As the number of students taking courses online continues to rise, we can conclude that online learning is here to stay.

But for those unfamiliar with how online education works and how it differs from campus-based learning, it is worth bearing the following in mind:

  1. Campus-based universities (such as the University of Roehampton) have developed online programmes to help students from all over the world acquire a postgraduate degree. This inclusive approach to education can only be commended, because it provides a means for working professionals (many living long distances from university campuses) to expand their knowledge and in turn, broaden their horizons.
  2. The online university tutor or faculty member could be considered less a lecturer and more a facilitator or mentor. Their role is to stimulate discussion and debate through replying to posts on online forums. They steer conversation, and signpost students to reading material relevant to their subject areas of interest. They also mark written work and monitor student participation, watching out for plagiarism – so be warned!
  3. Online learning can be extremely rewarding but it also requires self-discipline, as Fiona Roffey explains:

    “Balancing work, children and study is not easy. For me, commitment to achieve your goal is paramount. I carefully take time to understand the plan of work for each unit and module, and follow a strict routine. I read three to four hours almost every night, so that I am not hurrying to complete assignments, and can contribute early and frequently to the shared activity.”
    Fiona Roffey
    MSc in Strategic Human Resource Management student

    Remember: you can study at a time that suits you rather than battling rush-hour traffic to attend an early-morning lecture on campus.
  4. Online learning is different and it is not meant to be compared to a campus-based education because programmes follow completely different learning models. Having said this, degrees earned online in many cases carry the same merit as those earned on campus. Roehampton Online masters students attend the same graduation ceremony as campus-based students and receive the same degree.
    According to a 2015 online learning survey in the US, over half of academic leaders say online and face-to-face outcomes are the same.
  5. By definition, students who study via online learning are part of a global community. This is one of the great advantages of online education. Students and faculty members discuss current issues and situations that are happening all over the world, hearing many different cultural viewpoints and perspectives.

Online learning in many cases can be the perfect solution for those trying to balance work, study and family commitments. As international travel becomes easier and we become more conscious of being part of a global economy, online education could prove to be the best option for today’s upwardly mobile, global-thinking student.

Find out more about the masters degree programmes available at Roehampton Online.

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