Last updated: 10.05.13

Online learning 'flexible and practical'

E-learning allows students and teachers to have greater authority over their education and integrate it into their everyday life as and when they wish.

This is according to David Newton, professor of business studies and online higher education tutor, who wrote in an article for the Guardian that he chose a digital learning delivery model because of its flexibility.

He said online training is not unusual - rather it means young people can combine self-development with employment or fit studying around family commitments.

Of his students, Mr Newton explained they choose to learn online because it "simply works better for them" and in most cases, it's also more affordable than a campus-based degree.

He remarked: "The popular myth is that online education means reduced contact time and poorer quality provision - whereas in fact the opposite is true."

Indeed, by allowing tutors to communicate with their students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, virtual learning means pupils can receive feedback and engage with educators from wherever they are in the country.

While many people are often reluctant to speak to lecturers or teachers about problems they are having face-to-face, Mr Newton claimed technology has removed these barriers and students are becoming increasingly confident about confronting their issues via email.

"Forums are another powerful tool for encouraging quality interaction - again, using familiar technology to encourage the lively exchange of ideas and independent thinking," he added.

Tools such as these mean assessors with years of experience are still able to give helpful advice to their students, while operating in a modern way that best suits the lifestyle of students.

There are countless resources available to educators who are looking to benefit from online education - with Virtual College, an e-learning institution based in West Yorkshire, tutors can get hold of materials that can help them train others in delivering teaching over the internet and improve their own methods of digital assessment.