Online courses are now an ideal option for those that need to fit learning a new subject into their existing lifestyle. There are plenty of online platforms available to help learners achieve the right qualification for them, from freelance teaching on websites such as YouTube to fully accredited courses with universities and colleges. With so many options, it can be difficult to know how to decide on the right course for you. Here are some things to consider.
Online courses can vary in price, and this is something that should certainly be compared properly. A course might be cheaper because it is not accredited, it is not recognized by the needed authority, or because it does not offer the same value as others. It has been reported that the average online bachelor’s degree costs $38,496 to $60,593. If the course you are considering is outside of these figures, you should consider if it is of fair value. Many institutions will also offer financial aid, which can be particularly useful and make their program more favorable.
Number of hours required
An online course should be clear and upfront about the number of hours that will be required in study to complete the course and provide a good indication of the length of time the course might take to complete. For more info on a good representation of the time commitment, the University of Texas is a good example, as they provide clear descriptions of the time to complete the course.
Exam and assessment requirements
When researching an online course, it is important to know what to expect from assessments. For example, will the entire experience be online, or will you need to travel for physical examinations or project work. An online course should have a variety of teaching and assessment methods within it. This could be a mix of essay writing, online tests, and prerecorded presentations. It is important to find out about the plans for assessments in advance by looking at the program syllabus and discussing the course with the program managers or professors.
The accreditation gained
An online course should provide clear information about the organizations that they work with, the institutions that back their course, and the awarding body. The accreditation that will be gained should be obvious, and in the most useful course descriptions, it should be simple to understand which potential career opportunities the course could create for you. For example, when doing an online horticultural course, you should understand if the course will be industry-recognized and worthwhile and whether it will lead you to basic entry roles in gardening or give you a route to more senior landscaping jobs.
Overall, there is a lot to consider when you are searching for the right online course, and with so much information available online, it can become quite easy to get confused. Make sure your research is thorough and goes beyond the website description but is followed up with calls or emails to the provider and a search for reviews by previous students.