How COVID-19 is changing the way we learn

Since the start of the pandemic, online learning has gone from strength to strength. As technology continues to develop in the space, many are considering how it’ll continue to grow beyond COVID-19. 5 minute read.

Young man wearing VR headset

COVID-19 has brought its fair share of challenges to the year 2020 - including a massive shift to remote work, and more students than ever turning to online learning. 

As the education sector continues to adapt to a 100% online model for the first time ever, educators are left wondering what the situation will look like in 5 years. Has COVID-19 changed the way we learn forever? Is online learning becoming the norm for all learners?

Rethinking traditional learning environments

The pandemic has forced parents and students alike to rethink what a traditional learning environment looks like. Conventional learning for many embraced an old-fashioned way of teaching, involving an instructor and students in a classroom setting - however, as Open Universities Australia (OUA) has demonstrated for many years, online learning provides more flexibility than ever - irregardless of COVID-19.

During our 27 years of operation, we’ve seen online learning embraced by hundreds of thousands, helping over 400,000 students achieve their goals through online study. Since the pandemic, it’s become one of the only ways to learn for entire populations of students in some Australian states.

Despite the rise of online study before COVID-19, for many adults, taking classes online is a completely new experience. The good news is,  with new experiences comes opportunities to grow, discover and progress. As you’re about to learn, online learning opens more doors, allows you to have greater control of the structure of your studies, and how you reach the finish line.  

How online learning makes education more accessible

The key difference between in-person and online learning is accessibility. 

With in-person learning, students and instructors are often restricted, whether it be by location, training or flexibility. With online learning, these restrictions get tossed out the window. 

The beauty of online learning is that it gives students the freedom to juggle school and their careers without feeling tied down by a fixed schedule. Instructors from all over the world can bring their unique knowledge and expertise to the table. And students can tune into lectures, classes and presentations with the click of a mouse. 

Flexibility brings opportunities to reskill your future

With accessibility comes flexibility. Online study allows you to absorb bite-sized content one at a time from the comfort of home, without having to commit to a 3 year degree on campus. 

With short courses, you can investigate your budding passions or develop your skills in leadership, business or even customer experience. A more flexible timeline also means more chances to find your relevance in a particular field.

Diversity could introduce new outlooks

While Australian universities welcome students across the world, boasting a diverse mix of 1.5 million students, the diversity with domestic students is not as robust. 

Last year, Universities of Australia reported that people from major cities are twice as likely to hold a degree than those from regional and remote areas. 

OUA allows students from all corners of Australia to study with the country’s leading universities online - something which, we predict, will only continue to increase after the pandemic. Gone are the days where you had to move to the city to become a lawyer. 

Changes to student engagement

One common worry for students is: with an online course, will I be motivated to learn? 

With in-person learning, you might measure your own engagement by how many classes you attended in a semester. Or whether you decided to grab a coffee instead of attending the next tute. But with online learning, there’s no other measure than your willingness to do the work. 

While some may fear this is a negative, in reality it can make learning much more effective. By developing a habit of logging on each day and staying motivated, many students studying through OUA feel more empowered and eager to hit the books.

Build a better future

While the pandemic has shuffled the educational landscape for many, OUA has seen the ability for online education to build a better future for years. And we’re excited to see where growth in online education takes the world next. 

Studying online allows more learners than ever to follow their dreams and chase their career goals, despite previously perceived barriers such as distance from campus or entry requirements. That’s right, through OUA you can study no matter where you live and no matter whether you’ve studied before. 

While the pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, it has made the benefits of online study better known across the globe and will broaden the backgrounds of graduates we see leading the world tomorrow. 

So, whether you’re keen to pursue a university degree online or further enhance your skill set by engaging in a graduate certificate program, OUA is here to help you make it happen.

Make online learning work for you

Struggling to adapt to online study since the pandemic began? Looking into pursuing a degree so that you can adapt to an altered economy? Either way, the team at OUA is happy to answer your questions. 

You aren’t in this alone. From picking the right course for you, to introducing study techniques that can help you with remote study, our support services can help you stay on track. Get advice from our team of expert student advisors today.