Online Learning Leading The Way In Business School
As technology continues to advance, it’s only natural that everything else follows. We’ve seen both the good and the bad in recent times, from replacing jobs once considered essential, to providing us with revolutionary tools to achieve what was previously unimaginable.
The impact of technology has been felt far and wide, with the higher education sector greatly benefiting from new ways to deliver information. Advancements in both technology and internet speed has made the model an increasingly viable option for learning, with its popularity significantly growing in recent times.
Australian Institute of Business (AIB) Head of Online Learning Sebastian Rosien explained that many business school students prefer studying online due to the increased flexibility, with support at the click of a button.
“Online education has really come of age in the past five years. With just as many opportunities to connect with teaching faculty and network with peers online, students are not at a disadvantage,” he said.
The method sees students learn from a blend of video or audio content, online readings and interactive platforms, at a time and location that is most convenient to them. That being said, the rise of online education has not come without its critics, with concerns about quality of education and lack of networking opportunities.
“As technology has progressed and students have seen the real benefits of online learning, the study method is no longer considered inferior to classroom learning,” Mr Rosien said.
It’s also recognised by major accreditation bodies, with many of the world’s top business schools now offering online study options to students. The strict criteria required to meet accreditation ensures that the quality of education is not compromised.
In fact, Australia’s Department of Education enrolment data shows that online study has rapidly increased in the past five years, with more than a quarter of tertiary students opting to study by distance. Similar statistics are prevalent in the United States too, with more than one in four students (28%) now undertaking at least one distance education course in their degree.
There are a range of advantages associated with online learning, with the most popular being the flexibility and global access. Previously, studying postgraduate programmes such as the MBA meant putting your work, family and life plans on hold, however studying online allows students to self-pace and fit the commitments around their life.
It also allows students to learn something one day, and apply it the next at work. This assists greatly as it brings a practical element to the learnings, compared to those who cease work to study and wait several months to implement knowledge.
Employers have also shown their support for online education, with Hays Recruitment Director Jan McNeill telling The Herald Sun that employers value the qualification itself, rather than how it was delivered.
“Whether you complete your degree online or by attending classes on campus, it has no bearing on employers. What matters to employers is the qualification is legitimate,” she said.
While studying online may seem like an easier option in comparison to classroom education, students are warned not to underestimate the dedication required to succeed.
Mr Rosien said the learning method requires students to be self-disciplined, organised and prepared to put in the hard work to achieve their degree. However, AIB technology has been developed to be as agile as possible, ensuring students are supported along their journey.
“Our innovative learning portal has been developed with the online student user experience in mind. Students can access the portal on any device at any time, follow a clear learning path for each subject, and access all the resources and materials they’ll need in one place,” he said.
The learning method also allows students to develop skills that are very relevant to the workplace post-study. These include time management, written communication, strategic thinking and more.
“Online learning also demonstrates to employers that graduates have managed to juggle multiple commitments while earning their degree,” Mr Rosien said.
Have your say
There is no doubt that technology has changed the face of education, with online learning now offering an increasingly viable option for students. It allows them to continue working and earning an income, while also developing lifelong knowledge and networks. We’re keen to hear from students that have studied online – what did you find the pros and cons to be of the method?