Online courses explained

When you study online, you achieve the same qualification as someone studying in the classroom at a college, TAFE or university. But unlike courses delivered the conventional way, online courses allow you to study from anywhere, and choose when you want to fit study into your week.

Find out all you need to know about online courses, from the benefits of studying online through to student support and course delivery.

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How are online courses delivered?

Online courses are delivered entirely online. As an online student, you'll be able to log into an online learning system.

Through the online learning system you’ll receive all your study materials and instructions, and submit your assessments. You’ll also be involved in conversations with other students and your tutors through virtual classrooms and discussion boards.

You will be able to watch lectures, complete readings and participate in tutorials, just like an on-campus student. The difference is you’ll do this online, when it suits you.

Online courses explained

Will I ever need to visit a campus?

When you study a course that is 100% online, there will be no travel involved and you will never have to visit a campus. You’ll complete and submit all of your coursework online.

As an online student, you may still have the option to use the facilities available at your campus.

Some online courses, such as Skillsoft courses, may require you to sit an external exam which you will need to take at a designated location.

If you study a course that is delivered via a combination of online and on-campus learning, you will need to attend some classes or workshops at a campus. For example, students studying an online course with the Australian College of Applied Psychology build their practical skills by attending a few days of on-campus workshops.

Depending on the course, you may also need to complete a work placement at a particular location.

What are the benefits of studying online?

  • You can get a qualification without having to take time off from work, go part-time or put your kids in child care.
  • You don't need to live near a particular education institution that offers your preferred course – you can choose from a multitude of courses that are based across Australia.
  • You can study from anywhere with an internet connection – in your backyard or bedroom, on a train or at your local café.
  • You don’t necessarily need to be sitting at a computer to study. You can read course materials, watch podcasts and comment on forums from your tablet device or smart phone.
  • Rather than attending all classes at set times, you can study when it suits you. Online students can choose how they fit their study time around work, families and other things going on in their lives.
  • Many of SEEK Learning's online courses can be studied at your own pace, and most have flexible enrolment dates, so you can get started right now.

Will I get to talk to other students in my online course?

Online courses are designed to encourage interaction and make you feel part of a learning community. Though you may not meet your teachers and classmates in person, you will be communicating with them regularly.

Some courses include group work, and tasks that encourage you to collaborate with other students online.

You can also contact education staff by phone or email at convenient times. They'll answer any of your questions and give you the support you need to be a confident online learner.

What kind of support is available for online students?

If you’re studying with a provider that offers both on-campus and online study, you can usually access the same support services as on-campus students.

For example, when you study through Deakin University you can access support services via Deakin’s website, over the phone, on Skype, or in person if you are near a Deakin campus.

For other education providers, specialist online advisors can help you develop successful study skills, discuss your course direction, or provide technical assistance.

What’s the difference between online and distance learning?

Online courses can sometimes be called distance education courses. Some distance education courses can involve more hard copy materials and communication via post, but these days many distance education courses can be considered online courses.

Find out more

If you would like advice on how online study works and what your options are, contact a SEEK Learning Consultant.

See our online courses

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