Remote learning has seen amazing growth over the past few years, from the boom in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to increasing numbers of grad schools and universities offering highly-flexible, 100% online programmes.
Online learning can open up a wide range of opportunities. Not only does it give you access to courses from anywhere in the world, allowing you to study on your own schedule, but you may also become part of a whole new online learning community.
An online learning community can help you to thrive in your studies, and can even deliver a number of unexpected benefits.
How Joining an Online Learning Community Can Help You Succeed
There are many benefits you’ll enjoy when you join an online learning community, from the more obvious to the less expected.
You’ll Become Part of Something Greater than Yourself
As human beings, community is incredibly important: research has shown that social connections are the biggest factor that contributes to happiness.
Joining an online learning community will immediately make you part of a cohort of like-minded individuals with similar interests and goals. Many of these communities are highly active and very supportive, and you may even make friends or business connections that last a lifetime.
Better Learning Experiences
Connecting with other members of your online learning community will help you to study more effectively and improve your learning outcomes. Working with others helps you to reinforce concepts, clarify points of doubt, and brainstorm solutions to problems. Online platforms afford a great many opportunities to connect and work with your student cohort, whether through chat, video, audio, forum comments, or email.
What’s more, many online schools and learning platforms have well-developed systems to encourage students to interact with one another, whether as part of informal discussion or more formal ones facilitated by faculty members.
The beauty of online learning is that you can study remotely from virtually anywhere on Earth. This, in turn, means that your student cohort will be packed with interesting individuals from all over the world. By joining this online learning community, you’ll be exposed to a whole new range of cultures, perspectives, and life experiences.
This is particularly true when you sign up to courses that are aimed at executives and working professionals, such as EDHEC Business School’s online programmes. You’ll be able to make connections with a diverse range of people, many of them seasoned professionals, providing invaluable networking opportunities.
Everything is more fun with other people. Studying, whether online or in person, can become a grind, especially if you’re balancing your studies with work and personal commitments. Connecting with your cohort through video calls, chat platforms, forums, email, and other online formats will make your course more enjoyable.
Furthermore, being part of a community helps to give you accountability. Knowing your peers are expecting you to show up to class, attend group meetings, or actively participate in discussions will give you that extra push on days you don’t feel very motivated.
You’ll Become Accustomed to Online Communication
It’s no secret that the world is going digital and participating in an online learning community helps you develop the ability to communicate effectively in a remote setting. This skill shouldn’t be underestimated: it can be easy to misunderstand texts and emails, and difficult to communicate clearly and get your point across. As part of your remote learning, you’ll be doing this every day, and are sure to become an expert.
Furthermore, this is a highly-transferable skill that you can apply to your professional life, whether you step into a remote position, or simply any role that involves digital communication.
You May Develop More Confidence
Many people find it less intimidating to interact with others online than in person. If you struggle talking to new people or speaking up in public, you’ll likely find it much easier to do so on an online platform when interacting with other members of your learning community. Even if you’re too shy to put your hand up in class or introduce yourself to strangers at an event, you’ll be able to post a question online or chat virtually to new classmates.
Doing so will help you to build up your confidence, and you may very well find that, over time, this translates into more confidence in person-to-person interactions too!
You’ll Benefit from the Extra Time and Distance
It’s true that the physical distance and time lag often associated with online learning can have its drawbacks, but this can also be beneficial. This online format allows you to ask questions and give opinions in your own time, after you’ve had the opportunity to consider your response.
This not only makes it easier to speak up, but you can also practice your negotiation and conflict resolution skills without the pressure of in-person confrontation. For example, if you have a difference of opinion with another member of your online learning community, you’ll have the time and space to come up with a more considered answer and put forward your point of view in a considered way.
Join the EDHEC Learning Community
At EDHEC, we understand the importance of building a thriving, effective online learning community.
As leaders in remote learning, we’ve developed a supportive environment that not only enriches the learning experience but creates a strong-knit community from a diverse student cohort. Students take advantage of the latest technologies that are tailor-made for better learning, communication, and collaboration.