Online Learning, why it's right for me | Quirks & Queries


After sacking off Sixth Form, and just never showing up to my local Tech college you could say my education had gone down the drain. With the recent reform in A levels meaning I couldn't try for a third year & just do an AS, which would probably follow the same pattern as my other two tries anyway, I was left at a crossroads - work my way from a grill (but I'd have probably been on it for years before having the confidence to move to another job and ask for a reference) or pave my own path.

I didn't want to just take the easy option though, and sometimes a risk is what's needed to get you where you want to be. 

Blogging and creating written content for people is a hobby I can never see myself stopping; it gives me a voice and helps me start conversation - my biggest problem. At the minute, I'm taking a short course with Shaw Academy in Blogging & Content Marketing. It's only four weeks long, so there's no commitments as of yet, but it's given me a taster into why I feel this path is now right for me and I can now see why online learning is an increasingly popular way of gaining knowledge, credit and even a degree if you wanted one.

What are the benefits?

Wide range of courses on offer:

I have quite niche interests, and they're pretty specific too and no college's near me would offer a blogging course...or offer so much under one roof. (hypothetically speaking) I've seen courses in web design, hospitality, business & marketing, photography and so much more. Even down to hairdressing, teaching assistants and veterinary nursing...but do check my 'Things to think about' section to see notes on course credibility.

Cherry pick what you want to learn

- I found, particularly at my local Tech, when taking a vocational course some parts of the course were just inappropriate for me. 
You can back up how life drawing will help when composing a photographic portrait as much as you want, and yes, it might, but not 12 weeks of the stuff. I'm socially awkward enough, and certainly don't want to see a middle aged man's wobbly parts. *Shudders*. Despite this there were aspects of the course, such as Art History, that I did really enjoy. 
What's great is I can now choose to do an online course in Digital Photography, pair it up with Art History and there need be no naked men in sight! 

Learn at your own pace

- There's no 9am-3pm 3-5 days a week, lectures can be watched at anytime on most websites (with the option of attending live on some) meaning you can wrap it around your schedule. It's something that can be done when you've got a spare hour or two on a weekday, or an hour on a Sunday evening. 

Make the most of Freebie offers and Discounts 

- The Open University is a good example of a website that offers a lot of free courses. With some just for learning and others linking with your occupation. Often these big course offering companies release freebie offers for their short courses to try and gain traffic for their advanced full time courses and usually offer discounts for them when you participate in the short course.

No socialising

-  Of course I'd mention this factor. It's all done in the safety and comfort of your own home...or local coffee house. No walking around depressing college corridors and talking to people that, if you didn't have to see 5 days a week, you'd never speak to again.

Of course, I can ask for help and help is offered if I want it!

Cups of Tea & Pyjamas - who wouldn't want a lesson where you just sip on a brew whilst in your lounge wear?

Things to think about:

Price - If you're thinking of buying a 60 credit 1 year course, it might set you back £1000. Be sure it's something you're going to stick at and enjoy. 
Credibility - Whose the awarding body? Is it worth anything, will it add value to your CV & Education History? Is the website of good standing? 
Can you be botheredness? - There's no point in doing any course if all you're doing is looking for the end certificate. 

Be cautious of courses that claim to be credit worthy but in fact only offer a certificate of participation.

That's all for now,

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  1. I was home schooled until the age of 16 so most of my learning was done either by distance learning or online! I loved the fact that I could pick my own schedule as well, if I fancied watching a lecture or making some notes at 9 o'clock at night it was fine to do so! 😂 I also took photography and Teaching English as a Foreign Language courses with BSY, although the Open Univeristy is great as well! Thank you for sharing your experiences ❤️

  2. I think it's so cool that you're learning online! It's a great experience, and who wouldn't want to study in pyjamas?! Haha.

    Anika |

  3. Learning from home seems so appealing to me, I've often thought about starting a home course of some kind, maybe I will in the next academic year :)

    Hayley-Eszti |

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