E-Course Learning: 10 Common Misconceptions

eLearning College

E-Course Learning

The popularity of e-course learning is at an all-time high.  Across the UK and the world as a whole, more e-courses are being taken by more adult learners than ever before.

From advanced diploma-level programmes and degrees through to free e-courses at entry-level, the distance learning landscape is packed with dynamic educational opportunities.  Even so, there remain many misconceptions and misunderstandings about how eLearning works.

If you have been considering e-course learning but remain reluctant for any reason, the following clarifications could prove insightful:

E-Course learning is expensive

Studying online is almost always significantly more cost-effective than taking a regular classroom-based course.  The programmes themselves carry lower costs, coupled with no travel requirements, and full inclusion of all learning resources and study aids. The total costs of taking an online course can therefore be as much as 90% lower than those of a comparable classroom course at a similar level.  There are even thousands of online courses that can be taken 100% free of charge.

Free online courses are of limited practical value

Quite the contrary, as any online course you take could support your long-term progression, and enhance your CV.  Employers and decision-makers are always on the lookout for those who demonstrate commitment to their ongoing professional development. E-course learning calls for ambition, enthusiasm, and a desire to learn – all translating to an important edge in today’s competitive job market.

You do not receive any tangible proof of your achievements

With some online courses, a certificate of completion is issued automatically at the conclusion of the programme.  Elsewhere, learners have the option of claiming an endorsed certificate or diploma, as proof of their new skills. Either way, there is always the opportunity to obtain formal and tangible proof of your achievements.  Endorsed certificates/diplomas and CPD-accredited awards in particular can add major weight to any CV or job application.

Studying online is complex and time consuming

E-learning provides busy learners with a flexible and accessible alternative to traditional studies. With most online courses, there are no fixed study schedules, and no deadlines.  All assignments and assessments can be completed at a time and pace to suit the learner’s lifestyle.  In addition, the whole experience is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. All study aids and materials are accessible via a simplified digital platform, and can be downloaded or printed as preferred.

There’s no support when learners encounter difficulties

Provision of expert tutor support varies from one online course to the next.  In general, however, online colleges provide remote learners with all the support they need to successfully complete their courses.  This includes assistance with accessing and understanding course materials, feedback on assignments submitted, and help with general difficulties encountered with the topics covered.  Contrary to popular belief, learners are not simply left to their own devices, upon encountering difficulties.

Professional educators do not recommend e-course learning

Increasingly, qualified and experienced educators are recommending eLearning to anyone looking to broaden their career prospects.  Conventional education simply is not an option for most adults, who may already be balancing busy schedules.  However, commitment to continuous professional development is essential, for anyone looking to get ahead. Online eLearning can be just as beneficial and enriching as any classroom-based course.  Not to mention, significantly less intimidating than going ‘back to school’, and far more accessible for the typical adult.

Studying online requires less effort

This simply isn’t the case, as you need to build the same understanding of the topics covered to pass the course as you would with an equivalent classroom-based programme. The difference with eLearning lies in the freedom learners have to complete their courses at their own preferred pace. Topics you are already familiar with can be glanced over, and more time can be dedicated to those you are less familiar with.  Either way, it takes the same amount of effort to pass an online course as an equivalent classroom-based course.

You need to be tech-savvy to study online

The only technology needed to take an online course is a desktop or laptop PC with a reliable internet connection. All course materials and assignments can be downloaded or printed, as preferred.  Submitting assignments, taking assessments, and communicating with an online college is no more difficult than sending an e-mail.  Everything about online learning is designed to be as simple and accessible as possible, calling for no specialist hardware and no special skills.

E-course learning cannot help you get into university

Where adult learners apply for places at universities, their applications are assessed on their overall merit.  This means that any evidence you can provide of commitment to your education and advancement will support your application. Admissions teams place great value on all academic and professional achievements – including evidence of online learning. By taking online courses of relevance to the subject you intend to study, you could boost your chances of securing a place at your preferred university.

Online learning is less effective than classroom-based studies

It’s natural to assume that self-managed eLearning will never be as beneficial as attending on-campus classes.  In reality, research has shown that online learning can actually lead to better information retention than conventional studies. The average information retention rate of face-to-face training is around 10%, compared to 60% with self-managed learning.  This means that whatever it is you intend to study, you could get more out of your education with e-course learning.

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At eLearning College, we offer an extensive range of free online courses of the highest quality.  Open for enrolment 365 days a year, our e-courses can be taken from any location worldwide, with no deadlines or time restrictions.

Browse our full range of endorsed eLearning programs online, or contact a member of the team at eLearning College anytime to discuss the enrolment process.