Saturday, January 5, 2013

Things to Look Out For When Going For an Online Course

E-learning short courses
E-learning short courses (Photo credit: London College of Fashion short courses)

The Internet has made it tremendously easy for anybody having access to a computer or laptop, to learn anything from guitar playing to cooking and DIY home improvement projects to stitching or embroidery. You can simply search on the Internet for your desired course or skill, and you will find many people offering these courses, online classes, or training DVDs. Some of them are available for free, but even the paid ones are significantly low priced as compared to what you will be paying for a regular course. Most free courses will only scratch the surface as far as course contents are concerned. In order to get the real deal, you will have to find a proper, paid program.

What to look for in an Online Course

However, there might be some con artists or self-proclaimed experts when it comes to online courses, so you need to remember the following things while going for an online course or training program that asks for a payment.
  • Take a look at the website and its contents. Does the website contain nothing but a lengthy sales page that repeats the same hyperbole and flowery promises again and again? Does the content seem like it is written by someone who possess above average knowledge and grasp of the topic? 
  • Get in touch with the course provider with some questions about the course contents. Not only will it let you know a thing or two about the course, but it will also give you an idea of the responsiveness or customer support that you will be getting. Remember that you might be having some queries later on, so the course provider should be ready to respond to these questions. 
  • If the course relates to a field that keeps evolving (e.g. search engine optimization), you must make sure that the provider has been updating the contents on a regular basis. True that not all courses will need to be updated, for example, cooking or guitar playing, but the course provider should be updating the course to keep it in line with the new standards or developments in the industry. 
  • How trustworthy is the course provider? Do they have some web presence? Can you see some contact details with physical address or there’s nothing to know about the real person behind the course. Remember that real professionals and experts will take pride in their course or classes, and they will market themselves as a brand, rather than trying their best to hide their true identities. 
  • Always do a little research to make sure you are not paying ridiculously more than the average price for a course of similar nature. True that the price might vary a little, depending on the institute or professionals offering that course, but anybody charging an extraordinary amount should have solid reasons to back that price. 
  • Be careful when going for an online degree or certification. Make sure that the institute is chartered or authorized by the concerned authorities or organizations before wasting your time and resources for acquiring a degree that will be discarded in the job market.

About the Author: Natasha is a student who loves to write about learning or training resources online. She enjoys using Muk Yan Jong and a training DVD to learn more on martial arts.

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