If the concept of online learning is difficult to comprehend, in this article we’re going to break down how it works.
Online learning shares many similarities to campus-based learning; the course content is identical and students have the same opportunities to connect and work closely with tutors and peers. But online learning offers the added benefits of gaining confidence in using cool communication tools and the flexibility to study to a schedule that best suits you.
Studying for a university degree through an online platform entitles students to access the same support and resources as a campus-based programme.
So, how does online learning work?
First and foremost: Preparation is key
Online studying relies entirely on self-management. Prior to starting an online programme, here are some considerations that can help to start off on the right foot:
- Reading all pre-course information and course instructions thoroughly to ensure a full understanding of the course expectations.
- Setting up an organisation system for the device you’ll be using. You’re likely to receive several pre-start documents, web links, files etc for each subject module. Creating a digital filing system with a cloud-based back up, such as Dropbox and Google Drive will help considerably towards keeping on top of your workload.
- Bookmarking URL’s! An online course will require lots of online resourcing, keeping your bookmarks tab tidy and organised will enable quick access to links when required.
- Preparing a study schedule. Whether it be manually or digitally, creating an easily accessible calendar will keep tabs on any upcoming deadlines and tutor appointments, as well as blocking out specific time for studying. The key is to make it realistic, achievable and isn’t likely to be altered for personal or social reasons. Once set up, it must be updated regularly.
- Creating a calm, peaceful learning environment. Studying for an online programme will require commitment, dedication and focus for successful completion. It’s vitally important to study somewhere that’s free from distractions and won’t tempt you into procrastination.
Once the set up is complete, here are the practicalities to online studying:
SSBR works with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). An ECTS credit total is allocated to each online course, case study, internship and thesis, which reflects the quantity and complexity of the work required to complete each one. As a student successfully completes the work to pass each module of the programme, they’ll gain the allotted credits, which accumulate towards the total required to earn the qualification.
Online classes are delivered by university professors through a virtual classroom. SSBR mostly uses Google Education tools to deliver the course content for each programme. Students can either log in to the live classes, where they can participate in class discussions and challenge their teachers. Or catch up with the recording of the class at a time that best suits their study schedule. The class recordings also offer an opportunity to revisit a class if there’s any information missed the first time around. Virtual classes will often include interactive elements such as exercises, video clips and webinar sippets, to keep the content current, relevant and engaging.
The Coursework submission and exams
Coursework deadlines and exam dates will generally be listed in the programme schedule at the beginning of each semester so that students can plan and organise deadlines accordingly. The work itself is submitted virtually via the university’s online platform. Submitting coursework via an online platform offers an opportunity to express yourself more creatively, by using video platforms, animation tools and real-time data…to name but a few. Course tutors will review and grade submissions accordingly and arrange a feedback session to take place. The structure of online programmes enables course professors to check in with their students on a one to one basis regularly, offering more personalised mentor support.
Instructions for online exams are always explained thoroughly by the course tutor well in advance of the exam date.
Seminars and group work
There’s even more opportunity to work collectively with classmates when studying interactively. Arranging video conferences, group hangouts or tuning in to presentations by guest speakers are all at the click of a button. Chat functions are sophisticated and the majority of communication platforms feature easy ways to make a contribution, such as the use of emojis and a virtual ‘hand up’! These modern tools make it simple to express thought and ideas, that students may not feel comfortable sharing in a class environment
Course materials can be issued in many different formats whilst teaching through the medium of the world wide web. Professors may choose to feature a documentary, film or podcast to demonstrate a practical example of a theory. SSBR offer practical business degrees, which often refer to real-life case studies, breaking news and live business updates to provide students with practical business knowledge.
Social and Wellbeing
Studying for a degree online doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the social element of attending university. Following the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, many creative ways of socialising online began to surface as a result of many nations experiencing a lockdown. Being part of an online student body provides instant access to a collective group with who you share something in common. Virtual quizzes, hangouts, music sessions, parties etc are encouraged!
As an online student, you have exactly the same access to personal support as you would if you attended a campus. Just because a student isn’t physically present, it doesn’t mean that they can’t ask for help. Once enrolled on an online programme, it will be clearly stated where to access support services.
What do our students say?
“Studying for an MBA online has been an amazing opportunity for me. I knew that I wanted to gain an MBA in order to apply for more senior roles in business, but I couldn’t find a way to make it work financially as I needed to keep earning a salary! This programme has been a fantastic learning experience and the flexible learning aspect has allowed me to successfully complete the work. I would highly recommend studying for a business degree online, I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything from not being on campus.”- MBA Student