The scenario of education industry, specially the higher education was primarily concentrated in the hands of few big universities. They were considered the premier institutions solely responsible for grooming the credentials of only certain affluent section of the population. Not a dominant scene a decade ago, when the idea of e-learning sparked and few MOOCs managed to head its way in the heavily dominated offline learning industry. Gradually, the format of online learning gained momentum marking the inception of disruptive educational era. This fresh educational format backed by advanced technology not only ushered in the digital transformation of education sector but also has boosted the economy with its burgeoning growth. In traditional offline setting, where small instructor led classroom is an exception, e learning offers more collaborative and interactive mode of instruction, allowing more engaging with experts and peers. E-learning courses are designed in such a way to motivate and inspire individuals to learn something new. As the prominence and popularity of online learning rose, people across the globe regularly enroll for various courses. The challenge often posed is people get confused to choose the right course from among the plethora of courses. Few guidelines are outlined below on how to choose your online course rightly.
Set your own criteria
The first and the foremost step in choosing your online course is setting and deciding upon your criteria to go for online learning. Make your mind clear regarding few things like; what type of course do you want to pursue? Why do you want to learn online? Do you need for personal enrichment? Is the course needed for up gradation in your current job? Are you taking it to change your current line of career? What specific topics you want the course to cover? Are you looking for some specific skill to develop? How much time will you be able to devote? What is your budget?
Identify the skills that you need to master
In current business scenario, change and evolution are the only two constant dominating features. In order to survive in this cut throat competitive world, you have to remain abreast and updated with whatever that is termed as contemporary skills, be it soft skills or hard skills. The more you become adept, more is your chance to ascend the career ladder. Pinpointing out the skills that are required for you to remain ahead in your profession is very necessary. Recognizing that will help you to map out the course options that assist in developing those skill sets.
Once you have clarity regarding what skills you need to develop and other criteria, you need to explore and research the various options available. You can browse online the different companies and forum that design courses. You need to be patient and tenacious while exploring if you want the best choice for yourself. Often people get confused or bored while choosing from hundreds and thousands of options available online for learning. The best trick is to stay calm and refrain from deciding in a hurry. Just equate this learning choice and decision as any other important matter of life,that requires some serious thinking and weighing options. From the vast numbers, narrow down to fewer options for further specific scanning.
Read the course details thoroughly
After finding out few suitable options, you need to thoroughly read through course description. Get clear ideas about curriculum, topics covered, pedagogy, learning techniques, mentors and tutors, subscription types, technical assistance and learning sessions. Before enrolling for a course you must be absolutely informed of all the minute details of the same. This will only happen if you give in considerable time to thoroughly scan the course details. Make sure that you understand what the course is about, how it will particularly benefit you, whether you are eligible for the course. Above all, whether the said course in hand will match your criteria and your experience.
Compare same courses of different institutions
Several forums are there in the edtech industry providing vast scope of varied courses. Every player is struggling hard to sustain stiff competition and offer the best learning experience to its subscribers. However, the balls in your court to choose the best one from among them that rightly suit you. This incurs quite a lot of time and effort in comparing the courses of several institutions. Generally the following three features can be the best deciding factor.
- Type of Pedagogy: Try to choose courses that have a well designed curriculum and blended pedagogy. The course must offer you options of both self learning backed by an engaging pedagogy. At the same time, it must be coupled by some live interactive sessions from industry experts and teachers, recorded video sessions, peer sessions and proper doubt management forum.
- Credibility of institutions: Online courses available are of different types. There are degrees, certified courses, title courses, nanodegress, short courses etc. many have affiliations with private and international universities. Some are available from MOOCs and a lot of them available from online higher education companies. Undoubtedly, the reputation of the institution is important not only for personal learning experience but also for creating that spike in your resume against your peers. However, many a times, you may come across many institutes apart from the biggies, who offer same quality of content and learning experience at a much affordable price. You need to be mindful and prioritize to make this choice of whether you will shell a hefty amount to go with a brand or will be satisfied with an unadorned counterpart. Choosing the latter will be easy on your pocket but will be devoid of that glam attached when going with a big name.
- Suitability of cost, duration and flexibility of schedule: The format of online learning rose into popularity and prominence primarily because of its cost effectiveness, duration and flexibility. Though this is the general format of any online learning, yet you need to be very sure of all the nuances of the program. Hidden terms and conditions need to be taken into account. As this industry got a spike over the few years, many companies charge exorbitant fees in the name of great content, advanced technology backed teaching methods, internships, placements and so on. Check before falling prey into these gimmicks. Go in for courses that are easy on pockets, well designed in terms of duration and offer flexibility of learning anytime, anywhere. Also make sure you choose courses that provide provisions for interactive sessions with industry experts and other co participants, doubt resolution units, innovative motivational triggers and nudges.
- Check reviews: Put in your extra time to glance through the feedback section of every company and course to get a more direct idea regarding other participants’ views about the course and the company in general. Often we ignore the reviews section thinking it’s useless. But, they can be of great use to help you either negate or stick to your choice.
Adhering to these guidelines will necessarily help you to choose a suitable course for you. As customers, we always tend to look out for a good or service providing all the best features. But this is seldom possible. Keep in mind that more is not always better, you can get a very good experience if you settle down for less yet reliable and dependable source. Be patient, keep cool, do your homework, choose your course and GET STARTED…