Before we enroll in any of the gazillion courses being offered online, it is important to ask the right questions. This will help save us money and, most importantly, time that could be used for pursuing other interests.
The following questions will guide us in setting expectations not only for these online courses but also for ourselves.
1. What type of online education are you looking for?
There are different types of online education available on the internet. There are K-12 online courses, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, and the ever-popular short and nano courses. More details about them can be found here.
Knowing the type of online education you are looking for is the first thing you should do as it will establish not only the kind of education you will get but also what you should expect. The pace, difficulty, assessment methods, and the way the classes will be administered differ depending on the type of education.
2. What are you expecting to gain after finishing an online course?
We all have different reasons for taking online courses, but most are probably looking to earn certificates, from high school to undergraduate and graduate degrees. But there are also those who really just want to learn a particular skill through short and nano courses.
There are a lot of certificate courses available from reputable websites, though most would require payment to get the certificate. Those can be found here.
But if you don’t mind not getting a certificate (you really just want to learn), there are free courses available too, which can be found here.
3. What do you want to learn?
Knowing what you want to learn is important because there are A LOT. There are different types of degrees available, depending on the school you choose. For short and nano courses alone, there are already multiple areas or topics that you can learn, examples of which can be found here.
This variety is important because it enables us to gain perspectives from different fields so that we don’t feel limited or stuck with our current course.
4. Do you have access to the internet?
It’s called online courses after all. You’ll need to make sure that your internet connection speeds are stable and fast enough to avoid lags and delays, especially for watching lecture videos and downloading resource materials.
But apart from the internet connection, your device for accessing courses is also important. Some online schools cannot be accessed using smartphones, as some features can only be opened and used through a desktop. It’s this technological barrier that has made online education still unattainable for many students.
5. Will online learning match your learning style?
Studying in a physical campus with classmates and teachers you can see and talk to in person is a lot different from learning through computer screens only. For some students, missing out on those extra-curricular school experiences like org activities and events is unacceptable. But for other students, online learning is actually more suitable to their situation or personality. This is where the balancing and weighing in of choices come in, even for parents.
6. Do you have the discipline?
This is probably the question that requires the most introspection. Having the right discipline is crucial for anyone embarking on any kind of journey and challenge, and it’s no different with online learning. But sometimes, we can develop discipline and other soft skills, not beforehand, but by actually experiencing these challenges. Some of the soft skills you can learn from taking an online course can be viewed here.
The internet has really changed our way of life, and it has allowed us to cope with the challenges brought about by the current COVID-19 pandemic. While the global economy and our fast-paced world may have been slowed down by the virus, fortunately, we have online classes to ensure the continual development of our skills, abilities, and critical thinking.
To learn more about the different online learning opportunities available to you, visit Edukasyon.ph.