Start – Pause – Resume: Our take on Online Learning
With the outbreak of Coronavirus, people worldwide are facing a major challenge. Coronavirus has significantly affected all our lives, but it is also challenging our ability be resilient and that includes adapting to remote working.
A popular Google search term right now is ‘just how good is the online learning experience’, so it’s no wonder why the search volume for online training courses around the world has increased by over 3,000% in just the last 4 weeks.
When we surveyed our own classroom learners, we heard that some of the popular reasons for not taking a classroom course included the fear of lack of discipline to complete the course if left to their own devices, the unknown of how long it would take and that the outcome would be different
From the horses mouth so to speak
There’s no better way to understand how people feel about online learners than from the online learners themselves. We carried out a study with our own NEBOSH General Certificate (NGC) online learners perform and what kind of experiences they enjoy compared to classroom learners.
The study combined data analysis with targeted interviews to ensure we could identify any issues that learners encountered and understand if these were problematic. More than 50% of learners who have completed their NGC via online learning with Astutis participated in the study. And since no provider across the globe has a 100% first-time pass rate, we made sure this study included learners who failed at the first attempt too.
Results - No Difference in Outcomes
It was no surprize to us that there was no significant difference in either first-time success rate or individual paper scores between classroom and online learners.
‘The advantage of online learning is obviously the flexibility that it affords you; you can study a whole day on it, a few hours here and there; you can juggle it to suit your lifestyle.’ This quote from an interview with an online learner highlights some of the reasons people choose online learning.
Results – Time spent learning
Our online learning customers choose how much time they spent engaging with the online learning materials. The study revealed that people have different levels of existing health and safety knowledge depending upon their work experience and so it took them more or less time to master all the areas covered.
Whilst there is no direct link between the time learners spent online and the results they achieved, talking to individuals it becomes apparent that realising your own starting point is an essential first step to appreciating how much time you will need to allocate to your learning. One very experienced learner spent only 23 hours online and achieved a distinction, whilst another, less experienced, learner’s 42 hours could not avoid a first-time failure, but a pass second-time around.
NEBOSH recommends 80 taught hours for the NGC, combined with 53 hours of private study. This is what you will get in the classroom, but online learners can spend as long as they feel they need. Astutis have developed TrackSmartTM, a tool built into the online NG course to help with learners on track and on schedule with their learning. Its like a personal study plan that alerts you to what you need to do and by when.
Our training is designed to fit around your learners' work day commitments and the devices they use. Learners can start, pause, and resume courses at any time - we even send them reminder emails when they have training due
Results - Multimedia Resources
Our rich video based courses are also supplemented by additional resources so your most engaged learners can go beyond the basics. A good online learning course will take advantage of video content and interactive assessments and present material in a lively and memorable way. One learner explains, ‘it was quite interesting during the exam the amount of times the Astutis video came up in your mind.’
Is Online Learning the Right Choice for you?
This study shows that for a large number of people who choose online learning it was the right decision. In fact, the exam results were not at all different to those for classroom learners. If you do or don’t have a great deal of experience in health and safety, good quality online learning can offer lively, interactive resources that provide context and help you master the material at your own pace.
Our survey led us to also develop ExamSmartTM, a tool built into the course so as a learner you can be selective on which areas you cover in-depth, making use of revision quizzes and past exam question to ensure you have what you need to prepare you for the NEBOSH exams.