In the past, in order to learn, it was essential to go to a place where a teacher would teach you. However, today it is possible to study everything without leaving your home. In fact, the current problem is knowing how to choose a good online course. In this article, we will see what an “online course” is, how it works, the different types of courses, their advantages, and above all, how to choose the best online course with a very interesting 4-step method.
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.
Other terms commonly used to refer to online courses are “online education“, “distance education“, “distance training“, “virtual teaching”, “e-learning”, ” m-learning (mobile-learning ), Tele-training, and the like.
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 the 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 a time to study the subjects and open communication with the teachers.
Simply put, 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.
Prussia and the currants
They say that today’s compulsory education originated in Prussia, at the time of enlightened despotism, in the 18th century. Yes, the despotism was not wrong, because that part of the story could be summarized with the phrase: “Everything for the people, but without the people.”
The educational system they invented was public and compulsory. First of all, that education is compulsory has its positive side. However, I believe that the desire to learn should be born from a healthy motivation and that it should not be imposed.
In addition, their objectives were not in themselves that people learn and become smarter, but to train useful workers to the system.
The main advantage of online courses
Of course, online education has many other advantages beyond the freedom it gives you. Some of them are the following:
- 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 cheap. In addition, you save transport and materials)
- Training offer. Normally, you have different courses on the same thing, at different prices.
- You do not have to wait.
- The methods are quite effective and efficient (effective)
- It demands a certain level of responsibility, organization, self-discipline, and certain touches of self-teaching. All this is in itself an added value.
- Learning is proactive (you provoke it), not reactive (they push 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 update 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?
Simplifying a lot, 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 tell me 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, I would only add the technical requirements (bandwidth of your internet connection), and, very importantly, the quality of the platform you will use.
How to choose the best online course?
As you may already know, not everything on the internet is quality information or training. Therefore, after analyzing all the above, the time has come to make a decision and choose the best online course among all those available on the market.
The simplest option, but not the best, is to do a simple google search, like “course to learn typing.” You will find hundreds of offers. Now you will only have to review the ones that most attract your attention and choose.
Another simple way, but 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.
I recommend one platform in particular: Animaster College of Animation and Design. They have countless courses related to design education. And also courses for kids who are interested in learning design with their Young Designer Program (YDP).
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, I think that you can use a more effective and personal method to find the best online course, one that is made for you, and that has the necessary quality. For this reason, I have developed a 4-step system to choose an online course that is really worth it. Take a look at the following points, and think 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, first of all, 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, in silence. Get off the phone, and ask yourself questions … think!
Why do you want to take an online course?
Try to go to the root. 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 feeding your family?
Take note of your reflections.
Step 2: think about your what for
Once you reach conclusions that you agree with, think about your what for. It is not the same as why.
Why do you want to take an online course?
Again, do some digging. What good is that course you want 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. There will be a course for whatever you want.
Step 3: find a referrer
Once you have your why and what for, comes the how. In this system that I propose, it is not about looking for an online course. Better, 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 receives, and, incidentally, learn everything you can.
Step 4: contact the referrer
Before starting the search for the course itself, I recommend you 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 that all this is an introduction to the course and that it can help you decide.
If they have other content, 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 them on their social networks. Ask them what courses they recommend to learn that specific thing you need.
In the end, 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.