Robert Gigengack is currently studying for an online MBA.  “Thousands of students study for postgraduate degrees online from the University of Liverpool where I study.  “He noted.
“They come from all walks of life and from all over the world.  They have different occupations, interests and backgrounds.  For many people, however, online postgraduate study is a new and unknown concept.  Aspiring students may wonder about the experiences that await them.  The decision to pursue an online degree is therefore often characterized by at least some nervous anticipation.  If you consider studying online, then I hope this will dispel some of that anxiety and help you appreciate the upcoming experience by describing five things that will happen during your online studies.
Number 1:  You  will meet global classmates.  This is one of the great benefits of studying online.  Imagine participating in an ongoing discussion about the benefits of organizational learning, sharing ideas and opinions with a South African construction plant manager, a Nigerian telecommunications manager and an English expatriate working for an oil company in Dubai.  All in the same class.  You present your thoughts, opinions and experiences and so do your classmates.  All participants consider the new and different perspectives on offer, and use these to their benefit.
Number 2:  You will be emotionally affected.  This is neither something to be scared of nor something to attempt to avoid.  On the contrary it actually enriches your experience as a student.  The structure of the modules in the University of Liverpool online programmes makes you engage very closely with the topics and materials.  The intense involvement in, for example, the online discussions makes students aware of their identity as a student. Because no one is the perfect student straight from the start, this identity can be both positively reinforced and challenged, and students will feel that.  As students process and reflect on these experiences, it will make the journey worthwhile.  Many alumni miss studying online, and this is often because of the intense engagement.
Number 3: You will get to know yourself better, personally and professionally.  The frequent and direct interactions with peers and academics, and the engagement just described mean that online students gradually develop better self-awareness.  For example, in the areas of communication, cooperation, learning and argumentation.  This is a very valuable outcome of the studying process.  Imagine a regular day in your life, and think about what you would learn from seeing all your communication and collaboration in writing.  Additionally, imagine that others around you, for example your colleagues, can take half an hour to reflect on your contributions before responding.  Alongside that, the courses often require you to reflect on your own development in writing as well.
Number 4:  You will develop resilience.  I don’t know many people who do not, or would not, benefit from developing greater resilience.  Studying online comes with great benefits, but will also require sacrifices.  Completing your studies will not always be easy, and you will sometimes have to force yourself to keep going even when you may not really feel like it.  Just keep your eyes on the prize!  You will get better at being resilient, and in the long run you will recognize your achievement and praise yourself.  And so will others.
Number 5: You will develop your writing skills.  Students will enter the programme with different levels of writing ability, and all students will develop as writers during their course.  Students are seldom perfect from the start.  If they were, there would be little point in studying.  In online  course; writing is the main method for completing assignments and getting thoughts across to others.  Writing persuasively is an art, and it is an art that you will practice constantly.  With the amount of practice that you get in an online programme, you will get much closer to ‘perfect’ than you were before.  This is helpful for your student life, but also for your professional life.
There are many other things that can happen to you when studying online.  The examples mentioned here can give you an initial impression of what may be ahead.  I’ve tried to include both factual information about classroom activities and subjective information about what is likely to happen to you as a person.  I hope that this will give you a flavour of what you can get or expect when you study online.  Students will have to discover the other agents of stabilisation and events as they go along.  For those who decide to start their journey, I wish you an inspiring discovery ahead of you, and of course, every success!