Plugging onto a webinar on child psychology on the way to work in the tube or snuggling up under the sheets for your Greek literature lesson in the evening is not a distant dream anymore. Online learning now brings the classroom right into your living room, or wherever you want it. It enables you to attend classes online at times that suit you so you can find time for your other commitments, like work, family or travel. In the fast-paced era ruled by the Internet, the walls of classroom confinements are gradually getting blurred by the technological inventions that help the educators provide lessons online.
The academia seems to agree that the pursuit of knowledge does not necessarily have to be within the boundaries of a classroom at the colleges and universities. The Times Higher Education has published a report that states around 120 universities in the UK will have online courses and study programs for the distant learners. The universities in the United Kingdom are warming up to the idea of a classroom without walls and steadily adding on online courses for distant learners along with traditional study programs at their esteemed institutions.
Interactive platforms for online learning
Online courses and classes can be completed at times that are convenient for the learners and has a vast array of interactive platforms that bring the classroom anywhere you want it. The efficient usage of the state-of-the-art technological resources is a useful way to reach out to the learners who take up online learning classes. For those wondering how online classes take place, the following is a brief overview of the teaching techniques for online lessons.
- A virtual learning environment that is essentially an interactive portal for the students and teachers uses the software platforms like Blackboard Collaborate, Moodle and Learn.
- Blogs and wikis created especially for the course requirements
- Online discussion forums and platforms for engaging in virtual classroom discussions
- Usage of video streaming platforms and services such as Vimeo and YouTube
- Usage of virtual reality platforms for simulated learning like Second Life
Making effective use of the technology at hand, the leading universities in the UK are offering plenty of online learning courses. It has been observed that among the learners who have taken up education after a break or sabbatical has risen sharply after the introduction of e-learning and online lessons. Scores of learners are opting to walk the back-to-school road through online courses that let them maintain a perfect balance between work or other commitments and studies.
Perks of online learning
Anyone with access to a computer and a stable Internet connection can enroll for the online lessons offered by many universities of repute these days. Availing online lessons definitely has its advantages. Here are a few of the benefits of online learning that are especially useful for those who manage jobs and families and have chosen not to let go of their innate desire to learn despite it all.
- Lower costs
Online courses cost much less than a traditional study program at any reputed university. Like in the case of traditional courses conducted in a classroom ambiance, the online courses too have variations in the tuition fees. Some even offer discounts on a one-time payment along with options of paying by the courses you opt for so you can deftly manage your finances along with your studies. What’s more, there are several financial aid options available for the online courses as well.
- Flexible timings
Probably the best advantage of all, the flexible timings of the online courses let you design a routine of balancing studies along with your other commitments effectively. The flexibility in the class timings lets you manage your studies while working, honing your hobbies and having quality time with your friends and family. You will not have to ditch everything else and only fit the study routine into your life like a traditional classroom course with the online learning system. Instead, you will find time to fit in your studies into your life.
- Learn at your own pace
The courses offered online can usually be completed at a time when you feel comfortable. The pressure of deadlines and examinations that follow a structured and timetable pattern will not come to haunt you if you enroll in an online lesson. All the students who opt for “self-paced” learning mode in their online classrooms have the option of learning at the pace that they feel most comfortable in which lets the students have a confidence boost in their abilities.
- Multiple course options
There is no shortage of course options that you can find online. The universities in the UK alone offer more than 1400 online courses culminating in mostly postgraduate diplomas and degrees. From geriatrics to Roman mythology, the online courses have multiple disciplines to pick from, and the students can choose the subjects according to their areas of interest. In fact, finding out the best online courses is made even more accessible with the Internet and all one needs is a thorough Google search that helps them choose the online course that they would like to study.
- International acclaim
The degrees received from the reputed universities on completion of their online courses have international acclaim and are recognised at the higher education institutions as well as by employers worldwide. Additionally, having the experience of learning a course online looks superb on the resume. It speaks volumes about your multi-tasking and time management skills which always help to give an extra edge to your abilities and potential as a prospective employee.
Universities in the UK with online learning courses
Gearing up for the gradually evolving scene in the higher education sphere, the universities in the UK are planning to launch a wide array of online courses. The development of the e-learning modules will bring about a refreshing change in the curriculum and will enable the traditional classroom learners to avail the cutting-edge technology needed to conduct online courses efficiently. The traditional pedagogy is giving way for online learning with this new move from the universities in the UK, with 30 of them strategising ways of introducing the online courses that have a global appeal. Bringing about a healthy atmosphere of competition among the universities in the UK to launch the best online courses from the coming academic sessions, the decision to incorporate an online learning module will also enable technological innovations in the realm of distance learning. Here is a look at some universities in the UK already having renowned online courses with thousands of students worldwide.
- School of Oriental and African Studies
- University of Liverpool
- Nottingham Trent University
- University of Birmingham
- Imperial College, London
Already brainstorming on ways to explore the e-learning avenue through the introduction of online courses, the universities in the UK have thus announced a much-needed change to break the monotony of a traditional classroom setting in their reputed higher education institutions.
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