2020 has been a really rough year that required major changes in everyone’s lifestyle. What has been taken for granted so far, has changed. 2020 was a year of uncertainty and fear from unknown, but also a year that required from us to become more flexible, daring and open to a new reality. It has affected all industries, including the education sector. What it meant was rapid adjustment mainly in a way education was delivered so far. To change existing study models into online education to many did not come as a big surprise, to others however this has been a life-changing experience.
Is studying online something for me?
My entire life I followed a traditional model of education. Completing my secondary school I studied for my master, attending classes in person. When I started the 2nd year of my master programme, I got a job that required me to change day studies into weekend sessions. I must admit that this has not come easy to me, but I survived. Finished my master, started working, moved countries, got better job opportunities and this is when I decided that with my current Master in English, I am quite limited to job opportunities. Since I was working at that time in an educational company, it opened my eyes to online education. I must admit that I have not been a strong believer in online education, however, I thought I will give it a try. I enrolled on an online MBA, as having reviewed this programme content I decided it will be the best fit for me in terms of my needs.
Online class experience - an eye opener for the new reality
It was an eye-opener and a pleasant surprise to see how it really works. I found myself in an online class with roughly 25 working professionals from all over the world. There were managers, leaders, entrepreneurs with backgrounds in multiple sectors. The level of discussions and involvement of those people exceeded my all expectations. I enjoyed interactions, and what was best for me was the fact that I could invest more time and effort into topics that were of my interest. I could rise questions, seek advice among people with more experience than mine and they were absolutely happy to share their opinions and ideas, provide me with feedback and suggestions based on real-life situations. Thanks to this programme I build my own network of professionals located all over the world. As we were moving from module to module, we were mixed in the class so that you are not going through the programme with the same classmates.
Most importantly, I could study on my own time. It did not require me to be online at any specific time or day. Also, there were no exams as such-so you did not learn things by heart. The assessment was based on individual and group activities and final projects and done by faculty with an impressive both academic and professional experience.
It is true that it cost me lots of effort in terms of time and that studying an online programme was not any cheaper than traditional on-campus studies, however, I believe I gained so much that it was worth it.
I am happy to see that despite rough 2020 and changes that were imposed on us, people did adjust. It is good to see that there are so many universities that managed to accommodate and having experienced online education decided to carry on with online programmes next to traditional way of delivering education. I am delighted to hear fewer and less doubtful voices commenting on the quality of online education as there is no reason for that. My experience with online education was really good and I would recommend it to everyone who has more than a few responsibilities to juggle and is ready to dip into dip water, expose to new challenges and encounter this great feeling of self-fulfilment.