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8 common challenges of online learning

By Ben Madden

If you’re looking to complete some online learning, then you might be worried about the challenges students face when they study online. While completing further study online can be the secret to career success, online learning requires you to be dedicated and self-motivated in a way that campus learning might not.

Thankfully, overcoming the challenges of online learning is a lot easier than it might seem, especially if you keep an eye out for these challenges along the way. Read on to learn more about how you can get the most out of your time studying online!

What are some challenges that learning online may pose?

If you’re interested in studying online, then you might want to learn more about how to overcome some of the biggest challenges when you enrol with an online education provider. Some of the biggest challenges facing those that are learning online include:

1. Lack of interaction with peers

When you study on campus, you can interact with like-minded peers – which isn’t always the case online. To get around this, organise regular Zoom catchups with other students to stay connected.

2. Lack of motivation

Studying online requires you to be self-motivated, as you’re not being held accountable by your peers. Set goals that you can work towards so you get the most out of your time studying online.

3. Lack of time 

While one of the many benefits of studying online is the fact that it can fit around your other priorities, studying does require your time. Ensure you’re planning out your weeks so you can fit in ample time to study.

4. Technical issues

Studying online requires you to have digital literacy, which can be a challenge for some people. Work with those around you to ensure you’ve got the proper technology in order to study successfully.

5. Unfamiliar environment

If you’ve previously completed study on campus, then studying online may prove difficult. If you’re finding yourself unable to study at home, go to a library/public space where you can be more productive. 

6. Lack of practical assessments

Further study should involve practical assessments rather than purely theory-based assignments. Look for a course that will provide you with job-ready skills and knowledge rather than trying to get you to memorise facts and dates.

7. Uncertainty about the future

Completing further study can feel like you’re picking a defined pathway for yourself – but that’s far from the case! Pick a qualification that teaches you transferable skills in case you want to pivot to a different career in the future.

8. Confusion about job prospects

Trying to decide what course you’re going to pick? It’s worth looking into what jobs are going to be in high demand over the next decade so you can work towards developing a desirable skillset.

How to check an online university's accreditation?

If you’re looking to understand whether an online university is providing accredited courses, then you can search the Australian Government’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) website or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) website, depending on if you’re completing an online university degree or another type of qualification (including Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and short courses).

These websites tell you whether the educational provider is accredited or non-accredited, giving you the peace of mind you’re looking for when you go to enrol in further study. You can learn more about accredited and non-accredited courses here.

What should I look for when choosing online learning programs?

There are a range of criteria that you should consider when you’re looking for an online course.
These include:
  • Do they offer self-paced learning?
  • Who is teaching the course?
  • How long does the course go for, and how many units are there as part of the course?
  • How does the course assess people – through theoretical or practical assessments?
  • If applicable, are there pathways for internships/placements? 
  • Is the educational provider known for high-quality education in your chosen sector?
  • Does the course allow for flexible learning, or do you have to be available at certain times/on certain day
  • How do past students speak about the course?
  • How is the course regarded by potential employers?

These questions should form part of your decision-making, but it’s also worth reaching out to your network to see if you know anyone that’s studied with the education provider/s that you’re considering.

It’s a crucial decision to get right, so don’t rush it. Settled on a course? All that’s left to do is to make the most of your online learning experience!

Ready to take the next step in your career? 

Now that you’ve decided you want to study online, it’s time to take the next step. Upskilled offers a range of nationally recognised qualifications in a range of industries to help you take the next step towards your dream career.

You can learn more by viewing Upskilled’s range of courses here, or get in touch with one of our education consultants today!

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Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.

*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.