Online learning is fast becoming the norm if you want to pick up a new skill, improve career prospects or simply find a new hobby or interest. Millions of people have now benefitted from this way of study because it is so convenient, accessible, flexible, and low cost.
It’s all made possible by the internet, of course, but that may also explain why some people are hesitant about enrolling in an online course. They worry that they need to be tech-savvy to access the content. Added to this, some may also be apprehensive, remembering unhappy classroom experiences from their school days.
Neither of these fears is justified though. Websites like Teachable are proving that online learning (also called e-learning) is here to stay with more and more people signing up daily.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed in the business world, where e-learning is now the rule for improving workplace culture and keeping employees up to speed on everything from policy to technical skills.
Cost is obviously a factor here, but also ease of delivery; employees can learn without leaving their desks. Universities are also at the cutting edge. Virtual classrooms and even online campuses mean they can reach students wherever they are.
Taking an online course clearly has its advantages for students too. Here are five benefits to studying online.
New skills and interests
Whereas, in the past, ‘study’ was seen as a necessary early-life experience, in the switched-on 21st-century lifelong learning is accepted as the way to go. It’s not just about career either. Most courses use video lectures and demonstrations, a medium which is ideally suited for topics ranging from art and gardening, cookery and personal development.
Which means enjoying the lectures at home, work, in your breaks or on the commute. Lessons are typically short and most of us can manage a few minutes at a time. Added to this course content can be accessed on mobile devices and revisited as often; a great formula for bite-sized, on-the-go learning.
Low or no-cost
There is so much content out there you don’t even have to pay for online learning. Sites like YouTube offer free content, and many others use a low-cost subscription using a Netflix-style model. The choice between free or paid courses is a personal one, but in a world where you get what you pay for the curated content available in paid courses is more geared to produce specific learning outcomes. One formula is to take a paid course and search out specialised, free content to expand your knowledge and understanding as you progress.
Expertise, engagement and enthusiasm
There’s a full world of experts out there and many are eager and enthusiastic to share their passion and understanding of their topic via e-learning. Gone are the days of being stuck in a lecture hall with an academic who lacked presentation skills. Now you can shop around to find someone whose style of delivery excites and engages you.
Unlimited choice of new topics
The range of topics is quite literally, unlimited. With no scary entrance exams or hoops to jump through, you can sign up for a course of your choosing and start right away. Follow your interest, develop new confidence and, who knows, maybe even develop a new passion. If academic qualifications are your thing you can get those too, but it’s not a requirement. Just join a course and feel the fun!