A Guide to Online Learning

A Guide to Online Learning

Are you preparing to embark on your online learning journey for the first time? You probably have lots of questions. Lucky for you, we have the answers!

The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have left everyone across the globe more adaptable and resilient than ever. Like many others, the education industry has changed pretty drastically over the last year, but this has allowed us all to develop new skills. To abide by social distancing regulations and ensure students' safety, educational institutions all over the world have had to shift many – if not all – of their operations online. As a result, for several students, online learning is the new normal. Are you preparing to embark on your online learning journey for the first time? You probably have lots of questions. Lucky for you, Torrens University Australia has the answers!

What is online learning?

Simply put, online learning – also known as e-learning – is the future of studying. As technology continues to improve and our lives are increasingly digitised, online learning and knowing how to study and work in the digital landscape are essential skills. Rather than attending lectures on campus, students attend virtual lectures. Instead of heading to the classroom, students interact with each other via chat rooms. Online learning platforms, like Blackboard, are the key to accessing comprehensive course information. E-books are the new textbooks. Overall, online learning makes education more accessible and gives you the ability to understand and adapt to new technologies in the modern world.

If you’re about to start your online learning journey, don’t be intimidated! The difference between studying online and in-class learning is minimal, as explained by Master of Business Administration and Global Project Management student, Mehul:

“From my experience so far, studying online has been the same as studying in a classroom. You have the same professors, lecture slides, study material and classmates; it’s just delivered in a different format.”

With the rise of online learning has come the growth of alternative teaching models. For example, there has been an increase in hybrid learning, which is a course delivery method in which students have the option to attend class in-person or join the class virtually from anywhere. There is also blended learning, which requires students to complete a mix of online and in-person educational activities.

Can I study online? What are the requirements?

Your ability to study online will depend on whether or not you meet certain requirements. These will vary depending on the course you’re applying to and your level of study. For instance, if you’re hoping to obtain your master’s degree online, you will likely need a previous qualification – such as a bachelor’s degree or a graduate certificate – in a related field or a sufficient amount of relevant work experience.

Be sure to consult the Torrens University International Prospectus or contact your education agent to learn more about the general admission information as well as the requirements for specific programs and pathway options. Discover more about Torrens University Australia’s pathway options here.

Why study online courses?

If you’re considering online learning, you might be wondering: what are the perks of studying online? Is studying online as good as studying in class? From greater flexibility to more diverse course options, there are several benefits of online study.

When you opt to study online, you’ll have online access to your course material 24/7. In turn, you’ll gain the freedom to study when and where you want.

For Bachelor of Commerce student, Roberta, online learning has given her more freedom to organise her day.

“As an independent learner, online study has given me the opportunity to organise my schedule to best suit my needs. I can study when I am feeling more productive, but I also now have extra time to focus on looking after myself (cooking, exercising, talking to my family) because I don’t have to spend time travelling to campus,” she says.

Before beginning their studies, many students also ask themselves: what courses can you study online? The answer is, just about anything. When you pursue online learning, you’ll have a variety of course options and specialisations to choose from. Torrens University Australia offers a wide range of online degrees in several disciplines, from business to education to design. No matter your career goals, you can find a way to reach them online.

Studying online also comes with the unique advantage of introducing you to fellow students all across the globe, as shared by Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Community Services) student, Natalia:

“A benefit I have found is the diversity within the student community. In the online classes, you get to interact with people from all around the world.”

Compared to in-class learning, online learning is just as valuable and applicable in the real world. By using innovative technologies, education providers offer students a rich and interactive learning experience. Plus, Torrens University Australia has been providing online study options long before COVID-19, meaning they’re incredibly well-versed in online course delivery.

How to study online: learning techniques

If you’re used to traditional in-person learning, adjusting to online learning can be tricky. However, there are several helpful online learning techniques you can use to make this a seamless transition. Here are Torrens University Australia’s top three online learning tips:

1. Experiment with different memorisation techniques.

That way, you will be able to find the best method to help you retain the course material. One strategy you can try is reflecting and paraphrasing the course content in your own words. By putting it into terms you can easily understand, you’ll be more likely to absorb and remember the material. You can also create self-quizzes by writing out questions based on the course content and answering them without looking at your notes. Not only will this help you memorise the material, but it will also help you identify areas you need to work on and prepare you for real exams.

2. Create a designated study space.

You’ll be spending a lot of time here, so make sure it’s comfortable and free from distractions. By having a workspace that is cosy, functional and specifically intended for studying, you’ll remain focused and productive.

3. Use a planner.

Setting yourself up with a routine will help you be more disciplined with yourself when it comes to studying, and will also mean you stay organised. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using an online planner or app, or sticking to a physical diary and calendar, setting yourself tasks for the day is a great way to stay motivated.

Tools for online learning

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your online study experience, it’s important to have the right tools. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

While online study offers you more freedom, it also requires more discipline and responsibility. With online learning, it’s up to you to design your study schedule and stick to it, so time management is very important. Depending on your preference, you can use a weekly planner, an assessment planner or a 24-hour wheel to plan your schedule. You can use these tools to track your daily lectures, the projects you need to work on and how much time you will allocate to each task. To avoid burnout, don’t forget to pencil in some time for a couple of coffee breaks or a quick walk!

If you need extra guidance, check out the support services and unique tools your education provider offers. Torrens University Australia is home to the Success Coaching program, which gives students ongoing support, advice and helpful resources to optimise their educational experience. Among the most useful tools these coaches provide are workshops on resume writing, online branding and interview techniques. Whether you’re studying online or on-campus, these coaches can help you thrive.

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