Online learning is a massive growing market but it is not just a success story for the providers, millions of people across the world are benefiting from access to learning they would never have had without the internet, video and all the other retch we take for granted these days. But is it better than traditional learning? Perhaps not in the purest sense but here are 5 important ways it is better and why it is so popular.

  1. Access

Online learning is available to anyone with access to the internet. This means you don’t need to pass entrance exams and you don’t need to live near or travel to and from a school or collage. You can also access courses from anywhere in the world. This type of access is really important. For people wishing to learn English online, for example, they can take English lessons in their home country with a view to finding a job and living in an English speaking country. Before the online options people would simply learn from movies and music videos unless they could afford formal education. Now there are a multitude of different free online English courses, videos, lessons and quizzes so anyone can learn. This type of access is empowering people in all walks of life and many countries to get involved and learn something new either for fun or to get a better job, move to a new country or just to be happy.

  1. Device Flexibility

While this may not be a direct comparison to traditional learning it is certainly a reason why online learning is amazing. You can learn on almost any kind of digital device and move between different platforms as and when it suits you. So, people are not tied to sitting in front of a desktop PC to learn just like they are no longer tied to a classroom. People watch a video lesson on their phone one day, laptop the next and then do some extra revision on their tablet when they can’t sleep or if they are on holiday. This kind of device freedom allows more people to learn more as it removes the barriers around being busy and not always being able to be in a certain place to learn.

  1. Time
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Traditional learning tends to involve set days, weeks, terms, academic years and so on. With online learning many of these times go out the window. While it is fair to say some online courses do have time limits most are very long and even if exams are involved you can normally pick the times you sit them, and these can often be pushed back. What this does is create an environment that allows for people to learn at their own pace. It also encourages people who might have otherwise assumed they don’t have time to give it a go. A new mum, for example, may have always wanted to re skill but assumes she won’t have time to complete a course. Some courses would allow her to take all the time she needed and end up with a great new career.

  1. Choice

There are simply thousands of different online courses out there, there are more than anyone could ever dream of reading about let alone taking. They range from simple short courses about cookery or learning to code to full degrees in Science, English, History etc. But there is so much inbetween too! There are courses that take a year in things like marketing which can really help people to re skill or improve their skill level in their existing roles. The choice is mind boggling and this makes online learning a vast menu of potential that almost anyone can order from!

  1. Cost

One of the biggest barriers certainly for further education is cost. But this is also true for any kind of part time university course or the like. A great many people never pursued a dream of changing career because of the cost of learning but since the rise of online learning this has all changed. While it is fair to say there are often costs involved there are still lots of free courses out there and some very good ones at that. Open University courses can still be quite expensive for a full degree but no where near the price of actually going to uni. In the middle of these courses and free ones there are loads of qualifications and courses that can cost just a few hundred pounds and really make a difference to people’s quality of life, career or day to day work life.

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Of course, not all online providers are good quality and to that end it is not a perfect world. But with a bit of research it is possible to find good providers, good courses and to get learning! The only real question is what are you go to study?

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