With the ability to connect from any location and study around a full-time job, an online degree represents real learning flexibility.
The continued rise of online courses has enabled more people in more countries to access higher and postgraduate education, and from some of the best universities in the world. For many online learners, enrolling on the same course in person would simply not be possible, which goes some way to explain why, by 2023, the global online learning market is predicted to reach $65.41 billion.
If an online degree is something you’ve considered yourself, you might wonder how best to capitalise on your investment in this mode of learning. An online degree can be just as rich and beneficial as a campus-based one - when you know how to make the most of it.
Get to know your fellow students
You may never come face-to-face with them, but your online student peers should become an important part of your learning experience. Remember that there are people behind the online personas; professionals from all around the world who, just like you, bring a wealth of personal, professional and cultural insight to the online curriculum.
Not only can it make your online degree more fun, making an effort to get to know your fellow students can help make group assignments easier and more effective, enable you to swap mutually-beneficial experiences and perspectives. It can also help you build up a professional network that has the potential to further your career.
Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is designed to make group collaboration as effective as meeting up in person. “I have been able to undertake group assignments with my online classmates as though they were in the same room, when in reality we were working from different corners of the globe,” says current Online MSc in Construction Project Management student, Aidan Munnelly.
Keep in regular contact with tutors and module leaders
Your online degree faculty are there to help you, so be sure to make the most of them. They are the same leading academic and research staff who deliver our campus-based courses, and you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with them via email and ongoing discussion forums, in order to ask questions and delve deeper into course content.
Nottingham Trent University has earned a gold award as part of the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which is all down to our faculty. TEF measures the quality and effectiveness of teaching in universities, and gold is the highest standard achievable.
As experts within their fields, your online tutors and module leaders participate in innovative research projects and represent a source of diverse, industry-focused expertise. For example, Marianna Poberezhskaya brings her years of experience and exploration in Post-Soviet politics, security and media to bear on the Security in the Post-Soviet Space module of our Online MA in International Relations.
“The best feature of the online course is that you are not alone, there is a really good amount of interaction between you, the module tutor and with other students on the course,” explains Orlando Catinari, another student on the Online MSc.
Use your job role to test your learning
One of the biggest advantages of learning online is the fact that you can try out the techniques and strategies you study in your career immediately, while it’s fresh and while you can continue to refine your approaches as you progress further on the course.
Your own role can become a testing ground for the new skills and knowledge you acquire, which can help to improve both your understanding of the course content and the way you tackle your real-world responsibilities.
“The course has given me a whole new perspective on work in general, being able to understand different realities and how these can be applied even in the smallest things I do on a day-to-day basis,” says current Online MBA with Data Analytics student, Maria Agius.
William Walker, who is studying our core Online MBA, agrees. “From the very start of the course I was able to apply the lessons learned into the workplace. I’ve gained confidence from the knowledge gained and my network within the organisation has grown considerably since the course started,” he says.
Get out what you put in
Fundamentally, the more you immerse yourself in the resources and support available to you as an online learner, the more you stand to gain from your studies. Each of our online courses enables you to collaborate with your fellow students, connect with faculty and apply your learning directly to your career, and comes with 24/7 technical support.