Flexible Online Degree Programs: The Future of Lifelong Learning
The future of lifelong learning is here, and its modular!
Lifelong learning is not a new concept. It has always been understood that we never stop learning, no matter what stage of life we are at. What is new, however, is the way in which we can now access education and training. Technology has made it possible for us to study online, in our own time and at our own pace. This type of flexible learning is often referred to as eLearning or online learning.
Online learning is more accessible than traditional forms of education, opening up opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to upskill or reskill in a way that fits into their unique lifestyle. Modular learning is a type of online learning that takes this one step further, making the process of lifelong learning even more flexible and convenient. Modular learning involves breaking down a course or qualification into smaller, more manageable modules that can be completed at the learner’s own pace.
This type of flexible learning is perfect for busy adults who want to study without having to commit to a full-time, on-campus course. It also allows learners to focus on the modules that are most relevant to their needs, interests and career goals.
In this blog article, we’ll explore the concept of modular learning in more detail and look at some of the benefits it can offer lifelong learners. We’ll also investigate how this type of flexible learning is likely to shape the future of education, and introduce EIM’s government-accredited modular courses and degree programs, which are all available as a full-time or part-time online degree, postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, or recognized postgraduate awards.
What is Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning is the lifelong, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It means that, whether we know it or not, we are continuously learning throughout our lives, from the day we are born to the day we die.
The concept of lifelong learning is not new. In fact, it has been around for centuries. The philosopher Aristotle believed that “education is the best provision for old age.” This is because, as we get older, our ability to learn new things decreases. Lifelong learning can help us to stay sharp and keep our minds active as we age. As the number of people who reach 80+ years is expected to increase to 944 million by the year 2100, the importance of lifelong learning will only become more apparent in the years to come.
In recent years, the concept of lifelong learning has taken on a new meaning. As the world changes, we are called to change with it. New technologies, new jobs, and new ways of doing things require us to continuously learn and update our skills in order to advance in our careers and avoid becoming redundant. With the world around us constantly evolving at a rapid pace, the internet has been pivotal in our ability to access education. Thanks to advances in technology, we now have the ability to learn at any time and in any place, hence the development of flexible learning centres and flexible learning programs. We are no longer confined to the classroom or the traditional learning environment. A flexible learning environment offers us the opportunity to learn in a way that suits our individual needs and lifestyles.
A formal paper on the benefits of lifelong learning noted that “Lifelong learning means that education is diverse, adapted to the individual and available throughout our lives.” The paper goes on to categorize the benefits of lifelong learning into three main categories: “coping with the fast-changing world, greater paychecks by giving job opportunities, and… enriching and fulfilling the life.” This is where modular learning comes in. Modular learning is a type of flexible learning that can be adapted to the individual. It is the perfect solution for busy adults who want to study without having to commit to a full-time, on-campus course, and it allows learners to focus on the modules that are most relevant to their needs, interests and career goals.
What is Modular Learning
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, modular learning involves breaking down the content of a course or online degree into smaller, more manageable units, or modules. Each module focuses on a specific topic, and learners typically have the opportunity to complete assessments or assignments at the end of each one.
Modular degree programs go beyond splitting the courses into smaller, more manageable pieces. They are specifically designed to shift the focus from time-based learning to competency-based learning. This means that, instead of being confined to a certain number of hours in the classroom, learners can progress through the program at their own pace, as long as they demonstrate that they have acquired the required skills and knowledge. This outcomes-based approach to learning is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows learners to achieve their academic goals in a way that works for them, making lifelong learning with expert support more accessible than ever before.
A study of the efficacy of modular learning by Sadia Sadiq revealed three important insights:
“Modular teaching is more effective” than traditional teaching methods. This is largely due to learners’ ability to study at their own pace.
The “self-learning style” that a modular program offers actually works to motivate learners to take a vested interest in the subject matter.
Modular learning helps to “maximize the chances of student participation” due to the fact that the modular approach caters to the learner’s unique needs and learning style.
In this in-depth exploration of adaptive and modular learning, the authors speak about the monotonous nature of traditional learning, noting that “only limited individualization strategies can be applied” when teaching a large group of students at once. Flexible in nature, modular learning offers room for a much more personalized approach to learning that can be adapted to each individual learner’s needs, and takes a more holistic view of both the individual and the learning outcomes.
The Benefits of Lifelong Modular Learning
In this section, we will explore some of the benefits that lifelong modular learning can offer learners of all ages. We’ll also highlight the benefits of EIM’s flexible degree programs, demonstrating how easy it is to get started with modular learning today.
Achieve the Qualifications You Need in Stages
One of the biggest benefits of flexible learning with a modular learning approach is that it allows you to complete your degree or qualification in stages. Rather than having to commit to a full-time, on-campus course, you can complete a part-time online degree and complete your studies at your own pace.
EIM’s modular degree programs, such as our online MBA, allows you to study for your degree in your own time from anywhere in the world, and complete the full online degree program in as little as 18 months with full-time study or take up to 36 months with part-time study. The most exciting feature of our government accredited, modular online MBA program is that you can earn formal recognition as you complete each module. The same applies for our other online programs.
Each online course you complete towards your online MBA, will earn you 5 to 10 credits, and a postgraduate award. For every 30 credits completed, you’ll earn a postgraduate certificate. Every 60 credits you complete, you’ll earn a postgraduate diploma, and with a full 90 credits, you’ll earn your master’s degree in the specialisation of your choice.
This modular learning system, therefore, allows you to study at a pace that suits you and awards you with formal recognition for your achievements along the way. Of course, this is in line with supporting lifelong learning goals, as it allows you to upskill or change direction at any stage in your life. You can learn new skills and stay competitive in the job market while completing your studies, and the awards, certificates, and diplomas you earn along the way will enhance your CV and open new doors for you as you progress.
Choose the Modules that Suit Your Interests and Needs
Traditionally, students who enroll in on-campus courses are required to complete a set curriculum, regardless of whether or not the topics covered are interesting or relevant to them. This often leads to students feeling disengaged with their studies, as they are forced to study material that doesn’t hold their attention, or doesn’t contribute to their desired learning outcomes.
With modular learning, students are able to choose the courses that suit their interests and needs, and build a curriculum that is relevant to their chosen career path. This increases engagement, as students are more likely to be interested in the material they are studying, and more likely to retain the information.
EIM offers a range of EQF level 7-8 programmes, covering a variety of relevant topics, that can be taken as stand-alone modules or as part of a larger degree program. This means that you can tailor your learning to suit your interests, and build a curriculum that is relevant to your needs. The ability to choose your focus area and specialization, and build a bespoke learning journey, is one of the many advantages that the flexibility of online learning with a modular approach affords learners. Learn what you need, when you need it – it’s a more efficient way to study, and it will save you both time and money in the long run.
With Business being the most popular field of graduate education, it is essential that the course curriculum is relevant to the ever-changing business landscape. By choosing a modular approach to learning, students can be sure that they are getting the most up-to-date and relevant information possible, as they work towards an online MBA, for example.
Learn According to Your Lifestyle
As we’ve mentioned one of the main benefits of online modular learning is that learners can study at their own pace. The reality is that life doesn’t always allow us the luxury of dedicating 40 hours a week to studying, and most people have other commitments that take up their time, especially if you are already employed and studying to upskill or change career direction.
With a modular learning approach, you can study around your lifestyle, and complete your online degree while you continue working. You can study one module at a time, beginning with what is most beneficial for you, and fit your studies in around your work and personal commitments. This allows you to achieve a healthy balance between work, life, and study, without having to sacrifice one for the other.
EIM’s part-time online degree offering is designed to allow you to take study breaks when it suits you, factoring in holidays, busy work periods, personal milestones, and anything else that might come up in life. This way, you’re never behind, and you can always pick up where you left off without any penalties.
Ensure Your Experience Counts
As a professional who has a wealth of knowledge behind them, there is nothing worse than having to sit through classes and lectures covering material you already know. This can often happen when completing a traditional degree on-campus, as students are required to complete a set number of credits, regardless of whether they have prior experience or knowledge in the topic.
With online modular learning, you can choose the courses that are going to add value to your CV, and focus your learning on areas that will be most beneficial to your progress. This ensures that your time is spent effectively, and that you are able to gain new knowledge and skills that will help you progress in your career.
EIM’s Recognition of Prior Learning policy (RPL) allows you to transfer your existing knowledge and experience towards a qualification, meaning that you don’t have to waste time (or pay for) studying material you already know. This is an important consideration for any professional who wants to ensure that their time and money is being spent effectively.
Completing your online studies through EIM’s accredited distance learning centre, means that you only pay for the modules you complete. A traditional MBA degree can set you back close to $100,000 for the full degree program. However, with the ability to choose the modules that are most relevant to you, and with your prior experience being counted towards your degree, an online MBA from EIM could mean a significant reduction in both costs and study time.
Enjoy the Social and Mentorship Aspects of University Studies
This all sounds great, but what about the social and networking opportunities that are often associated with university life?
Firstly, it’s important to remember that online modular learning doesn’t mean you have to study in isolation. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with other students and professionals, both online and offline. Most flexible degrees will offer some kind of mixed-modal learning, but the support network that you will have access to through EIM’s Oxbridge tutorial model is one of the biggest benefits of studying with us.
As an online student with EIM, you will enjoy online weekly assignments in small groups of learners who have a similar level of experience and knowledge to you. This means you get to build the same social connections and support network as you would in a traditional university setting, without having to leave your home or workplace.
In addition, you’ll receive coaching from experts and professors who are at the top of their field, and who will mentor you throughout your studies. This is an invaluable opportunity to make connections with industry leaders, and to get advice and guidance that will help you progress in your career.
Tips for Succeeding in a Flexible Online Education Program
As we’ve established, flexible online education programs offer a wealth of benefits for adult learners and working professionals. With the ability to tailor your studies to your needs, and with the support of a strong network of peers and mentors, you can succeed in achieving your educational goals and commit yourself to the essential process of lifelong learning with ease.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your flexible online education program:
Define your Goals
Before you start your studies, it’s important to take some time to reflect on what you hope to achieve. What are your career goals? What skills do you need to develop in order to achieve those goals? What knowledge do you need to gain? Defining your goals will help you to choose the right courses and modules, and ensure that you get the most out of your studies.
Get Involved in the Online Community
Make the most of the opportunities to connect with other students and professionals by getting involved in the online community. Join discussion groups, participate in forums, and attend webinars and events. Not only will this help you to make connections and build relationships, but you’ll also gain valuable insights into your industry and learn from others’ experiences.
Reframe Your Thinking About Learning
Flexible online education programs offer the opportunity to learn in a way that fits with your lifestyle and commitments. Embrace this flexibility, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches to learning. You might find that you prefer to study in short bursts, or at different times of the day. You might prefer to learn independently, or you might enjoy the structure of a group setting. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to lifelong learning, only what works best for you.
Start Small, Achieve Big
Don’t try to take on too much at once. If you’re working full-time or caring for family members, it’s important to be realistic about how much time you can commit to your studies. Start by taking one or two modules, and gradually increase your workload as you become more comfortable with the online learning environment. Building a successful career takes time, dedication, and hard work, but modular learning programs give you the opportunity to achieve your goals at your own pace.
Convinced that flexible learning is best step you can take to advance your career?
EIM’s online MBA offers the perfect blend of flexibility, affordability, and quality for busy working professionals. Whether you’re looking to gain new skills, climb the ladder, or simply learn something new, a flexible online education program can offer you the chance to do so without disrupting your life or putting unnecessary time and financial pressure on your lifestyle. With careful planning and a commitment to your studies, you can make the most of the opportunities that flexible learning provides.