If you are fed up of spending all of your time going to and from class (not to mention the time you spend there), the idea of studying from home could be very appealing. Learning from home can also be useful if you have other commitments on your time, such as work or caring for someone else. With the flexible nature of this type of study you won’t be tied down to a set schedule each week, which means you can work your education around the rest of your life – rather than the other way around. However, learning from home will take some extra dedication and self-motivation from you in order for it to work.
The options from learning from home include distance learning, open learning, and flexible learning. Distance learning is the simplest to understand. With this type of study you will work from home using course materials sent through the post or over the internet. You will have support from a tutor via telephone, email, or post and may be able to join other students in online forums to discuss work.
Open learning takes a lot of the same cues as distance learning, except there will also be a requirement to attend a resource centre of other location for some face-to-face tuition or short courses. Flexible learning, meanwhile, is where you attend a college or other education provider at times arranged with them in order to work through your tuition with tutors.
The flexibility that these options offer are great for those who want to work at their own pace or have other commitments that get in the way of attending a regular college. Favoured by mature students, this type of learning is also good if you don’t enjoy the ‘traditional’ college experience or if there is no nearby college offering the course you want and you don’t want to move away for university.
Another great bonus is that the cost is often less than traditional full-time study (at a university for example), while institutions like the Open University offer financial help to students with disabilities, medical conditions or specific learning difficulties. Plus, your learning need not impact your work – allowing you to earn money while you work towards a qualification.
While the flexibility of this type of learning may appeal, you will need to manage your own timetable in order to meet deadlines. You won’t have a tutor breathing down your neck to make sure you have finished your assignment – so it may not suit those who need an extra push to stay motivated. Of course, there is plenty of advice to help you stay motivated in your studies if you need it!
Staying motivated to study can be tough if you are working all day, but this can suit those who have irregular work patterns, it is just a matter of setting your own schedule and sticking to it! Learning to stay self-motivated is a great skill to develop, while being able to work at your own pace means you won’t have to wait around for the rest of the class if you want to get ahead.
Home learning has come on in leaps and bounds over the years and there are now a wide range of distance learning courses available – although some courses will be unavailable because they need practical skills that can only be taught face-to-face – such as driving or midwifery!