required. Therefore, with online learning you are able to grasp content and therefore excel in assignments and exams.
Online learning is the way forward, and although it may require certain characteristics to succeed, it is still more customisable than traditional education and will therefore continue to increase in popularity.
With online courses gaining precedence, more institutions are incorporating them into the teaching and are realising the impact and weight that this route of education can have. In fact, there has been a rise in the amount of universities and schools that are now offering online learning with more and more students choosing to enrol for these courses each year.
Online learning from the UK provides institutions with tangible results in order to measure their outcomes. Through this, they are able to distinguish an increase in revenue from online courses which is a great incentive for them to continue providing them. Whilst institutions place students at the forefront of their teaching, they are essentially still concerned about costing and the profit that they are making from courses. The future will see more institutions focusing on providing an online education because it has proven to be a viable route that is worth investing in. There will also be an increase in schools that solely provide an online education such as the Online Business School. However, some universities are finding that they are struggling with trying to provide and integrate online learning into the education that they already provide without hindering its quality and potential.
The Council of Independent Colleges and the Learning House carried out a survey of chief academic offices in which they found that faculties often act as a barrier to converting to online learning, due to their lack of acceptance. Where teachers are accustomed to standing in front of a class and projecting information, it can often be difficult to integrate new methods and concepts into their teaching. Therefore, some institutions find that it is often challenging for faculty staff to willingly participate in integrating online learning into existing courses or support the idea of courses being solely taught online.
Many institutions already offer distance-learning degrees or integrate e-learning into their teaching. However, taking the step to commit to a full online course can seem daunting and some universities are still questioning its legitimacy.
A benefit of providing an online education is that it opens up the university internationally. Although international students contribute to a large percentage of the student count at universities, online education provides students abroad with access to the university without having to commit to moving to the UK. This not only means that institutions can accommodate more students but also that these students are able to participate in online learning from the UK. The availability of online courses also allows institutions to cater to more students whilst still ensuring that they are gaining a significant revenue. It creates opportunity for them to offer more varied courses whilst also building a network of global connections. Some universities already have campuses abroad, however providing online courses can allow them to have more visibility.
As the job market also continues to become competitive, more individuals are focused on self-development. Therefore, online education caters to working professionals and many organisations already provide online training to the employees with certifications for software such as Google Adwords and Analytics being provided online. Online business schools are gaining more traffic from people that are already educated and are looking to develop and broaden their skillset, therefore e-learning appears to a wider audience and is often the preferred route.
Due to its recognition and credibility, more institutions will eventually begin to move to providing an online education whether that is through integrating it into pre-existing courses or by introducing new ones entirely. Although it may have to be a case of trial and error for some, online learning is already growing in popularity for countless institutions and is resulting in a large revenue being earned.