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Why Online Learning is the Future of Education

Post pandemic, the shift to online learning has only improved inclusivity, increased efficiency and provided levels of great accuracy. It’s no secret that the digital landscape was a saviour for anyone that was in full-time education, working or completing a degree during the last three years and since, the use of online learning has not only grown in popularity, but has also provided an abundance of advantages.

In this blog we explore online learning, discussing it’s benefits and how it is transforming the future of education.

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What is online learning?

Online learning is using the internet, technology and technological devices for the delivery of educational content, in place of traditional in-person classroom learning. Online learning is sometimes referred to as distance learning or E-Learning, however, generally these all mean the same thing: learning online.

Due to the flexibility and personalisation made available to us through technology, online learning comes in many forms, and is most recognised as online courses, videos, and the use of online learning programmes and software. Learners are thriving in the world of online learning, so much so that a whopping 70% of students actually prefer online classes and learning to in-person, traditional methods, and to no surprise, the number of people engaging in online learning is set to increase to 57 million by 2027.

So why is online learning so popular, and why is now the future of education?

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1) Online learning increases accessibility

For many, attending face-to-face classes might just not be feasible, due to a wide range of factors including, but not limited to, disability, age, mental health, or physical health.  

Online learning ensures learning is accessible to those with a varied range of needs, which creates a better learning experience and breaks down barriers that may have been in place previously. With access to a strong Wi-Fi connection, learning material can be made available to anyone, of any background, which in turn creates a fairer and more diverse way of learning for everyone. Online learning allows for individuals to achieve degrees, start new careers, and gain new skills, all through the accessibility that it provides to its learners.

2) Flexibility at its finest

In what might be obvious, it's true that online learning increases flexibility significantly. Due to the nature of online learning, students can learn wherever, and whenever, and all you need is an internet connection.

Being able to complete your studies online takes away the need to attend a class at a certain time, meaning that you can study on journeys, you can study late at night, or you can even study between daily tasks. This gives people the autonomy to control their workload, which increases confidence and provides a great level of satisfaction while studying.

Similar to accessibility, the more flexible learning is, the more accessible it becomes to those of all ages, sociological, religious, or medical backgrounds. It’s important to differentiate flexible learning from 100% online learning (that you get with us, for instance). While online learning isn’t without guidance and support, it’s often self-paced meaning you need to create your own study calendar and structure around due dates and exams.

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3) Learning can be customised

Because of technology advancements such as AI (artificial intelligence) and gamification, online learning creates huge potential when it comes to creating unique learning journeys.

Online learning allows students to go at their own pace, interact with their teachers and tutors when needed, and learn material that is specific to their goals and outcomes. Learning is not one size fits all anymore and with the wide variety of tools and resources now available to us, students can pick and choose the ways in which they want to learn.

Personalised learning also means personalised feedback, which builds trust in the learners' capabilities, makes them feel supported and allows them to feel a sense of purpose in the work they are completing. If a student knows that they will receive specific and detailed feedback for the work that they complete, they are much more likely to want to do a good job!

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4) Increases career opportunities and builds transferrable skills

Online learning requires students to manage their time, teaches them how to prioritise and ensures that they take ownership of their work. These are all skills that are vital in the workplace and can be easily transferred when students enter their chosen fields.

With boosted confidence in the work that their doing, online learners become experts in advocating for themselves. Being able to confidently speak up in job interviews about how they will successfully contribute to working teams, online learning shows self-motivation and that committing to tasks and large workloads is something that they have experience in.

This results in online learners becoming a lot more attractive to employers, so much so that, 40% of hiring managers perceived online learning to be incredibly valuable.

Additionally, if you are currently working while undertaking studies, online learning only further increases your career opportunities as your employer will be the first to see the development of new skills and knowledge learnt through your studies. Online learning can also help boost your career opportunities, by taking the time to learn a new skill or gain a new qualification, the opportunities for a career switch, a new role or a better salary are all within reach.

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5) Online learning reduces costs

In the current cost of living crisis, people are watching their pennies, and this means investing is education or training may not be a priority, or an option. Online learning can be a lot more affordable than traditional in person learning due to the reduced amount of time and resources needed, and the ability to spread costs over a longer period.

There’s also lots of learning opportunities available online and free of charge, meaning the option to gain new skills and knowledge might not cost you anything at all! It’s also worth noting that with no commute, so lunch time spend, or daily cups of coffee, there’s more money to be saved when you are an online learner.

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In terms of accessibility, flexibility, cost and opportunities, online learning breaks down barriers, opens doors and encourages diversity. It's said that if online learning allows those with disabilities, caring commitments and health problems to work from their own homes, and those with limited finances, learning difficulties or jam-packed schedules able to learn without limits, online learning should be and really is, the future of education.


If you feel online learning could be for you, why not reach out to one of our expert advisers and enrol on a course with ICS Learn today.