Online courses provide an alternative method of learning than going to physical colleges. But the stigma surrounding online courses has uninformed people questioning the legitimacy of these qualifications.
However, after some research, you’ll come to find that you don’t need to worry. Online learning providers are held to the same standard as bricks and mortar institutes with regards to regulated courses. This ensures that the quality of learning and authenticity of the qualification is valid.
Employers and universities alike aren’t worried where you attained your qualification so long as you have what they’re looking for. Whether that’s the skills required for the job role or the A Levels needed for entry to the course.
Therefore, many of us who would otherwise be unable to get back into education have a chance to get qualified. This is because online learning gives you the flexibility to engage with your studies whenever suits you best. No matter what other commitments you may have.
As long as your online course allows you to reach your goals then there’s value in them.
Read on to learn what options you have when considering an online course. As well as how to identify whether the course has any value for you.
What Online Courses are Available?
Online learning providers offer a broad range of online courses to suit almost all needs. Whether you’re aiming to go to university, advance your career or start a completely new one, online courses could help.
Physical colleges run courses depending on the demand from potential students. The less interest in the course, the less likely the course will be available in your local area.
This is because of the cost of running physical courses. You need to hire a teacher, furnish a classroom, get the material and pay the bills. If there isn’t any interest in the course then it’s not worth running.
However, with online learning, the cost isn’t nearly as much. Therefore, once a course has been designed it can run pretty much indefinitely. As well as be updated easily if information changes over time.
This allows even the most niche courses to become accessible to those who wouldn’t have the option to enrol physically.
Are Online Courses Accredited?
Courses such as GCSEs or A Levels must be accredited by Ofqual no matter who provides them. Ofqual is a non-ministerial governing agency that regulates qualifications across the UK.
They ensure the quality of the information provided is maintained across the board. So, this allows you to enrol with confidence knowing you’ll receive the exact same result.
This is also true for Access to HE Diplomas which are regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).
However, both physical colleges and online learning providers also offer courses that aren’t accredited. That doesn’t mean the courses don’t have value.
If you’re looking to develop a specific skill to progress with your career then the knowledge you’ll gain will suffice. For example, this could be completing a leadership and management qualification.
The value of the information gained outweighs the need for an accredited qualification.
It’s important to be sure of your objectives and research the awarding bodies provided. That way you won’t be caught out by enrolling on a course that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.
Who Should Enrol Onto an Online Course?
Online courses allow those who are time-poor to get back into education when they’d otherwise be unable to. The flexibility online learning offers means you’re able to engage with your studies whenever works best for you.
Bricks and mortar institutes require attendance in exchange for learning whereas online learning does not. You’re able to study from the comfort of your own home, at any time that suits you.
So you don’t have to worry about the logistical nightmare of trying to rearrange your schedule to attend class. Whether that’s over the weekend, or in the mornings before the kids wake up, you’re in control. Simply log in and begin learning.
You’re also able to set the pace of your learning. So you don’t have to worry about a teacher moving through the modules too fast or even too slow.
You could blitz through the whole qualification or take your time, it’s up to you. The only time you’ll need to keep a date in mind is if your course has an exam.
Exams are usually held around the same time every year. So you must give yourself enough time to complete the course and revise.
Will I be Supported in my Online Course?
Although online learning is a more independent learning style it doesn’t mean you’re completely alone. You won’t attend classes or have a teacher to guide you through the syllabus but there’s still support.
Quality online learning providers will have dedicated tutors to guide you throughout your learning experience. The tutors will be experts in their respected fields and be able to offer any assistance where needed.
Tutors will only be an email away, whenever you need. So you needn’t worry about getting stuck and not being able to progress with your learning.
They’ll provide valuable feedback on your assignments to ensure you’re on the right track. And highlight any areas of the course that require more attention.
They’ll also help you prepare for any exams that you may have to complete for your qualification.
However, you are in control of your learning so it’s your responsibility to keep on top of your work. The tutor will be there to support you but it’s your job to stay motivated and manage the workload.
Whatever your professional or personal ambitions are, learndirect can help you achieve them.
learndirect is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers. We offer a broad range of online courses from GCSEs to Access to HE Diplomas and more.
All our courses have flexible payment options and qualified tutors to guide you. To learn more on how to prepare for your online learning visit our blog here.
If you’re ready to get back into education get in touch or browse our courses below. Take the first step towards reaching your goals today.