With almost 3 million students currently enrolled in online programs and 6 million taking at least one online course as part of their degree, online learning has definitely become a very popular education alternative.
But can it really help you improve your skills and boost your career? According to Education Speaks, in their thorough MasterClass review, it definitely can. Dubbed “Netflix of eLearning”, MasterClass gives you an opportunity to learn from top industry-leading experts. Want cooking lessons? Gordon Ramsey could be your teacher!
Nowadays, learning new stuff online is not only very popular but it’s also quite convenient. E-courses allow you to do everything online, from choosing the type of course and the best tutor to scheduling classes and conducting payments.
What Makes Online Learning So Special?
As the influence of the Internet is growing, online courses are becoming more and more popular. People like online education because it is simple, affordable and, compared to traditional education, quite fun.
Online learning aims to provide equal education for people of different professions and places of residence by deploying the latest communication technology. It is suitable for all levels of education so, for instance, people who can’t afford higher education as a result of insufficient finances or due to a physical inability can easily enroll in an online program.
Online education is also perfect for people who work from nine to five. As they can’t commit to traditional full-time studying, online learning allows corporate workers to study independently, plan their schedules, and select the preferred workload.
Benefits of Online Courses
Even though traditional education and online education don’t exclude one another, the benefits of the latter are undeniable. To name just a few:
- You are not bound to the venue of the course and you can study wherever you are, even when traveling;
- You can select any educational organization, even one that is located abroad. Online courses allow you to select the best institutions and take part in some of the most prestigious courses which are conducted by top experts;
- Online education helps you customize the learning process. Each student can learn independently and at their own pace. You can choose the place and time that suits you best (you can study the material at work, at home, or in the park), as well as the subjects you want to study. With online learning, you can also choose how you’ll study the subject: actively or passively, using written materials or more advanced multimedia (sound, animation, graphics, etc.), discussing with other participants, and so on.
Types of Online Courses
The institutions that provide online education are divided into the following categories:
Traditional Educational Institutions Offering Online Programs
The number of traditional colleges and universities that have launched online programs is constantly rising, thus making the list of offered courses longer.
Corporate Courses and Training
These organizations offer programs and training that lead to earning a certificate and strengthening or developing your professional skills. The programs are usually non-accredited and established according to the clients’ individual requirements. For that reason, it’s very important to get enough information about the structure of the course, as well as its methods and means of communication.
There are several high-education institutions in the States that offer bachelor’s and master’s programs. When searching for such institutions, make sure to check whether they have the necessary accreditation.
How to Choose the Best Online Course
When it comes to choosing a quality online learning program, there are 3 main factors you need to consider:
Structure of the Course
The whole idea of online learning is to focus on the student. The biggest upside of online programs is that they never duplicate the lectures. Unlike traditional learning programs, online courses are organized in accordance with the student’s needs to make sure the student is actively involved in the process. In addition, the course’s structure aims to provide the student with an opportunity to plan the learning process and choose the subjects based on individual needs and objectives.
Means of Communication
Online courses can deliver information through various methods: phone, email, video/audio conferences, interactive TV, online platforms, newsgroups, etc. Make sure that the means of communication are consistent before you start the course.
Online courses can be asynchronous or synchronous. The former is quite flexible as they allow the student to pick the most convenient time to learn, whereas the latter requires real-time interaction between the student and the tutor and they usually involve video conferencing or interactive TV.
Even though online courses are remote, the students shouldn’t feel isolated. Good-quality learning programs use a number of techniques and methods to create a feeling of real interaction between the tutor and the students. When selecting an online course, make an inquiry on how students maintain contact with their tutors. Make sure that there’s online support, discussion forums, live chat, and other support tools.
In today’s highly competitive work environment, online courses are a truly valuable tool. Experienced workers and professionals turn to online education to strengthen their knowledge and advance their careers. Online courses can help you improve your expertise and acquire new skills.
Online education allows convenience and flexibility to make the learning process more relaxed, increase its efficiency, and maximize the results. Whatever your area of interest, level of training, preferred schedule or format may be, there’s definitely something for everyone’s taste.
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