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Different universities and companies are investing in providing distance learning opportunities. With many marketing tactics at play, with that of unaccredited programs on the market. Now, it is quite essential to do research, with that of gaining a strong understanding of the specific program in which staudents are signing up. Students, When choose to invest in their guardian’s hard-earned savings or making considerations to take out a student loan, it becomes very crucial to know how to identify good online courses.  Students can find some helpful factors to consider according to the individual interests and goals for online learning. The factors to be considered are as follows-


E-learning, Distance Learning, Online Learning:--

Technologies in today’s scenario have completely transformed the world of work along with providing more opportunities to work remotely. Thus, no surprise that students are also seeking remote learning opportunities to further their studies. So Distance and online learning is an educational process where students enrol in online courses to learn through lecture recordings, live video conferencing as well as additional audio or visual materials which are made available virtually. Also, Online learning is proving to be quite impactful by making education accessible to larger groups of students. The colleges and universities based massive open online courses or MOOCs are not a new offering, although a greater number of students are now opting to do their learning through accredited online courses and Online Education system. Students who benefit from the flexibility of online learning include working professionals, stay at home parents, those who are abroad and others without regular access to transportations. Various full-time students also choose to take online courses during their school breaks to lighten their standard course loads during semesters. So, e-Learning can therefore also complement traditional education and offline learnings for students.


  • Good Online Course Options & Offerings:-

Many of the best online courses mirror the quality of in-person classroom experiences. It is done by utilizing key technologies to create accessible, engaging environments. Also, Engaging students in online learning is key, specifically when face-to-face interactions or both between students and teachers and amongst students and their peers, do not occur. Besides,  many initial best practices being implemented include interactive measures to encourage online student engagements along with effective use of technology to make for easily accessible and well-produced materials and opportunities for mentoring and peer collaborations.


  • The questions students should explore when selecting a good online course or programs are as follows:-


  1. Is the school accredited?

Numerous Students have different goals and they may vary, but accreditation is often a key consideration. Students should be aware of a regional association accredited the school students are exploring. It should be able to meet academic requirements and the credits may not be accepted to be ‘rolled over’ into another institution or college.


  1. How qualified are the professors?

Students can argue that having an engaging professor is even more important when face-to-face interactions are lacking. So, Look for reviews of faculty and explore how much experience they have teaching the subject at hand. The University’s professors should likely have PhDs, and teachers at community colleges should likely have Masters degrees. Students shouldn’t settle for less just because the course is online.


  1. What degree will you be eligible for?

The common question that comes to mind of students is that the school offer an Associates degree or is it a professional certification and Will these credits be recognized by other institutions if they are taking a few courses online to then roll them over to obtain a degree. Students should Identify what exactly is their degree or certification end goal is and then look up all of the requirements and work backwards to see which courses they should actually apply to.


  1. How tech savvy is the program?

Now, Technology can make or break online student engagement experiences. So, When participating online, the quality of the video, audio, graphics and design are key to student retentions. Also, some courses utilize complex technologies, which complicate the online learning process. Making students download many apps and plug-ins can have the opposite effect. In the end, Students can get frustrated when technologies don’t work properly and spend too much time troubleshooting issues and not enough time actually learnings. Students should Instead, look for courses which use reliable technologies that are universally supported by different browsers and devices. Also, Students should be fully aware of how to access resources on the provided platform of online courses.


  1. Does the course accommodate different learning styles and needs?

Nowadays, many schools are focusing on embedding Universal Design for Learning principles into their offerings. It aims to give all students an equal opportunity to succeed and is based on the idea that everyone learns differently and actively. For instance, some individuals are more visual, while others are audible learners. Thus the course should cover all styles of Learning.


  1. How flexible is the course?

Students are likely taking courses online due to convenience or scheduling matters. It is essential to complete the course at their own pace. Also, students should know if they have to join lectures live or they can watch them on-demand. Therefore, It is important to get a sense of the course schedule and deadlines to ensure students will be able to complete it. Some students thrive on deadlines and need the extra push to motivate themselves, while others need a flexible structure due to other life or work responsibilities. 


  1. How is the course designed?

Now, online courses development process should be ongoing. Many Good online courses will continue to find unique ways to keep online students engaged with out-of-the box thinking and attractions. Whereas, on the other hand, many online courses lack multimedia elements or provide the same format each week, which can make quite a boring experience. Therefore, to conclude students should look for courses that have invested in e-learning innovation and are utilizing multiple formats for interactions, along with multimedia elements to create an engaging experience.

Reference- https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/learning/choosing-the-right-online-course


Harleen Arora 2 years ago
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September 26 2020

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