When compared to traditional classroom-based teaching, online courses can offer a more varied and in-depth student learning experience. When you consider the wider range of multi-media course materials, the opportunity to learn alongside a greater number of your peers and have your voice heard, plus the flexibility to study in a way that suits your current commitments, it's no wonder that the "evidence of student success and, indeed preference, for the online classroom is mounting."
But there’s more to enrolling on an online course than simply showing up and completing your assignments.
If you're committing to studying an online degree, you're probably doing it to learn new skills and aid career development. So, take advantage of every opportunity and know that you did everything you could to get the qualification you deserve.
Here are our top tips for making the most of your online degree.
Embrace the online student community
Return to study from the corporate world and you and your peers will have a variety of different experiences which you can exchange. Initiating those conversations opens you up to a much richer learning experience, where you get the opportunity to see what has and hasn't worked in real-life. It will enhance your knowledge and enable you to apply a higher level of critical thinking to your assignments.
Then there's the wider global community to immerse yourself in. Interacting and collaborating with your peers in other countries enables you to gain valuable insight and different perspectives from other cultures.
Your peers are most likely also in the same boat as you. They too are balancing work, family and other personal commitments alongside their studies, so they will be able to relate to similar challenges. If you're struggling with how to balance everything, talk to your peers and ask for their help. The act of advising someone else can often help clarify things in your own life and consequently, they will probably be more than happy to provide advice based on their experience.
Being part of a community is about supporting each other. It’s also about celebrating the 'wins'. If you've found a particular assignment challenging and ended up with top marks - tell the community. If you've applied your learning to your job to great effect - tell the community. Or if you've completely fallen in love with a specific unit - tell the community. It is rewarding to see those in the same position as you succeed; others will want to share in that success with you.
Finally, the networking opportunities created through the course of your studies can help you to build up your professional network to further your career.
All of this is available to you from the very first day of your course through the Virtual Learning Environment, and remains available 24/7 throughout the duration of your studies at the University of Bath.
Take every opportunity to engage the faculty
We have some exceptional staff at the University of Bath, whose research is defined as world-leading or internationally excellent. It's thanks to their high standards that the University was awarded Gold status in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*.
Make use of the discussion forums to present your arguments and demonstrate your critical thinking, tap into their skills, knowledge and experience to enhance your own learning.
Just as you would do in your professional life, take note of any feedback provided through your assignments and online interaction. Your tutors will naturally guide you and ask probing questions to force you to explore something in greater depth or from an alternative angle. Make sure you take notice of these questions so you can ask them of yourself in the future to show how far you've come.
Bring your studies to life
At the University of Bath our courses focus on real-world application. Through our Virtual Learning Environment, you gain access to a multitude of resources, including engaging video content and real-life case studies.
While you will be taught different models, frameworks and academic theories within the context of actual case studies, nothing compares to trying it out in practice. Choosing to study an online course means you have the flexibility to continue working alongside your studies, which is hugely advantageous. You can apply new knowledge immediately to your career, giving you the tools to make positive changes at work as you study each topic. We encourage you to share your experiences within the online community, so they can learn from you.
The University of Bath offers a number of online degree courses, designed to help you learn new skills and aid your career development. Discover more about our courses.
* Rankings based on undergraduate data