Adult learning online is a great way for adults to gain additional qualifications to help improve their CV and career prospects. Very different in style to learning in school or college, when you take part in adult learning online you get a greater flexibility and freedom when it comes to your studies. Many adults who return to studying have had bad experiences of education in the past. The most common reasons being poor teaching and simply not being interested in gaining qualifications at the time. Which is totally understandable, school really wasn’t designed for everyone.
School lessons are designed to cover the syllabus and get the students through their exams. Rather than being tailored to suit each individual learner. As the lessons are so structured, they don’t allow students the time to focus on their strengths and develop their interests in the subject being studied. Which often results in students struggling to keep up and failing their exams through lack of understanding and interest.
So with the above in mind, it’s hardly surprising that so many adults feel the need to return to education after leaving school. Which is where adult learning online comes in. Through the use of custom written online courses, it’s possible for adults to study and progress their education without the need to give up other commitments. The range of courses now available is quite phenomenal, you have options from Functional Skills and GCSEs, through to A Levels and recognised Diplomas. All of which can be studied online from the comfort of your own home.
How is Studying as an Adult Different?
When you study courses as an adult, the way in which you go about your studies is very liberating. You don’t have to worry about classes or handing in your homework on time. There is no pressure on you to keep up with classmates and compare notes on your understanding. It’s just you, your course materials, determination to learn and your course tutor (if you want help from them). This freedom in learning allows for you to develop your own methods of absorbing information effectively, which means you enjoy your learning experience and get better grades.
With online courses, many adult learners (who have previously struggled at school) have found they have excelled at learning online. So, rather than them not being smart enough to get the good grades they want and need, it was more a case of the lesson style not being right. If you’re an adult learner thinking of starting studying, it’s always a good idea to reflect on your own learning style and strengths. You can do this by finding out what learner type you are, then once you know that, there really is no stopping you and your learning.
A lot of successful learning relies very much on the compatibility between the student and the course style, rather than the subject matter. For example, a student who is no good at exams would do terribly in an A Level, but excel in a Diploma where the course is assessed on coursework. Meaning that a student can hold a much higher grade in a subject simply by changing the assessment method they use to get the qualification.
Types of Courses for Adult Learning Online
There are many different types of courses available for adult learners online. Depending on what you’re looking for or looking to do with the qualification you get, you can choose between more traditional qualifications such as GCSEs and A Levels, or go for more vocational courses such as BTECs and ncfe CACHE recognised Diplomas.
There is a common misconception that certain courses (such as A Levels) have entry requirements and so often adult learners shy away from these. But that isn’t true at all, you can enrol and start studying any A Level without GCSEs, there is no legal or educational requirement for a student to hold a GCSE to then study A Levels. At school, students are required to hold GCSEs in the subjects they want to study at A Level because there are limited spaces on all courses and the school wants to make sure the best candidates get the places. So with that said, it’s perfectly possible for an adult learner to study A Levels without GCSEs and then progress onto a Degree course at uni.
With vocational courses, again with the entry level courses (Level 3), there is no requirement for students to hold lower level qualifications to join the course and start studying. When it comes to the higher level Diplomas (Level 5) though, students are required to hold at least a level 3, but this because a Level 5 qualification is the same as a Foundation Degree and so students need that foundation understanding to be able to pass the course.
With so much choice and availability in courses, it can get quite confusing for students to know and understand what qualifications they need to progress. So, it’s advisable to start with your end goal, once you know what you want to achieve with the qualifications, you can work backwards and identify what courses you need to get there. A simple Google search is a great way to find out things such as A Levels needed for a uni Degree or Diplomas needed to become a Healthcare worker. Then all you need to do is find the right course and get yourself enrolled.
Again, the great thing about adult learning online is the lack of term times with all courses, even GCSEs and A Levels. So if you feel ready and motivated to get going with your studies, you can sign up and start right away, not wait until the next term time. With that said, it is important to remember that courses with examinations will have them at set times, so you need to keep those dates in the back of your mind for as you work through your course materials.
What Qualifications are you Looking for?
Returning to Work or Thinking of Starting a Business?
A popular reason for adult learners to need more or new qualifications is when they are looking to return to work. When a large chunk of time has been spent out of the workplace, it’s not unusual for someone’s qualifications to become out of date or need refreshing. Sometimes, it can be a simple case of some CPD courses (also known as Short Courses) to get your skillset back up to date, but in others, there can be a need for more in depth courses to be studied.
If you’re an adult learner who is ready to take that step back into the workplace or who is thinking of starting a business, then we offer additional help and support. We can check your CV for errors or issues and we even offer extra support and help for Mums returning to work or starting a business. Feel free to get in touch for more information and advice on the next steps for you.