Traditional face-to-face learning has been the norm for centuries, so it is easy to assume that this is still the best way to learn. However, for many people, in-person studying may not be the optimal format for learning. The Covid pandemic necessitated greater use of online learning and many people found that it suited them better than conventional learning. With so many more people demanding the option of remote learning, schools are exploring more ways to create innovative, compelling content which can offer the same quality of educational experience and qualification as a classroom-based program.
The method of course delivery will not impact the quality of your qualification, it simply allows you to choose the style of learning which is best suited to your lifestyle and circumstances. While many people take undergraduate degrees before they embark on their career, more people begin studying an advanced degree once they already have their career underway. This means postgraduate students are faced with the choice of putting their career on pause while they complete their studies on campus or opting for a flexible online degree program which can be completed while they continue to work and manage their career.
While in the past, online learning was largely centered around pre-recorded classes and submitting assignments via email, there are now far more creative means of delivering an online program, creating ample opportunities for active involvement and interaction. With greater numbers of students choosing to learn remotely, schools are keen to attract this growing audience. Making use of the latest technology, with specialist technicians developing content and delivery platforms, colleges are now able to offer the same caliber of qualifications via online studying as can be provided through face-to-face learning.
Students who choose to learn online may even enjoy a wider range of study formats than some of their classroom-based counterparts, with engaging content usually including a blend of live and recorded lessons, podcasts, videos, quizzes, virtual forums and live Q&A sessions. Research has found that online training is a very effective form of education, with retention rates as much as 60% higher for online learning than for conventional classroom-based learning.
Do employers favor classroom-based over online degrees?
Some students may be concerned that employers might view online degrees as in some way inferior to a degree earned on campus. However, this concern is unfounded. Employers will be more interested in which university you studied through, rather than the format in which your course was delivered. Some universities even offer the choice of online learning or in classroom courses as alternative routes to achieve the same qualification, with the degrees being of equal value whichever way the student chooses to study.
Which online courses are recognized?
All online courses from a good school will be recognized by employers as of equal merit to a campus degree. Choose a university which has a good reputation and is ranked highly both as an educational institution and for its programs.
Is accreditation important?
Accreditation is an important factor to consider. When you are choosing your degree course, make sure that the school or program you are considering is accredited. Accreditation gives you the assurance that the teaching and content are of a high standard. Three professional organizations that provide accreditation are the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and Equis.
The AACSB works with educational organizations across the globe, awarding accreditation to schools which are pursuing excellence and innovation in business education.
AMBA accreditation criteria have been developed to ensure that programs endorsed by the organization display excellence in the design and teaching of the course, and the employability and career development of alumni. The number of accredited schools is limited to 300, so an AMBA accreditation is a high accolade, and means prospective students can have confidence in the quality of the learning experience and outcome when they choose an AMBA accredited school.
Equis provides a comprehensive accreditation system specifically for business and management schools. It is recognized around the world for its exacting standards. In many cases, Equis accreditation is a prerequisite for schools to be included in rankings. Areas reviewed include programs, faculty, governance, research, internationalization, ethics, responsibility and sustainability. The regular re-accreditation process ensures that schools strive to maintain their high teaching standards and seek opportunities for continuous improvement.
In addition to being accredited by the above three organizations, Aston University has a global reputation as a leading research school. Their Executive Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) course was ranked as one of the top DBA programs worldwide by CEO Magazine 2021 and has been listed in the top 100 Business and Management Studies schools in the world. Qualifications such as the Executive online DBA are targeted at senior management and professionals who will not usually be in a position to put their career on hold or relocate for studies, so a part-time online offering is ideal. Students complete the part-time distance learning degree over the course of 4-6 years, allowing flexibility for accommodating demanding work schedules. This postgraduate qualification will help you to develop your leadership skills and advance your career.
Online learning puts students in control of their own studies, allowing them to learn at their own pace and at times which fit around their busy work lives and other commitments.
Many online courses offer mobile-optimized content, such as videos which can be watched during a commute, as well as podcasts featuring advice from the school’s top academics.
Research suggests that online learning will continue to grow, despite the restrictions of the pandemic being largely a thing of the past. No longer a necessity, online learning is attracting students because of its convenience, reduced costs and enhanced learning experience. The educational technology sector is developing quickly, creating solutions using augmented reality, gamification and learning analytics which will all add to the appeal of online learning, and ensure that online learning remains a popular option going forward.