Like I mentioned earlier, the main benefit of distance learning is the flexibility that comes with it. Since all the lectures are recorded online – something hard to come by in face-to-face cohorts – you can schedule your time studying to suit you, rather than the other way around.
Out of all of the distance learning grads, each of them said that the freedom to juggle university with other commitments, focus on non-academic things or make time to work towards the career they wanted to was the best thing about distance learning for them. And while that’s the case, you should definitely take advantage of it.
Amy used her free time to work and pay for her monthly outgoings. Also, the flexibility allowed her to gain work experience in her chosen field, preparing her for life after studying, which is something that can be quite difficult when your face-to-face classes are spread sporadically throughout the week.
Likewise, if you need to miss a live lecturer for work or other personal commitments, having a recorded lecturer is like a pot of gold. “If you miss a lecture, make sure you keep on top of catching up with it. Lecture recordings are a fantastic way to do this and, up until lockdown, were hard to get lecturers to provide,” says Louise. “Humans aren’t designed to sit still, listen, and concentrate for 1-2 hours at a time and lectures can be intensely packed with information, so it’s inevitable you won’t retain everything,” she adds. “Having online lecture recordings are a great way to go back over key points you may have missed while being able to look up definitions and find papers”.
Another way to take advantage of the home learning experience is to set yourself up for an easy lecture. Amy would do this by printing out worksheets and taking written notes, despite the course being online. “Sometimes it’s easier to print out worksheets and papers so you have a physical copy in front of you,” she tells PC Guide. “That way, it’s much easier to make notes and retain that information.” and not to mention, having a hard copy of your work exonerates the risk of losing it to the Cloud.
If you want to take it a step further, Louise found having a second screen for online lectures a “massive help”. “This could be a phone, tablet, or even a cheap second-hand TV,” she says. “When watching live or pre-recorded lectures you can use the second screen to make notes, or Google keywords you’re unfamiliar with”.