Mental Health – The benefits of online learning.

18th January 2021

Research shows that learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence, helping you to build a sense of purpose, and helping you to connect with others.

As part of our focus on wellbeing this month, Career Development Partner Cheryl Royall shares her thoughts on why learning online with Chwarae Teg’s Leadership & Management courses can offer great benefits in 2021.

This pandemic has bought plenty of changes and challenges to most of us, but one thing it has given some of us is the benefit of more time. Either no commuting, more flexible working or perhaps furlough – now that’s a word we will always associate with 2020 together with the phrase ‘You’re on mute’!

Like many organisations, at Chwarae Teg we had to make rapid changes to our training courses last year. Our challenge was taking our unique, highly interactive face to face learning programmes online, whilst at the same time maintaining the important collaborative and interactive nature of them.

The hard work was worth it, as feedback from our learners about the positive aspects of their lockdown learning experience showed:

‘The interaction and hearing others stories and experiences,’

‘Meeting everyone. Return to study. Sense of achievement.’

‘The presentations have been easily relatable to the workbooks making it very straightforward to follow.’

‘I feel like I’m learning even though I have been out of the classroom for many years. Every session I feel more confident.’

What are the benefits of learning online?

One key benefit is the increased accessibility it brings, as many of the barriers of entry of traditional learning are reduced. There are increased opportunities for those with reduced mobility, those with particular learning requirements or for those suffering from certain health conditions. This style of learning can also be less intimidating and less stressful for some, reducing the need to be in a large group, for public speaking or driving for example.

There are no longer geographical restrictions as it’s not location specific, it can all be completed from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to worry about traffic jams, getting lost in a new area or finding and paying for parking. Need to travel away from home for work or go on holiday? With a good internet connection you don’t need to miss out on your learning.

“ I feel that the online learning gave me the flexibility to juggle my own workload while doing the course from home. For example the hour and a quarter journey I would of had each way was saved and I used this time to write my assignments as soon as the course was finished. Especially during these unprecedented times, it was great knowing you could proceed & gain a qualification in the comfort of your own home with no risk posed” Participant from Group 328, 2020

Online learning can benefit you in your current role and support your career advancement. Choosing courses that are role specific or future career specific can add value to your CV. You also gain transferable skills which can support applications and interviews, self-motivation, commitment and time management skills especially if you are juggling a busy work/family life around your learning. You will be enhancing your technical skills by developing knowledge of different IT Systems and learning platforms.

There can be financial benefits too, there are many free or low costs courses available online, and some of the larger training companies are offering better deals on training as overheads may be reduced and they can pass the savings onto their learners.

At Chwarae Teg we offer a variety of funded and self-funded courses that offer a Leadership and Management qualification combined with confidence building and career development, and these courses continue to offer a collaborative and interactive learning environment online. They have been expertly designed to allow all participants to get to know each other, which not only offers the opportunity to network, but also to make new friends whilst staying safe and gaining a credible qualification.

“Due to the slower pace my life has taken this year [2020], I found I had more time, and this allowed me to complete the course. Whilst I would have liked to have completed the course in person as opposed to online, I found learning online to be a positive experience. The support I had from my group and from my course leader was amazing, and I could see that they were all in the same boat as me, fighting the same battles that I was fighting during this pandemic.

It felt good to know that there were a team of women with me on this course, and that we were all completing it together. It felt good to take time away from everything else in my life and focus on myself and my future for a short time during the week. Most of all it felt good completing and passing a course during such an awful time and helped me to take back control of the year, and carve out a positive experience from it. Completing the course made me feel accomplished in a very difficult year”. Participant from Group 327

To read more from women who have completed our leadership development programmes visit our Success Stories page https://chwaraeteg.com/success/

To find out more about our 2021 courses* please visit https://chwaraeteg.com/career-development-programme to apply online. Our team are more than happy to talk to you about the programmes and what is involved, to help find the best course for you to reach your potential.

*Please note whilst some courses are funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government, there is an eligibility criteria that must be met.