Table of Contents
What is an online course?
Put very simply, an online course is a way of studying, in which the platform, the resources, and the subjects to be taught are on the Internet.
Students can take the training from home or from any other place since an online course does not require the presence of the student in a particular place. Of course, it is necessary to have internet.
Differences between online courses and distance training
Although the terms are often confused, an online course is not usually the same as distance training.
In the first case, all training is carried out via the Internet, starting with registration, payment if required, until the end of the course, including the degree, if the course offers it.
However, in a distance course, an Internet learning platform is not used, but the training center provides the necessary materials to the students, either directly or by mail. Normally, there is time to study the subjects and open communication with the teachers.
In other words, distance training is the same as studying in a conventional way, in an institute, only that the student does it in a place other than the classroom. In these cases, the subjects taught and the syllabi are usually official. Likewise, the qualification is equal to or equivalent to having attended classes as one more student.
As you can imagine, there are countless half variants from a purely online course to face-to-face training.
A semi-face-to-face course modality is called “blended-learning”. In these courses, a percentage of the time is done remotely, while another part of the course is face-to-face. Above all, the idea is that the student can have direct support from the teachers, as well as carry out different practices in the company of other students.
What are the advantages of online education?
By the way … what kind of training do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.
The main advantage of online courses
Of course, Online education has many other advantages beyond the freedom it gives you. Some of them are listed below:
- Flexibility (of schedule, pace, time, and place)
- They adapt to your needs
- By choosing a very specific subject, the level of specialization increases.
- Comfort (you can do it in your pajamas, or from the beach having a margarita, although it is not recommended)
- Savings (some are free, and those that are paid are usually reasonably priced. In addition, you save on transport and materials)
- Availability of variety of training courses. Normally, you have different courses on the same topic, at different prices.
- Fast. You do not have to wait.
- The methods are quite effective and efficient.
- It demands a certain level of responsibility, organization, self-discipline, and certain touches of self-teaching. All this in itself, adds value.
- Learning is proactive (you provoke it), not reactive (somebody pushes you to do it)
- Many resources and of many types, all at your free disposal.
- You can take more than one course at the same time.
- Faster and more constant updates than in traditional education.
- It is not necessary for anyone to know you, or to make yourself known.
What do you have to take into account when choosing online training?
In the simplest terms, the keys to choosing an online course well are the same as you would follow for a face-to-face one. Take a look at the following list and analyze if they wouldn’t work in both cases:
- The requirements to enter the course
- The duration
- The price
- The quality of the trainers
- The possibilities of support from teachers
- The resources to be used
- Your availability
- The reputation of the entity behind the course
- The experience the school has
- The degree they offer you
- The opinions of other students
- Assess career prospects
- Study the training offer
Are they or not the same points that you would look at when choosing a face-to-face course?
In addition to these, one needs to take into consideration, the technical requirements (bandwidth of your internet connection), and, very importantly, the quality of the platform you would use.
How to choose the best online course?
The easiest option, but not the best, is to do an elementary google search, like “course to learn typing.” You will find hundreds of offers. Now, you will only have to review the ones that attract your attention the most and choose.
Another effortless way that gives you a quality bonus to find good courses is to enter a training platform. Likewise, you can do a search on Google and you will find dozens.
The 4-step method to find the best online course for you
Although all of the above can be very practical when looking for online courses, you can use a more effective and personal method to find the best online course, one that is tailor-made for you, that has the necessary quality. For this reason, a 4-step system is developed here, to help you choose an online course that is really worth it. Take a look at the following points, check out if they can be useful to you. At the very least, it may be an alternative way of looking for an online course.
Step 1: think about your ‘Why’
The first thing you have to do, before starting to search like crazy for courses in Google, is to stop. Take a break, and a coffee if you want. Find a quiet place. Get off the phone, and ask yourself questions … think!
Why do you want to take an online course?
Try to dig deep. Don’t stay on the surface. What is your motivation? Is it learning something new? Or maybe seem smarter? Is it because of social commitment? Or is it to support your family financially?
Make a note of your reflections.
Step 2: think about your ‘What for’
Once you reach conclusions that you agree with, think about your “what for”. The purpose. It is not the same as why.
For what purpose do you want to take up an online course?
Again, do some digging. What good is that course you wish to do? What do you need it for? What specific facet do you need to learn? How will you put it into practice? Do not generalize. Check out for courses that meet your specific requirements.
Step 3: find a referrer
Once you have thought about “why” and “what for”, next comes the “how”. It is not just about looking for an online course. You need to look for a reference in the matter you need.
Take note of the pages, and spend some time browsing each one. Look at the quality of its content, the comments it has received, and, incidentally, learn everything you need to.
Step 4: contact the referrer
Before starting the search for the course itself, you should follow the contents of these websites for a while. Subscribe to the blog if they have it, and give your email if they offer you any guidance. Think of it as an introduction to the course and that it can help you decide.
If they have more content and information, such as podcasts, YouTube channels, or social networks, follow them too.
Once you have spent some time (it does not have to be much), consuming the contents of these websites, contact the reference. Send them an email, or better yet, write to them on their social networks. Ask them what courses they would recommend to suit your requirements.
To cut a long story short, it all depends on how willing or passionate you are about the course you choose. Remember to be loyal to yourself, as in the end you win when you learn and complete the course successfully.
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