The Rise of Home Study Courses

The Rise of Home Study Courses

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Learning is no longer an activity that is deemed best when we do it sat in a classroom from 9 am to 3 pm.

Learning is no longer an activity that is deemed best when we do it sat in a classroom from 9 am to 3 pm. At one time, education was something that was ‘done’ to you. You sat and, like a sponge, mopped up the education and learning that was spilling in your direction.

There were very few other options than the one main route on offer. This lack of choice meant that some people struggled with the formal learning environment. It also said that people’s attitudes struggled with learning too.

And so when things started to change and home learning became an increasingly attractive option, some people were unsure as to its merit. But, the rise of home learning courses looks to be unstoppable. They are more popular than ever.

And it is across a range of qualifications, from the study for GCSEs to A-levels and Diplomas, the mantle of home learning is now so widespread that it looks to be an unstoppable force.

But why? What is it about home studying that makes a difference to people?

#1 Money

Disposable income – the amount you have left when you have paid all your bills and essentials – has been under pressure in recent years. Since the collapse of a global bank in 2008, the recession rippled throughout the world.

At a time when money is tight, the thought of taking on a new financial commitment, such as a training course may seem too much. But, with home learning courses, the cost is far lower than you would expect.

With undergraduates leaving college with large debts, many people realise that staying in the formal education sector might not be something that they can afford.

But with a home study or e-learning, you can work and study. You can earn money while you study. The courses cost less because the providers overheads are less and thus these savings are passed on to you.

You can choose to pay monthly – some courses cost as little as £20 a month – or you can pay in full. Knowing that financially, you will be not be taking on an enormous burden instantly makes learning accessible.

#2 Flexibility

Life is busy. Fact.

Most of the time, life follows a plan but then the unexpected happens. And so the Thursday afternoon you had expected to sit and do some work, has now been jettisoned. But it’s OK, you will catch up Saturday morning.

Is this flexibility available when you miss a lecture or miss class? If you cannot be at a particular place at a certain time, it effectively means you have lost it.

Sometimes, some areas of life need to be flexible and when it comes to home studying, this is exactly what you get. It is far more amenable to being flexed and moved and changed and molded.

#3 Study when you want

You may prefer to delve into your education late at night. The children are in bed; the house is quiet. Or the best time for you maybe an hour or two before everyone else rises in the morning.

Or, you may decide that the hour free that you have while the children are in dance classes and so on is the perfect time to do some reading in a local café. The possibilities of when you study are almost endless.

You have the course materials; you have the plan of what needs completing and by when – and you know what your commitments are, what the barriers could be, what could get in the way. You know how to organise your time, thus, you get to sit down and study when you want. And better still at a time that suits you, rather than it being prescribed for you.

#4 1-to-1 support

It would be foolish to think that you will glide through the course, and everything will be rosy. The truth is, there are times when you will struggle. You may not grasp a concept as well as think you should; you may not fully understand some of the course material, you may have other concerns, or you may just need someone to talk through some ideas that you have.

Home study courses from the majority of reputable providers will offer one-to-one support in abundance. It can be formalised with phone tutorials, or it can also be informally too, such as online forums and so on.

#5 Value

There is value in these courses. They match the qualifications and the levels achieved by attending college. The qualifications meet the criteria and standards as laid down by various exams boards and regulatory agencies. The tutoring must also be of a certain standard.

Employers are now beginning the recognise the value of the home study qualifications too. Take another look at the home study courses that could make a positive impact on your life.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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