Despite the type of learning, education requires learning material from which students need to refer and gain knowledge. Books, reports, and papers are the main types of reading material in the traditional learning method. Online learning involves additional resources that are in the form of soft copies which can only be viewed through electronic media. Students need to access these files through computers or smartphones.
Online Learning Resources
EBooks, journals, videos, discussion forums, and live sessions are some of these online learning resources. Regardless of the name you call, we are familiar with calling all these softcopy documents PDFs. The videos and recorded lecturers are the other main resource for online learning. Let’s identify more about these online learning resources along with their pros, cons, and useful tips.
EBooks, Textbooks & Journals
This includes the written material needed when learning online. Textbooks or rather eBooks are one of the most essential learning resources. It is necessary to read the course content and prepare for the lesson before you attend the session. It will help you in understanding the lesson when delivered online by the lecturers. Online textbooks are used not only for background reading but also to clarify the necessary steps and procedures in solving different problems.
The main advantage of using eBooks for learning purposes is that they are easily portable unlike heavy books with hundreds of pages. You can refer to the same amount of pages with a softcopy that requires only a few MBs from your device storage. With eBooks, you can study on your phone, tablet, or computer depending on your mood and requirements.
However, sometimes you may have to pay externally for purchasing eBooks relevant for your course. So when enrolling in any course or program, make sure to check whether the textbooks are included in the course fee. You may even be able to access these online study materials from your institution’s library.
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Videos and Recorded Lectures
Videos are the main form of online education that directly impacts learning skills. Hence, you can find a lot of pre-recorded lecture videos as online learning resources. Although this may take more storage space than the books, it is worth the cost. You can grasp a large amount of information within a small time unlike when reading books. This may seem quite familiar to you as it is similar to traditional learning from tutors.
You can make notes while the lessons are being explained. It will help when revising for your exams so that you don’t need to go through the whole lecture video again. You have the advantage of pausing the video or rewinding it to go back to something you missed in the beginning. Hence this is a very effective resource for online learning regardless of the type of course you take.
This is where the students and teachers interact actively with each other. It may either be delivering a lecture, discussing important facts or a live Q&A session. These sessions conducted virtually on online platforms replicate the in-person discussions conducted physically.
These sessions are often used for student assessments during the pandemic. When it comes to degree programs conducted online, the discussion forums and interactive sessions are used to allow students to interact with other students, instructors, and lecturers. Before you start an online discussion forum, it is necessary to read the rules and requirements that you need to follow throughout the session. These are used to maintain proper conduct and provide the best impact out of the time spent on the session.
How Online Lessons are Delivered
Online education provides a fast method of learning for those who need to complete courses soon. It is also a good opportunity for slow learners who prefer to complete courses at their own pace. But this may not be the case always, since the standard study programs conducted by reputed institutes have a fixed timeframe for their courses.
They deliver the lectures online through live sessions, record and save them for the later use of the students. They also provide access to online reading material for the students. It is necessary to attend these live sessions since attendance will be marked which will be a major requirement. It is used as a precautionary measure to ensure that the students are attentive to the relevant lessons and help them be more motivated about participation.
Resources Depend on the Institution and Program
We have discussed the main types of resources that will generally be used for online education. But this may differ depending on the institution where you follow the online course or program. Some programs may require you to get the physical textbooks by ordering them before starting the course. But this is not a common practice since using eBooks and softcopies are way easier.
Institutions that have completely converted to online teaching methods will provide students with more learning resources and enhanced interaction platforms. Students can study with cutting-edge technological resources without having to attend the institute physically. All the lectures, exams, and discussions will be held online.
When it comes to more practical study programs such as engineering, there is a need for using various simulation software to conduct laboratory work. The course conductors will provide more information on how to get and install them. It will be used to replicate the processes carried out in the physical laboratory. Thus, the students can gain similar knowledge on how the experiments are carried out and what the outcomes are. Once again, these resource requirements will depend on the institution and the program you follow.
For anyone coming from a more traditional education background, these resources of online learning will be a completely new experience. But once you get accustomed to it, the journey of online education will never disappoint you. One of the main advantages of all these online resources is unlimited flexibility. You can even work and study at the same time by altering your schedules. You can adjust the work and manage your time effectively to be able to do both. These reasons make online learning more welcoming for anyone interested in escaping the traditional study methods. Although the concept of online education came up with the pandemic, it is evident that there are many more advantages for our lives.