The trends in the job market have changed. This is observed particularly in the IT and computing industry. Now it’s so unpredictable that nobody knows who will manage to impress the employer- those having traditional degree or the self-learners.

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Traditional learners take formal training from campus based education format. Where students dedicate reasonable amount to time and money to get the qualification. Whereas self-learners might opt for Online IT diploma courses. Online diploma in information technology programmes allows students to take quality and flexible study option at affordable cost.

Online education has the potential to engage and deliver key learning and skill to the students. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is the online learning platform that offers standard education for free. Here students can learn the latest IT and computing skills. Besides, there top online institutes which dispense comprehensive, qualitative, practical and industry based learning.

10 Smar Tips For Effective Online Study

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Learning In The New Format

According to the Global Developer Economics: State of the developer Nation, a survey conducted with 13,000 plus developers by the VisionMobile shows that 46% of the prompt developers have not learnt computer science from institutes. The report shows that 45% HTML5/Javascript developer belongs to this group. The survey reveals that HTML5/Javascript developer comprising 29% had learnt self and have no formal training for scripting languages.

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The survey also shows that the providers of MOOCs have the pivotal role which has helped developers to obtain skills in the related field. This includes skills such as Ruby and Python. Besides, there are MOOC programmes for Android, iOS app and web development alongside data science.

According to Coursera Technology Vertical Manager Kevin Mills, “The typical Coursera learner taking a programming or other technology course has a bachelor’s degree, is currently employed, and is between 22 and 35 years of age. Among these learners, it is about an even split between those looking to begin a new career in programming versus those seeking to advance their existing programming skills.”

There are also e-learning institutes delivering essential learning through online diploma in computing courses which facilitate relevant skill building to the students.

Time & Money Factor

Time and money are two most valuable things in life. Effective use of time is indispensable. Ask any person on the plant what is the importance of time? I am sure even school children would be able to tell you the importance of time. In the present day, time management is crucial for success. Now the question arises- Does one have ample time to attend hours of lecture in the classroom, travel and study at home? What if education system allows students to study from anywhere and anytime, which will save plenty of time. I have seen students taking the online diploma in computing and using remaining time for enhancing their knowledge.

Online IT diploma programmes including that of the MOOC does not only saves crucial time by money as well. Online diploma in information technology courses offered by online institutes is low priced. Whereas in MOOC app and web development and others are free.

So, why would anybody spend additional time and money? Especially when they have the tool like online learning that helps them to attain their purpose?

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Online education is now considered as one of the best ways of learning as it offers affordable and effective learning solutions to students around the world, who are unable to access traditional classroom education for whatever reasons. Numerous teachers and employers are now supporting digital learning for all the benefits it offers to students. But can online education help Nigerian students to avoid various challenges and access education easily? Let’s have a look…..

An Insecure Education System

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Students in the northeast region of Nigeria now face a number of difficulties and threats like random kidnappings, bombings and militant attacks, which started growing since 2009. So what should the parents of students in such regions do? What actions will you take if you heard that insurgents are about to attack your local schools? No matter how horrifying it sounds, many parents north-eastern Nigerian cities like Bauchi and Damaturu are actually coping with such decisions. They are now having second thoughts about whether they should send their kids to school or not. However, I guess now parents can make the decision more easily as more than 800 schools across the region have already been closed down due to lack of security.

According to an independent assessment by the CCSG (Coalition of Civil Society Groups), more than 194,664 learners are compelled to leave their schools as a result of growing insecurity. Etuk Bassey Williams, President of CCSG, believes that closing schools in Nigeria will adversely affect the probabilities of accomplishing the benchmarks for enrolments in primary schools in 2015, with below 80 per cent enrolment of children. Many education experts believe that implementing online study tools and facilities in the school curriculum can help teach home-bound learners, particularly disturbed northeast areas of Nigeria.

Can Online Learning Be Effective In Nigeria?

Dr. Dipo Fashina, ex-president of ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities), believes that the education system in Nigeria is flawed and strongly need to be restructured. Dr. Fashina commented “Education is the major thing that promotes being at the height of development and we are not there yet.”

The truth is enrolment in online study courses has already increased significantly with growing numbers of Nigerian students keen on studying online and earning accredited degrees. This is mainly due to the corrupted and defective education system in the country that creates under-prepared graduates who are unable to find any employment. On the other hand, numerous Nigerian learners, who wish to pursue quality education and degrees from recognised universities abroad without facing any threats or difficulties, believe that online programmes offer them the best learning opportunities.

Moreover, online study courses offered in Nigeria are highly affordable as these can incorporate innumerable students by utilising the same resources, same faculty and instructors and same school buildings. In fact now you can find various African-inspired online programmes that have been specifically developed for students in African nations. Developed by entrepreneur Gossy Ukanwoke, Beni American University is considered to be the first online university in Nigeria. Moreover MTN mAcademy is also a reputed and renowned online learning app that offers online courses on various subjects for free or minimal fees to students in different African countries.

Online Education – A Better Alternative 

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The fact is the possibility of online education to offer feasible learning solutions to learners in troubled regions will improve further with booming telecommunications sector and increasing internet broadband connectivity across Nigeria.

Do you think online learning is the best alternative of Nigerian students? Share your thoughts and opinions with me by commenting in the box below.

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With the advent of technology, distance learning has advanced to unprecedented heights. In its early years, distance learning was more about course material being dispatched through the mail but today, it has evolved and students can access course material online and discuss it with their tutors with the help of internet tools like webcams.

Online distance learning has brought many enthusiastic learners back to academic fold. A number of people who had quit academics early in their life because of some constraints, show faith in online education and are returning to complete their education. It is the idea of giving something back motivating people to return to education and online distance learning programme has proved to be of great help in realizing their dreams.

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Source: bit.ly/1hoim7v

Online learning paves way for convenient learning environment

The most sought after distance learning online course has been found to be MBA. Professionals these days are keen to specialize in their respective area and stay abreast of others by increasing their educational qualification through online programmes.

When it comes to distance learning online, most of its features are different from the traditional classroom environment, where students and teachers can interact in real time. As opposed to traditional classroom, virtual learning lets students study according to own convenience. There are some online courses that allow recording of interactions and instructional proceedings to review it later by students.

So, you must have got a fair idea about how distance learning works. But, there are more to it. In fact, the idea of distance learning is quite vast and one needs to carefully and sincerely examine all the features and facts about it.

Nature of study material

Students have access to the online study material in the form of audio CDs and video DVDs, though most colleges and universities provide plenty of printed study material as well. While compiling the topics into course materials, it is kept in mind that they are of highest quality and may contain specially written workbooks or textbooks, online teaching materials, audio and video CDs and computer software.

After enrolment, each student is given access to the module website, where they can find out plenty of additional resources. They are also given authority to visit the online library.

You are going to need a computer

If you enrol for a distance learning online course, you will need a computer and reliable and consistent access to internet so that you can gain maximum from the universities’ online services, which include online forums and vast library, among others. On the computer with internet access, you can interact with fellow students and tutors in order to seek assistance in your studies.

Assessment and examinations

Online learning is not an easy cakewalk. You are asked to complete your assignments that contribute towards completion of your module. Furthermore, you must submit the assignments online on or before due date.

The assignment given to you covers the material from your module. It helps you strengthen the knowledge you have gained from module. Your tutors provide comments on most assignments.

At the end of the module, you are expected to appear for examination on scheduled dates. You are made aware of the specific details of the examination up to a year in advance. Examination location depends upon your country of residence and arranged individually.

In a sharp contrast to early years, online learners today are sought after in the job market. A number of online learners have gone on holding the top positions in the corporate sector. Some renowned UK universities have come to Nigeria with a hope to contribute to its education sector. Nigerian students can make the best use of their presence and achieve their dreams by receiving globally recognized online degrees from them.

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Source: bit.ly/1jU1ALT

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Are universities in Nigeria preparing students with substantial skills for getting hired by employers? The answer can be quite negative, yet that is only the stark reality. As former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Bamiro points out, “Universities need to equip their students with the necessary competencies. Universities while trying to give quality education to the students and making sure that they have employability attributes, must be aware of the external factor and labour market regulations, democracy and structure of the economy and considering the overall economy situation of the country. Good academic qualifications are no longer enough for employability. Graduates need to also have other attributes which they call soft skills. Graduates can no longer expect to be employed in just one sector through their professional life. They will need to be impacted with skills that will make them to adapt to different situation. Some graduates do not know how to write application letters even some use internet English and short hand is not good.”

How to Deal with It?

This is indeed a problem that many developing nations like Nigeria face. Conventional university education is grossly focused on bringing excellence in academic knowledge. Employment-centric curriculum is something that is prominently absent in Nigerian education.

Now, how would Nigerian youth deal with this? A very simple question having a complex answer, Nigeria must have to make extensive use of open educational resources that allow learners getting real-life working experience parallel to their academic knowledge.

Skill-Developing Learning

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One of the most prominent benefits with globalisation is number of international universities and affiliated course providers flocking around many underdeveloped nations like Nigeria to offer online courses. Nigerian youth must take the advantages of such way of learning where flexibility of online courses allow them to enjoy anytime-anywhere studying with simple gadgets like tablets or laptops, with an internet connection. The real advantage with this flexibility of online learning what students can easily turn in favour of them is the opportunity for real-industry involvement parallel to their theoretical knowledge accumulation.

Involvement in Industry whilst Studying

So, with online university courses Nigerian youth can augment their academic proficiencies alongside their involvements in relevant industries to get practical skill-based efficiencies. Thus, they can achieve a combination of knowledge that helps them develop both theoretical concepts on any subject and applied aspects of those theories.

This is what can only save Nigerian youth from the engulfing doom of unemployment. Employers today prefer those candidates who have prior industrial exposure, and this can only be achieved through the flexible, easy-affordable online learning model. To deal with unemployment problem among Nigerian youth Government there should also encourage people for taking benefits of online education and make their job prospect really lucrative.

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Although experts and a lot of educators are calling this present age the era of digital technology, many students are still unaware of the prime resources that can make them learn beyond classrooms. Well, learning through social media has achieved utmost importance in the recent years, and the new age learners have started applying this concept to achieve success and recognition in their careers.

Students and working professionals who aim to venture into social learning are required to keep three key elements in mind:

  1. A community full of life and vivacity
  2. A platform enriched in technology
  3. Content that ensures quality

Importance of a vibrant community

It’s not surprising that people out of curiosity keep visiting social platforms on a regular basis. However, the majority of them would never return if they find these platforms devoid of relevant information. So, what it means that these social platforms must have something that would keep them engaged for a good long time. So, your social community must be absolutely vibrant and then only you will be surrounded with experts and scholars who would be responding to your queries and suggestions.

Why need a technologically enriched platform?

A platform enriched in technology is essential since it will be perceived as a place for arresting the interaction initiated by the organisation. Moreover, you might have to access it almost daily at work to add interesting content for your viewers who would thereafter be compelled to return.

Content should be good enough to allure visitors      

If you want to learn by taking help of social media, you must start organising your platform with quality content. To be precise, the content should have business value and must sound interesting to the audience. On doing so, your visitors will be pleased to access technically enriched or business-based content and might therefore offer you similar stuff in return. Most importantly, quality content helps your social platforms gain recognition amongst millions.

How social media can be helpful for blended learners?

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The most amazing aspects about social media are:

  • Social media enhances employee participation in one’s learning process.
  • It becomes easier for learners to stay engaged towards their respective courses because they can reach out their peers and hence get their queries solved in no time.
  • Organisational learning programmes can also be enhanced to a good extent with social media by supporting the concept of transferring knowledge and making behavioural changes
  • Social media plays a key role in identifying the internal experts that consequently enhances the productivity of an organisation

Probably, this is a big reason why students, educators, working professionals and even business executives today depend on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter that give them the opportunity to strengthen their networks on a global basis. Therefore, social media in other words can be called a necessity, especially for those who are about to commence their careers or pursue higher studies for career development. The experts also believe that the impact of relying on social media in online study is surely going to strengthen with time.

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As technology is evolving with time, it is becoming friendlier and life saviour for people around the globe. Most importantly, the people residing in Africa and nearby places are the ones who are getting mostly aided. Africa, very surprisingly, has become the topmost country in adopting online education.

The expected growth of online education in the continent in almost 15.2% and Senegal is the highest among them with 30.4% growth in e-learning. This kind of rapid acceptance of online learning in Africa surely proves one thing that the future of education is quite bright there. Along with the improvement in the field of education, there will be reduction in poverty, health stature will be improved and also there will be emancipation of women.

MOOCs in Africa

The first ever MOOC in Africa has been developed by the African Management Initiative (AMI). It is primarily aimed at providing different courses to the learners to polish their basic skills in management. The name of the MOOC is Launchpad and it is in partnership with the South African Gordon Institute of Business Science. Now, the AMI will try to acquire more funds in order to design courses in partnership with the Strathmore Business School on Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos Business School in Nigeria.

Rebecca Harrison, the developer of MOOCs at AMI, says, “We want to make it as engaging as possible, but also low bandwidth.” According to a report by the eLearning Africa conference in the month of May’2013 has found out that the rise in MOOCs will be one of the most amazing changes in the online education scenario in Africa.

Online degree providers!

Apart from Africa’s own MOOC, there are a number of other international distance degree providers which can work as wonder for the aspiring learners in Africa. They have degree courses from the most reputed universities worldwide and therefore, the learners in Africa will get much more exposure in an international basis.

E-learning is a gateway to healthier lifestyle in Africa!

Higher education is something which is necessary for everyone not only in order to further in their career goals but also for their sound mental and physical health. It is seen that the ones with a higher education degree leads a very balanced and healthy lifestyle. In fact, studies in 2012 have shown that people with just a high school diploma smokes 17% more than the ones with a Master’s degree. Higher education makes one think on a broader perspective and this way the person becomes perfect to dwell in the society.

It is true that Africa suffered a lot, both financially as well as the education scenario wasn’t good at all. There were no better resources in the schools and colleges and the learners had to worry much about getting a degree and most of the times they had to leave hopes of acquiring a degree for them. Online learning then became their saviour and offered them with courses and degrees which they have wanted forever.