How to Choose An Online Course
Selection of the right online course for yourself is a daunting task. Testing a course against some basic parameters would help you take a decision in this regard. These guidelines would help you accelerate your search.
Programme and Your Needs
You have to ascertain whether your requirement matches with the programme. Some colleges could be good in technical courses, some in business and some in other aspects. Research thoroughly and ensure that the programme suits you. The curriculum should be up-to-date. You also have to find out whether the online programme has appropriate recognition. An organisation could be well-known but what is important is the recognition of the course.
Teachers’ Training and Certification
Your online teachers must be well-experienced, trained and certified. Your success would depend on the skills of your online instructor. So this is crucial. If possible, read a section of the online course before taking any decision on it. Ensure that the institution has a clear plan for content presentation, interactivity, communication, and assessment. Teachers must be responsive to e-mails. Some online institutions rope in practitioners in their field as their faculties. In this case, the a course in miracles students will get atoned to real-life situations.
A well-defined curriculum must conjoin the capabilities of classroom instructors, instructional designers, graphic designers, programmers and animators, and experts. It must encapsulate these attributes:
- clear goals and objectives
- easy-to-read and aesthetically pleasing content
- in-detail instructions for all assignments and course logistics
- inclusion of appropriate media (graphics, audio/video, animations, etc.)
- proper opportunities for interaction (e-mail, online chat etc.)
- support resources (library, technical assistance, etc.)
Some institutions providing online education offer financial aid programs for their students. Check with the school of your choice whether any such aid is available. Get informed about the application process, type of financial aid programs and how to get started.
Time in the Trade
An organisation’s experience in conducting online courses is a major criteria. An institution takes years to learn how to best design courses, train faculty, and serve students online. They have to continuously develop new methodologies which takes time.
Look how many students complete the graduation and what are the drop out rates. Low retention rate means that the students are not satisfied with their education. Student-to-teacher ratio is also something to look at. Good organisations keep it low and never hesitate to publicise it. Institutions which have crammed the students in an online class will be silent about it.
Policy on Transfer Credits and Refunds
With development in online education, transferring credits between institutions has become better. However, all institutions have their policy on online credits. You should be well-informed of this before joining a course. You must also seek information regarding an organisation’s policy if you leave a course partway. Get informed on issues like refund, readmission etc.
Undertake proper research before you conclude anything regarding online skills training. It is always better to take your time for taking a decision than to regret it later.