When it comes to deciding whether to pursue an online course or on-campus education in Australia, several factors need to be considered.
Most international students choose to study in Australia to take advantage of the quality education that the country provides. However, it is not an option for everyone, especially those who have family and job obligations overseas.
Fortunately, if you cannot go to Australia to study, you can still gain an Australian qualification by applying for an online course and studying at the comfort of your home.
To get clarity and more information on which is better online or campus classes, continue reading this post.
1. What to Consider When Deciding Between On-Campus and Online Courses?
Taking up an online or on-campus course may determine what your future looks like. So it’s very crucial to make the right decision. Here are some of the factors you must consider before choosing between an online class vs campus education:
Your lifestyle is one of the essential factors that will help you decide which type of study course you should pursue. For instance, even if you live close to a campus, your home or work life may not give you the flexibility to commit to a full-time course.
Or on the contrary, you may prefer the daily routine and have the time and energy to attend classes every week. Whatever the situation, you must reflect on what type of lifestyle you have and then make a decision based on it.
Proximity to Campus
If you find affordable and accessible educational institutions near you that offer high-quality courses you are interested in, then you should think of the benefits of taking on-campus classes.
However, if the university is located too far away or you live in some other country and cannot travel abroad due to certain circumstances, you must check to see whether the courses you want to pursue are available online or not.
Your Learning Style
Having a good understanding of your learning style plays a crucial role in deciding between face-to-face or virtual education.
So if you are comfortable communicating through chat, emails, and video-conferencing, both online or on-campus courses might work well for you. But if you prefer in-person interaction, on-campus education will suit you the best.
Your Future Plans
Once you have completed your course, what profession would you choose? Will your potential employer see your online degree as a negative or a positive thing? Are online colleges as good as traditional colleges to accomplish future goals?
Answers to these questions will help you determine whether you want to go for an on-campus or an online school. It is recommended to seek advice from people with different educational backgrounds who are currently working with the industry or company of your choice.
2. What are the Pros and Cons of Studying an Online Course?
In recent years, getting online education has become widely popular among students from all across the world. Completing an online course offers excellent flexibility, especially for those who are trying to maintain a work-life balance but still want to obtain a qualification.
Below are some of the disadvantages and advantages of online learning that you must take into consideration before applying for an online course.
2.1 The Pros of Online Study:
Plenty of Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the most significant perks of online school as it enables you to choose the time and day for taking classes. Not only that, but you also get access to notes and other materials, which are usually available 24/7.
You might be required to participate in forums and group discussions, but you can attend it whenever it’s convenient for you.
More Personal Support
When studying on-campus, you might find yourself in a classroom or a huge lecture hall full of students. Whereas, online classes are much smaller, which means you can talk to your tutors or lecturers without any hesitation.
Study At Your Own Pace
Most online courses often encourage students to learn and study at their own pace, giving them a timeline (e.g. 12 months) to complete the course. In other words, you can take as little or as much time as you want without having to worry about following daily or weekly class schedules.
Several online courses can be way more affordable than on-campus classes, depending on the field of study you choose. So if you are on a budget or you just want to reduce your course fees, you must consider the study cost benefits to online schools and get a qualification.
No Travelling Involved
One of the most convenient parts about taking up an online course is that you can study at the comfort of your home. You do not have to worry about travelling to and from campus every day. With this benefit, you can utilise your time, and instead of commuting, you can spend more hours studying.
2.2 The Cons of Online Study:
The Continuous Self-motivation
This is one of the major drawbacks of studying an online course. You always need to stay self-motivated as there will be no one to encourage you to study. Sometimes, you might find it hard to discipline yourself, particularly when you are busy fulfilling other responsibilities in your life.
Therefore, if you are thinking about studying online, you might first need to learn how to discipline yourself.
Lack of Communication
As an online course requires you to study through your computer, there is less chance of having a face to face interaction with your classmates or your teachers. In most situations, you will communicate online or through email. This can make learning difficult for some students.
You Still Might Need to Visit Campus
A few courses may require you to visit the university campus to complete assessments, give an exam, or attend the compulsory “on-campus” part of your course. So when deciding which program to choose, make sure to consider this factor.
Issues With Technology
You might face some technical issues when taking an online course. This can turn out to be extremely frustrating, especially when your internet connection is slow, and you cannot access notes and materials. So before considering an online course, think about how well your set-up is in terms of technology.
3. What are the Pros and Cons of Studying an On-Campus Course?
On-campus learning is a great and practical approach to study. It involves physically attending tutorials and lectures at the university campus for a specific duration of the course.
If you want to experience university life, on-campus education is the right choice for you.
3.1 The Pros of On-Campus Study:
The Social Aspect
Studying on-campus is a perfect way to make new friends. Meeting and being friends with fellow students will enable you to study together, assist each other with assignments, and be a part of study groups.
So if you want to meet like-minded people and prefer learning with others, on-campus education could turn out to be the best decision you have ever made.
By attending classes, lectures, and workshops, you will enjoy interactive sessions with your teachers and get hands-on learning experience along with your fellow students.
In the company of others, you will always stay motivated, and you do not have to deal with the scenario of continuously self-motivating yourself to get through the course.
Face-to-face Communication with Teachers
On-campus learning will also allow you to have face to face interaction with your teachers and lecturers. You will be able to ask them as many questions as you want and clear all your doubts. Additionally, in-person interaction is a great way to build your career and academic network.
3.2 The Cons of On-Campus Study:
Attendance is Compulsory
Most universities in Australia will grade your final assessment based on your attendance. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that you do not miss or skip any classes as it might affect your overall score at the end of the course.
You Need to Stick to a Schedule
When studying an on-campus course, you need to be physically present in the class at the scheduled time every week. This can be difficult if you have other responsibilities to take care of. Remember, missing a class or an on-campus lecture may lead to missing out on the knowledge.
Travelling to campus and then going back from the university to home may consume a lot of your time. Additionally, while commuting if you face public transport or traffic issues, it can be extremely frustrating.
Hence, when choosing a university, consider how much time you will spend travelling and how could this affect your everyday life.
4. Final Words
Choosing between on-campus or online education is a decision that cannot be taken lightly as it involves your future. So before you directly choose a program, explore which educational approach better fits your personality and learning style.
Whether you decide to study at the comfort of your home or in a classroom, with the pros and cons mentioned above, you will be able to make the right decision and get closer to reaching your goals.
If you are still not sure which is the right course for you, it is recommended that you seek advice from the university you are considering. They will assist you and help you work out your choices.