You’ve made the choice to study flexibly online through distance learning. That means you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to expand your knowledge and career opportunities without having to give up your work or personal commitments.
Here are our top 5 tips for choosing a distance learning course:
1. Choose something you’re passionate about
Perhaps the most important consideration you need to make when choosing a distance learning course is: “Is this something I’m passionate about?”.
There’s a huge variety of distance learning courses you can choose from nowadays, covering a diverse range of subject areas and disciplines. And while you might be able to fulfil the entry requirements for multiple courses, if you want a better chance at success and a greater sense of reward during your studies, you should narrow down your choices by figuring out what you’re most passionate about.
Remember – studies are both a financial and time investment. So, think to yourself: “Is this a course I can see myself being motivated to do?”, and: “Is this a course I feel will be worth my money and time at the end?”.
2. Choose a course that offers easy accessibility
Accessibility is crucial when you’re studying online through distance learning. One of the greatest benefits of distance learning is the fact that you don’t need to rely on attending a physical classroom to learn – you can access all the course materials you need at your fingertips, when and where it suits you.
But no two institutions are necessarily the same when it comes to the technologies they use to deliver their distance learning courses. Choosing an institution that offers a reliable, easy-to-use and easily-accessible online learning platform will make your learning experience all the more positive. PCMag recently rated Canvas among its top choices for Best (LMS) Learning Management Systems.
3. Choose a course that gives you the flexibility you need
If you’ve chosen to study through distance learning, you’re most likely looking for the freedom and flexibility of being able to study when and where it suits you. But while all distance learning courses offer some degree of flexibility, you need to choose a course that offers the right flexibility for you.
Distance learning courses can come in either a blended or 100% online format. With blended courses, there’ll typically be a mix of online components that you’ll be able to complete online, and practical components that you’ll need to attend a physical location to complete. Blended courses can be a good choice if you’re working part-time and you live close to where your course is being offered.
But if you’re working full-time and have family or other personal commitments, especially if you’re living somewhere far from where your course is being offered, a 100% online course is your best option. With a 100% online course, you won’t have to worry about taking time off work, or making the trek to your institution, to complete your course.
4. Look for the right expertise
Finding a course that interests you and the right expertise you need to successfully complete the course is essential. Studying a course that sounds interesting, but not having access to the expertise you need to develop your knowledge and skills in your area of interest will be futile for both your financial/time investment and your career. It’s important to do your research. Find out which institutions rank consistently well for their quality of teaching and resources.
5. Make sure you have access to support networks
The need for easy access to support when you need it can’t be underestimated when you’re studying a distance learning course. Studying online through distance learning can be an isolating and frustrating experience at times if you don’t have access to the support you need – whether that be support from your tutors or from your fellow classmates.
Check that the distance learning course you’re interested in offers easy ways for you to connect and interact with your tutors and peers online. Whether it’s through emails, discussion boards or group webinars, having access to the support of your tutors and peers – when and where you need it – will not only mean you’ll be able to get the most out of your studies, but you’ll also be able to expand your global network while you’re at it.
The University of Hull Online offers a range of 100% online masters degrees that can expand your expertise, career opportunities and global network.