For many considering studying online, the thought of studying in isolation can seem off-putting. “Can I muster enough self-motivation to see me through to graduation?” you may ask. However, contrary to popular belief, you are not alone.

Today’s online institutions are giving their students the opportunity to be part of inspiring and innovative global communities. Universities such as the University of Roehampton, London Online place the student experience at the heart of everything they do, offering a wide range of useful support tools and networks to help students get to where they need to be.

  1. Your Enrolment Advisor
    At the enrolment stage, your advisor should be able to answer any questions you may have about the degree programme you are interested in. They should be able to explain the application process, the costs involved and how the online learning programme will benefit you and your current situation. Don’t be surprised if you end up telling them your life story; it’s their job to lend a listening ear, suggesting ways how you can manage your working life around your studies.
  2. Student support
    It can be daunting posting for the first time in an online classroom, and if you’re not familiar with the process you may feel like shying away. The student support team understands these apprehensions and should be able to assist you in answering any questions relating to the day-to-day running of your course programme.
  3. The faculty members
    Your faculty members should have a wealth of both academic and professional experience in their field. For example, faculty members at Roehampton Online have an average of 12 years’ teaching experience, and several members of the MBA faculty have extensive professional experience and run their own companies. Faculty members should facilitate critical debate and discussion, ask questions and point you in the right direction.
  4. Peer interaction
    Online education means learning from your peers worldwide. Check if the course you are interested in has a group-work element. This can give you the opportunity to engage in closer and more detailed discussions that benefit from varying professional and cultural perspectives. University online communities like Roehampton Online’s Inspirenet provide a platform for students to chat and connect informally outside the virtual classroom.
  5. Academic skills support
    Whether it’s setting personal goals, communicating ideas clearly, or citing your references correctly, your online university should support you in honing your academic skills and managing your workload. Roehampton Online’s Centre for Student Success site contains several ways of gaining this type of support. The Writing Centre allows you to submit work to writing tutors for feedback on structure, writing style and referencing, and Skill Units let you develop academic skills at your own pace.
  6. Finance
    Postgraduate study is a serious financial commitment. Your university’s finance team should help you come up with a payment plan tailored to suit you. They should also be on hand to offer advice and guidance if your financial situation changes.
  7. Technical support
    Whether it’s getting access to library resources or navigating virtual classroom applications (like Blackboard, Moodle or Lore), the university technical team or IT support should help you solve any problems you might have.
  8. Student careers service
    Check if your online university has a purpose-built careers service. REACH, Roehampton Online’s employability and careers hub, is an excellent example, offering resources such as CV-writing tutorials, simulated interviews, databases and job-search engines.

Find out more about online learning at Roehampton Online. Often, the hardest part of pursuing an online degree is just getting started.

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