A banner with an a university colleague running an online event for students

 by Farrah McGurk
, posted On 10 Feb '22
 Outreach Project Lead at the University of Greenwich

The advantages of online university events for school groups

Over the last two years many of us will have experienced an online event, whether that was attending a virtual conference or webinar, hosting an online event or teaching virtually.

Online events have provided the opportunity to change our approach, shift the focus from a more traditional view and explore the ways in which we could develop and continue the use of online provision into our ‘new normal’.

What are the main advantages of online university events?

1. Accessibility -

you can attend from the comfort of your own home which allows for a more diverse audience.

2. Cost and time efficiency -

which reduces expenses and gives you back more time.

3. Variety of learning -

you can experience presentations, workshops and group sessions all in one event.

4. Flexibility –

you have the opportunity to catch up on recorded sessions in your own time.

5. Sustainability –

the activity has a lower environmental impact.

Best online university event practice

A great example of successful online events have been virtual open days, which universities have held over the last academic year. Due to not being limited by geographical location, students could get a taste of universities further away from their homes.

For this upcoming academic year, universities will be reviewing the successes of these virtual events and building them into a new approach, for example, hosting a hybrid event, which would have both an in-person and virtual element.

Universities are using online teaching too

A lot of universities are taking forward a blended learning approach this academic year. This could be in the form of online lectures, in-person seminars or practical sessions. This enables universities to be more accessible, offering students a greater level of flexibility and helping them to study alongside their other responsibilities and commitments.

Students will be able to watch lectures live through a virtual platform and many academics now record their lectures for students to watch back later, which can support their learning and aid revision. These can be accessed through the university’s online portal, which also provides additional reading materials and resources, as well as student support and careers services. These services will also be available in a blended way, with in-person workshops and counselling sessions, as well as the option to reach out through virtual support platforms.

With online study comes the opportunity to improve skills such as independent learning, self-motivation and organisation. Students will ultimately need to motivate themselves to study in the absence of that ‘classroom’ environment. These students will also have full access to university facilities if they would like a change of scenery or if it would benefit their learning.

Your students now have access to a variety of higher education learning styles alongside the traditional view of full-time on-campus learning, which we should advise students of, and encourage them to engage with, so they can choose the route best for them.

Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.

This brochure has been produced by UniTasterDays.com in collaboration with HELOA - to support the university guidance that is provided in secondary schools and colleges.

Editorial has been provided by over 35 colleagues at universities and higher education institutions throughout the UK. On topics covering how to support students with their university decisions, university events, widening participation & fair access, UCAS applications (including writing school references) and more. It also includes the key student finance facts from Martin Lewis.

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