Your questions about online learning answered

Online learning

24 Nov 2022

There are still some misconceptions about learning online

Get answers to some of the most common questions

An online degree isn’t as good as a ‘traditional’ degree, right? It’s a preconception that over the last few years, has changed significantly.  

More people than ever are choosing to pursue their academic and professional ambitions online. In fact, e-learning is now so popular that the market was worth $315 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2028 

When you consider the benefits of online learning, this popularity shouldn’t come as a surprise., Convenience – being able to study anywhere, at any time, with the flexibility to continue full-time employment – and cost – online courses are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives and don’t involve relocation and commute expenses – are two of the biggest reasons so many students are now choosing the virtual classroom. 

But despite its big break, there are still some misconceptions and questions about online learning.  

How do I know if an online degree is for me? 

This is going to involve some careful research and a bit of self-reflection. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Does the course offer the right level of flexibility for you? 

  • Is the course provider (and the course itself) credible? 

  • Will it help you achieve your goals? 

  • How do they create a great student experience? 

  • Does the course offer any optional in-person events? 

  • What kind of support is available? 

  • How will the course be delivered? 

  • How do you like to learn? 

  • Do you enjoy having the freedom to study independently? 

  • Are you motivated enough to step up to the challenge? 

Do employers accept online degrees? 

Yes! The normalisation of e-learning means that an online degree is considered equal in weight and value to an on-campus degree, providing the same rigorous education, in-depth knowledge, and finely-honed skillset. The extra level of self-motivation, dedication, and organisation involved in remote learning could even set you apart from on-campus students. 

How do I access university resources?

Thanks to our digital learning environment (DLE), Moodle, everything you need to succeed is at your fingertips. But as well as the essential course material, as a University of Portsmouth student, you’ll also have access to the wider University resources, such as the library, the Careers and Employability Service, and other student support.

Faculty librarians will be able to point you in the right direction of relevant e-books, journals and articles, and support services are often available via online video calls, webinars and workshops. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Moodle, book a personal demonstration with one of our course advisers.  

Can I interact with tutors and other students? 

Feeling connected – no matter where in the world you are – is a vital part of online learning; not just for your studies, but for your wellbeing. There’s a strong sense of community at Portsmouth. You’ll join a diverse, inspiring, and supportive network of students and staff, and have the chance to interact, share knowledge, and make lifelong connections. Here’s how: 

  • Discussion forums are a space for you to share ideas and consolidate your understanding with your coursemates. You’ll be able to participate in these, regardless of your time zone.  

  • Live webinars give you the opportunity to engage with your academic staff and peers. If you aren’t able to attend at the time, they’re also available on demand. 

  • Feedback and grades are provided online by your tutors. You’ll also be able to ask them any academic questions via email or virtual meeting. 

  • Our team of student advisers are on-hand to give any non-academic support via email, phone call, or meeting.  

  • See your peers and academic team in real life, at optional in-person events. These vary, but could involve attending a conference or a workshop, and it’s a great way to get to know everyone face-to-face. 

Can I fit an online course around a full-time job? 

If you’re keen to continue working whilst studying for your degree, look for a part-time course. At Portsmouth, all of our online programmes are part-time, designed to work around hectic schedules, full-time jobs, family, and social commitments with minimal disruption but maximum impact. 

Study after work or on the weekend – whatever suits you best. As long as you’re able to dedicate around 20-25 hours a week to studying, you should be able to manage your workload.  

And if your part-time course relates to your current role, there’s the added benefit of being able to put your theory into practice as and when you learn. 

Portsmouth Online's flexible degree structure means you can work while you study. Find out more: 

Discover how you'll learn 

Will I get a degree certificate, and will it say I studied online? 

If you choose to pursue an online degree, you will get a degree certificate when you graduate – you’ve earned it! As a Portsmouth Online student, your certificate will look exactly the same as an on-campus student’s. Plus, you’ll also be invited to attend graduation on our campus – it’s a chance for you to celebrate your hard work in-person.  

If an online, part-time programme sounds like the right choice for you, your next step is to visit our course pages. Or if you’ve got further questions, get in touch with an expert course adviser today by completing the form below. 

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