5 Reasons to study online at the University of Melbourne
Online education continues to grow in popularity across the higher education sector. Here’s why you should step inside the virtual classroom according to Aparajita Mitra, one of our graduates from the Master of Education International Baccalaureate.
1: Take classes from anywhere in the world
Online learning gives you ultimate control over when and where you do your study. For people who lead busy lives and have uncompromising schedules, it’s the ideal way to attain professional development. It also allows individuals who don’t have access to nearby educational institutions the opportunity to access postgraduate studies. Through online learning, you can find a course that suits your personal timetable and balance all your commitments with ease. Aparajita has been lucky enough to take classes while in Paris and at the base of Mount Fuji, and states “this flexibility that is built into the online system of education really helped me move around all over the world, and take classes as and when I wanted.”
2: Just as real as a bricks and mortar school
The online learning environment gives you access to a wealth of information with the click of your mouse through our learning management portal. Academics and learning designers spend months carefully planning each experience for the students. You can expect your education to be delivered in a diverse range of rich ways including; reading texts on screen, watching videos, listening to podcasts, interacting with graphics and animations, chatting on discussion boards, or participating in live webinars or tutorials.
While Aparajita thought the online learning experience would be daunting, she was pleasantly surprised to find it was anything but. She says, “I was scared about the whole prospect of just staring into a screen and sharing my thoughts with people around the world.”
“Initially I was nervous, but once I started it was smooth sailing all the way. I can tell you it was a great experience.”
Aparajita explains that the online learning experience boosted her know-how. She says, “It really helped develop my technical skills, and I learnt to navigate learning management systems.”
“It felt more real than any brick and mortar classroom, and I came out richer in knowledge and in experience, with dual certificates that I’m sure is going to help me in the future.”
3: Access the best minds
Through our online learning platforms, you’ll be connected to distinguished academics with real-world experience who will help accelerate your professional development and grow your career. The University of Melbourne is home to world-leading scholars and subject matter experts with extensive professional and industry networks. They are the reason for our success and for our reputation as a leading educational institution.
According to Aparajita the academics who taught the Master of Education International Baccalaureate “were all excellent.” She says, ‘Each one of them had a unique approach to teaching.”
“What was common in all of them was that they are extremely passionate teachers. They pushed us to do our best and they set very high standards and expected us to meet these.”
However, Aparajita adds that the “best thing about the online learning experience was that the academics were always accessible – just an email away.”
4: Learn from diverse perspectives
In the online classroom there are students from all over the world, which opens up a myriad of networking opportunities. Students in India could be collaborating with their peers in Malta and those in China could be interacting with fellow students in the UK. This sort of learning environment draws out rich content and ideas that are varied and diverse. You not only learn from each other, you also develop personal and professional networks with people from all over the world.
Aparajita describes her virtual classroom as a “melting pot of different cultures, different educational backgrounds and different experiences.” She says, “In the online classroom, I met students from different parts of the world who were all educators.”
“Some of them were new, some had been teaching for a number of years and some were working with NGOs. Others were there to test out new waters. They were teaching subjects ranging from music to maths, very different to what I teach.”
For Aparajita this international connection was one of the most stimulating aspects of online learning. She says, “We could learn a lot from our own cultures and educational backgrounds and we could share experiences of our classroom teachings in different parts of the world.”
“We worked collaboratively in discussion boards and on assignments, so it was an exciting journey for all of us. I was interacting with my lecturers and classmates around the world. And the best part was that I could take all this learning and implement it in my own classroom.”
5: You’ll never feel alone – there’s always support
Online learning is not an isolating experience – you’ll have access to an interactive platform at all times. Aside from developing a social network of peers worldwide, you’ll also be able to seek individual feedback from your lecturers to help you advance in your studies.
We also have a dedicated student support team who can assist you with all sorts of queries such as technical support, workload management and special circumstances. Aparajita describes the student support team as being “very helpful.”
She says, “They’re really friendly. They’re available anytime for an online chat or for a telephone conversation if you need it, and they’re very prompt in replying to your queries.”