One of the most common New Year resolutions is to learn something new; it could be a new skill, new language, or even a new sport.
Luckily, there are a lot of online courses available to make self-improvement a reality this year.
With a variety of subjects to join from different fields, along with the perks of learning from the comfort of your own home or even favourite cafe, there are plenty of other sweet perks that you can gain from joining an online course!
Below you will find six reasons why you don’t want to miss out on being a part of the online learning community in 2019.
1. Variety of programs and courses
In 2019, online courses are as fruitful as courses that you signed up for offline.
From traditional four-year universities to mini qualifications or microcredentials, you can now have access to a wealth of information just by joining an online course.
OpenLearning for example, offers a variety of online courses from different background and study fields. Moreover, the platform also provides certificates for students who have completed their course.
This can give students the opportunity to:
- experience education content or curriculum outside of their local universities,
- explore a range of study fields without having to pay a large sum of money, or simply
- take a course from a faculty whose teaching frequency matches with their learning frequency.
2. Dive in when you are the most keen
Imagine this: You’re at home in your pyjamas and learning the history behind the Internet of Things.
The main concept of online courses is to provide flexibility in learning — one can undergo training at their own comfort, at their own pace and at anywhere, anytime.
Online courses offer the option of diving in when you are the most keen and learning at your own convenience.
Courses on OpenLearning are even accessible on the both the web and through our mobile app.
This gives you more flexibility on when and where you want to do your online course!
3. Meet a network of online learners
Joining an online course also means that you are becoming part of a global online learning community.
At OpenLearning, we have a more than 1.5 million users from 35 different countries studying on the platform!
With social learning being the main core of our online learning philosophy, most of our activities are focused on discussions where you can share and interact with other users.
In our online courses, you will have the chance to interact with your peers and discuss related topics while also being exposed to the different cultures and backgrounds. You can even use the chat button to talk to other students in your course.
An emphasis on social learning enhances the educational experience, as the learner is able to like, comment and share their learning on a global scale.
These interactions open up the door to a wide range of perspectives, including those with real students from the various institutions of higher education that prospective students may be considering.
4. More interaction, more learning
What makes OpenLearning different from other online course providers is that we apply social learning theories as a principle of our online instructional design.
In online instructional design, social learning is a teaching method where the learning process is driven by the community, as well as a series of strategically designed activities. This method takes inspiration from familiar social media platforms as well as the works of Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey and other developmental researchers.
Courses on OpenLearning place the student at the centre of the learning and empowers them in their learning discovery process.
There is growing evidence that suggests students construct their best knowledge mainly through experiencing something, then reflecting on that experience—referred to as deep learning or ‘construction’.
On OpenLearning, learners will construct their ideal learning experiences by getting actively involved in their own teaching. Being “actively involved” includes: discussing ideas, working in groups, asking questions, doing experiments, creating, building, designing, and ultimately, connecting new information with their existing view of the world.
Moreover, this also encourages students to interact, engage, and connect with one another towards achieving the knowledge and skill outcomes which are envisioned by the course creator.
The good news for students is that best practices in social learning align well with what is expected in today’s tech-centric, globalised and multicultural workplaces!
5. Gain full control of your learning progress
Online courses are great to help you practice self-paced learning and also to chart your own learning path.
Despite allowing you to dive in when you’re the most keen, it is suggested that you actively monitor your progress.
This can help you to set your own schedule and make the most out of your online course.
When joining a course on OpenLearning, all students will be able to monitor and track their progress.
Simply go to the courses that you are enrolled in, and click the progress bar located on the top right corner of the page.
Inside the “My Progress” page, you will be able to see how far along you are in the course and also check if there are activities that you have missed in any of the courses’ modules.
We’d recommend that every student actively checks their progress as they go through their course to take control of their learning.
6. Create your own online portfolio
Joining an online course can also contribute to strengthening your online presence.
Online presence refers to the quality and quantity of your online identity and interactions.
Your online presence can encourage others to become active in the community and provide opportunities to make new connections and boost your future career.
As you are progressing through your online course on OpenLearning, an added feature, “Portfolio” will instantly collect your achievements — from completed activities to certificates and badges.
The Portfolio enables you to review, evaluate and invite feedback on your best assignments and ideas by conveniently capturing your entire learning and personal development journey.
All of this is will then be accessible through your Profile Page.
Moreover, it can help you market yourself to your peers, professors or prospective employers — without them having to log in to OpenLearning.
The OpenLearning Portfolio is more than just a job search tool, it is ultimately a lifelong learning resource.
This year is definitely the best time for you to sign up for an online course and take part in the online learning community.
With so many free courses available, time and money are no longer an excuse for stopping you from learning something new.
Joining an online course at the start of the year will give you the kick you need to start your learning journey towards being a better you!
Excited to become a part of our online learning community? Join an online course on OpenLearning today!