Illawarra Mercury

Remote Studying: Why Has Online Learning Become So Popular?

Completing a course online is simply more convenient than studying on campus. Picture Shutterstock
Completing a course online is simply more convenient than studying on campus. Picture Shutterstock

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Undoubtedly, studying remotely has become increasingly popular with students today. This is because completing a course online is simply more convenient than studying on campus! As well as this, online learning saves you money, time, and energy.

Further, when you don't need to commute to an education facility to attend in-person lectures and tutorials, you can enjoy an increased work/life/study balance. So, to learn more about why online learning has become so popular, just keep reading!

Online courses: The most popular tertiary qualifications to study remotely

In our digitalised world, online course study has become one of the most convenient, cost-effective, and indeed, most popular methods of completing a higher education tertiary qualification! By studying online, you can complete a higher education degree on your terms.

Indeed, the world of online study also means that almost any area of study is at your fingertips. You could choose to pursue an online tertiary qualification in the area of cyber security, for example. For postgraduate students, perhaps an online Juris Doctor or a Master of Business Administration would be more suited to your career goals. Alternatively, you could elect to obtain any number of shorter-term online courses and diplomas by studying via digital methods.

Of course, the great thing about studying online is that you can quite literally slot it into your existing schedule. Already have an overwhelmingly full life and a huge number of personal and professional commitments? Never fear, you can still make online study work for you!

Best yet, flexible studying arrangements - such as completing your course on a part-time basis - are readily available at many educational institutions and facilities. Studying part-time online even enables full-time workers to complete a higher education qualification of their choosing! This is an invaluable option - especially for working individuals who are aspiring to change careers, or even, just move up the corporate ladder within their current profession or industry.

Cost-saving benefits: How studying online saves you money

One of the most popular reasons to elect to study online (versus on-campus), is that you can save a great deal of money on your course fees. Admittedly, the course fees associated with completing a higher education degree can be very expensive! This is especially the case for postgraduate courses in Australia, which are continually increasing in cost as the years go by!

But why are tertiary course fees so expensive? First, the somewhat exorbitant cost of completing a higher education qualification can be attributed to the interest rate of student debt repayment. Indeed, in 2023, Australian student loan fees - also known as HECs debts - have been set to increase by as much as 7.1% - due to 'indexation'. But what is indexation, and how does it relate to your student loan debt? In simple terms, indexation is the 'adjustment' of prices for goods and services - often due to inflation.

The good news is, by choosing to study online, you can reduce your student loan debt in the long term. By choosing a cheaper course completion method in the first place, your debt repayments will naturally be lower. So, why is it cheaper to study online?

To clarify, we must think of the costs that university facilities outlay to accommodate students who choose to study on campus. Heating, air conditioning, the cost of operating technology, and many other overheads, all play a part in contributing to on-campus course fees. As such, if you choose to study remotely, these costs will not be passed on to you. As a result, your online course fees will be lower than for a student choosing to attend on-campus classes.

Time-saving convenience: How remote study saves you precious time and energy

Lastly, studying online saves you time! Of course, your time is valuable. Indeed, time is considered by many to be the most precious commodity that exists, and that is available to us.

So, how does studying online save you both time and energy? Of course, the most obvious time-saving factor is that you will not need to waste hours commuting to and from your university or other tertiary education facility. These are precious hours that you can instead dedicate to completing your coursework remotely.

Of course, to be able to do this, you need to have digital access to all of the course material. So, if you are choosing to complete your degree via digital methods, you will need to have access to a computer, laptop, smart tablet, or another compatible electronic device.

That way, you will be able to digitally enter the online student portal through which the course information and study material will be disseminated to you. Being able to access your university's student portal - often referred to as the university 'intranet', is essential to being able to complete your coursework. You will also need to be able to submit your assignments online, often through this same portal.

On the subject of assignment submissions, it is also essential to ensure that you are familiar with all of your assessment due dates throughout your degree. Importantly, course assessments and assignment submission dates will be scattered throughout your course study period, and it is up to you to stay on top of them.

Consider using a planner, diary or calendar to visualise key due dates throughout your study period. This will assist you in managing your time, and help you stay organised while you complete your course online.

In our digital day and age, online study is more popular than ever! Of course, completing a tertiary qualification via online study methods has many benefits.

Not least, the cost-saving perks of having a reduced course fee debt associated with your student loan. In addition to this, the time-saving benefit of not needing to commute to and from your classes. As a result, online students can enjoy more free time, and less expenditure, when completing their courses digitally. Indeed, it must be said - studying remotely is the way of the future!