The pros and cons of studying a TAFE equivalent course online

Online education is becoming more and more popular amongst students all around the world.

And it isn’t just in response to COVID-19, either (though it’s definitely played its part) – while online learning used to be a more secondary way of learning, it’s quickly catching up to its traditional counterpart.

Online learning was surging in popularity, even before the pandemic. And a large part of that is because it’s many, many pros.

Don’t let the thought of having to complete an online TAFE equivalent course scaring you off retraining and requalifying – while learning from home used to be a real mixed bag, with cons outweighing the pros, in recent years that’s been changing!

Read on to discover all the advantages of studying online.

The pros of online learning

A study undertaken by the U.S. Department of Education concluded that “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”

This study echoes the sentiments of many students, whether they study English, hospitality management or any other subject – it’s time to start taking online education seriously, and with the same respect as face-to-face learning!

So what are the pros of completing a TAFE course online?

Pro: Increased flexibility

We may as well start with the biggest one!

Whether it’s due to distance or timing, some people simply can’t take the time out to attend class in person.

Naturally, the biggest advantage to studying online is the increase in flexibility. You can study when you want to, how you want to, where you want to:

  • In your living room
  • On the train to the city
  • While on holiday

This flexibility is why an online education is very popular with mature-age students who have other commitments, such as work or children.

These are students who would otherwise struggle to fit traditional classes into their routine – now they can study with flexibility – and without issues!

Pro: more flexible doesn’t mean easier

Just because you’re learning remotely, it doesn’t mean that as an online student you’re treated to a lighter workload.

In our opinion, this is definitely a pro!

Online learning is just as challenging, insightful, and thought-provoking as classroom-based learning – you will cover the exact same content, taught by the exact same instructors.

This is a good thing, as it guarantees that you’ll receive the same quality education and that you’ll be well-prepared to enter your chosen industry, whether that follows a childcare course in Brisbane or an aged care course in Melbourne.

Pro: reputation is no longer a problem

In the past few years, online learning has shed much of its previous negative reputation, particularly when it comes to how job applicants got their qualifications.

With so many respected institutions all over the world adapting to the times by shifting to online learning, this alternative to traditional learning is becoming more accepted, and employers are starting to reconsider their somewhat outdated stances.

Now, completing a certification online is quickly shedding its stigma. If you complete a TAFE/vocational course online, you are now on an even playing field to someone who studied in-person.

Pro: Ease of access

All you need to study online is a computer with internet access – that’s it!

All of your study materials, lectures and assignments are sent to you via email, using cloud storage or via file transfer system, allowing you to access the resources you need wherever you are.

Even your correspondence with lecturers are wired, with email and video calls widely used to keep in touch.

Pro: More affordable

Tuition fees aren’t the only thing you need to pay for when you study – you’ll also need to consider any incidental fees too:

  • Transport (be it public transport or petrol)
  • Parking – if you were driving in
  • Food (unless you bring your own food)

Studying online allows you to dodge a couple of these financial bullets that regular students have to bear the brunt of.

By contrast, students who study online have to pay a set annual fee, and that’s it.

The cons of online learning

A couple of years ago, this section would have been a lot longer.

Nowadays, developments in technology as well as an expansion in online learning means that many of these cons are no longer an issue!

And even the ones that remain have been reduced to the point where it’s no longer really that important anymore whether you studied online or in-person.

Con: you might feel like you’re missing out on social interaction

One of the most common disadvantages that people cite when completing a TAFE/vocational course online is the lack of social interaction.

This is especially relevant for extroverted, sociable students who want to make friends and have a great time.

While it’s difficult to get the same level of social interaction online, digital learning has made leaps and bounds in this area.

Just look at us for example!

In addition to recordings of classes and learning resources, our Learning Management System also features a robust communication system that you can use to keep in touch with fellow students if you have questions, or if you just want to chat.

Not to mention, social media is much more prevalent nowadays than it was when online learning first took off!

Con: fewer courses

There are some courses that simply can’t feasibly be taught online. Courses that required hands-on experience, such as Neurology or Chemistry, are simply unsuited to online education.

However, the vast majority can be taught through an online TAFE course – and that includes some courses that you might not normally associate with online learning.

For example, large parts of our commercial cookery courses in Melbourne can be studied online, despite much of the content being practical in nature.

It’s true that commercial cookery is very hands-on work – however, a lot of it is also classroom-based learning covering things like food handling laws. These things can easily be moved online.

While it isn’t 100% online, we’ve tweaked the delivery to ensure your online learning component can be completed before your practical component, which we’ve shifted to the end of your course.

Con: a lot of institutions simply haven’t figured out how to offer online learning properly

This is a problem that’s been exacerbated by COVID-19 forcing many institutions that previously never offered remote and online learning to rapidly start offering it as an option.

Online learning can be a powerful tool, and a great option… assuming that the institution in question knows what makes a good online learning setup.

A lot of institutions’ online learning system essentially amounts to an email with worksheets and a once-a-week conference call – little wonder so many of their students are fed up.

Due to the urgency to move online as soon as COVID hit, it’s easy to see why this is the case for so many other facilities. 

But there is a pro to this con, when you study at Academia!

At Academia, we’ve offered TAFE equivalent courses online for years.

The upshot of this is that we’ve developed a robust system that replicates the classroom experience as much as possible:

  • We use virtual whiteboards that replicate in-person classes and which allow you to interact with the content and your instructor
  • At anytime, you’ll be able to create private chats and calls to discuss topics and perform group work
  • Our instructors have experience delivering content through an online-only setting, so you won’t need to worry about dropped connections and technical errors

Studying online with confidence starts by choosing the right school!

Complete an online TAFE equivalent course with Academia

While there are many pros to online learning, there can also be several cons… most of which depend on where you choose to study.

That’s why it’s so important that you choose the right institute to study online!

It used to be that learning from home was a real mixed bag, with many students treating online learning as a “lesser”, and holding off on retraining because of it (especially if it’s the only option at the moment).

Luckily, by choosing the right institution, you can avoid these issues.

Academia’s online TAFE/vocational courses are designed to offer you a quality education without compromise.

Using a cleverly-designed online learning system that replicates the classroom experience, we overcome the few remaining cons that come with online learning.

Find out if our online TAFE equivalent courses are right for you – explore our courses!

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to our course advisors for assistance and guidance: