Studying online for the first time? What to expect.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

With more people undertaking courses online, gaining your qualifications from home or the workplace is becoming increasingly common. But, if you’ve never studied online before, you’re probably wondering what you can expect

While most of us have experienced classroom learning at various points in our lives, enrolling to take classes via a computer or laptop can be a bit daunting, so it’s useful to understand the ins and outs of online learning so you can get the best outcomes throughout your journey. And don’t worry — from the support provided to the flexibility and so much more, there is plenty to love about studying online. Learn what to expect below.

What to expect when studying online

Why study online?

There are many reasons people choose to pursue their chosen qualifications online. While the coronavirus pandemic has made online learning the norm for now, there are other circumstances that make this the preferred delivery mode for a range of learners.

For some it’s useful to effectively juggle family commitments, for others they want to fit their studying in around work, and for many they simply find studying from home more enjoyable.

Choosing to complete your course via an online delivery mode gives you options for when, where and how you approach your training. With a high-quality qualification attainable from the comfort of your own home, studying is more accessible than ever before.


What are the benefits of studying online?

Whatever your reason for choosing to learn online, the benefits are undeniable. Let’s take a look at a few of the perks of studying online:

Studying when it suits: Are you most productive first thing in the morning? Or maybe you prefer to get stuck into studying in the evening? With online learning, you can study at the time that best suits you, your life and your schedule.

Customise your learning environment: While the classroom setting has long been the prevalent set up for studying, it may not be the environment in which you learn best. Studying online means you can create the learning environment that you want. Your pets can come to class with you too!

Learning at your own pace: Life can be unpredictable, but the flexible nature of online courses enables learners to tackle their studies at their own unique pace giving you one less thing to worry about.


How are courses delivered online?

Your online course shouldn’t simply be a big document to read with an assignment at the end. A quality course is delivered online in a dynamic and interactive way. Plus, studying online minimises paper-based resources, so you’re doing your bit for the environment too.

At Practical Outcomes we have an online portal where our students can visit and know that they can study effectively. This learning platform makes studying online an engaging and supported experience, which in turn makes completing your studies easier and enjoyable.

Your online coursework will include watching videos online, completing quizzes and submitting assessments through the portal. You’ll have regular communication with your dedicated trainer via email, video or phone, and receive individualised feedback to get the most from your studies. The portal even provides opportunities and space for our learners to collaborate with other students online.

If you’re concerned about your level of tech savviness, don’t be. Technical assistance is available whenever you need it, and you will have ample support to navigate the online portal.


Is practical placement included in an online course?

Practical skills are best developed on the job, so while our online portal provides a thorough training experience, we still incorporate a practical placement component into our courses. This hands-on learning gives you the chance to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain vital industry experience.

Our team will help you to find a placement that is best suited to you and your circumstances and career goals. Through your placement you will acquire firsthand experience that will contribute to your confidence, capability and critical reflection. The practical placement hours will enhance your training and help you to be job-ready when you complete your course.


What is needed to start courses online?

A little preparation can go a long way, so getting sorted before your course commences is highly recommended. Thankfully, the requirements to study online are similar to those needed for any course delivery mode

When you’re starting your studies, these should be a priority:

Reliable internet connection: There’s nothing worse than waiting for things to load for ages or, worse yet, not being able to get online at all. A quality, reliable internet connection is essential for studying online.

Establish trust with your trainer: Your trainer wants you to succeed and is there for you through every step of the way during your training journey. Get to know them and let them support you by asking for help as you need it.

Create a routine: Distractions can pop up when you’re studying online, so set up a routine or schedule that enables you to allocate the time you need to your course with minimal disruptions. A routine will minimise stress and maximise results.

Understand what needs to be done: Take the time to understand what you need to do and how to do it. This will make your studies easier to tackle and help you to know what questions to ask. Make sure you know how to submit coursework, join discussion groups and seek additional support.  


What kind of support is there for students studying online?

Qualifications delivered online should still involve people. Support from experienced trainers is just as important for online learning. When you enrol in your online early childhood course with Practical Outcomes, you will be allocated a trainer who will remain your go-to support person throughout your learning journey.

Our trainers have vast experience in early childhood education and care across a variety of settings and share valuable insight to enrich your learning. The support provided by trainers helps learners to reach their full potential and bring their career dreams to life. Communication between learners and trainers can be arranged via phone, email, text or video call — you decide the means of contact that best meets your needs.

In addition to a dedicated trainer, students can access our Language, Literacy and Numeracy support (LLN). Don’t let these areas act as a barrier to your study success — we can help you overcome these challenges and thrive in early childhood education. Our Learner Success advisors and technical support team are also available to give learners every opportunity to shine as they work towards their qualifications.

If the classroom setting is something you are concerned about missing out on when studying online, there’s no need to worry. Our learner community hubs via the online portal are perfect for engaging with your peers and working together through your studies. This human-centred approach to learning is key to developing soft skills central to career success such as problem-solving, managing emotions and verbalising and discussing ideas.


Are online courses recognised qualifications?

Just because you don’t attend a campus for your learning, it doesn’t make your qualification any less valid. The courses we provide online are nationally recognised qualifications that are taught by industry experts.

Not only can you be confident that you are gaining a quality early childhood education qualification, you can also access our university pathway to a Bachelor of Education degree in either Early Childhood Teaching or Early Childhood and Primary Teaching at Swinburne Online. This enables you to fast-track your teaching career using credits from your CHC50121 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care to fast-track your teaching career.


Tips for succeeding in courses online

When you’re studying courses online for the first time, it can be tricky to know the best way to do it successfully, and with minimal stress. These six quick tips will help you when the time comes to start studying online:

  1. Find what motivates you
  2. Incorporate study into your daily routine
  3. Be patient with yourself
  4. Take regular study breaks
  5. Create a workspace you love
  6. Ask for help when you need it

We’ve got more helpful online study tips for you here.


Study online for a career in early childhood

Keep in mind that much like classroom course delivery, the approach and quality of the training provided can vary between training organisations so it’s important that you choose carefully. When researching options to enrol in early childhood education courses online, look for a high quality training provider who can support you in achieving your study goals.

To learn more about our early childhood education courses, contact Practical Outcomes via phone or email today.


Make an enquiry

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia
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