Advantages of Online Courses

So often there are misconceptions about online courses. In this article, we have covered both the advantages of online learning and how to choose good quality online courses. A well-designed course should not stress you and keep you up at night, rather it should provide a controllable learning environment that doesn’t take you away from your everyday duties and responsibilities.

With today’s technologies; you can study almost anywhere, anytime; while you take a ride on the bus, or even on the treadmill, using downloadable learning manuals that you can use on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

Here are a few advantages of taking online courses instead of traditional classroom learning:

LOWER COSTS

Online courses are more affordable than traditional classroom learning. For example, there are no commuting costs, and hard copy textbooks are usually not required because they are available to download online.

IMPROVED TECHNICAL SKILLS

Even the most basic online course requires the development of new computer skills as students learn to navigate different learning programs. The skills students learn in their online courses include creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into assignments, completing online training sessions, and navigating the internet better.

REDUCED STRESS

Taking a class online means that you can read and learn the material and do the work on your own time. Doing course work on your own means less pressure to keep up with other students in the class since you’ll be working individually rather than in a group. Online courses usually provide deadlines for assignments, so with proper time management and organisation skills, you don’t need to worry about how well or efficiently other students are doing in their work.

INFORMAL

Online courses can be done in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, and there is no pressure to go attend a class. You can work from your couch or bed while you are taking care of other household responsibilities. You will not be away from home as much as you would be if you were to attend classes.

IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK

Marking of exam papers can take long and might require a longer period for the learner to get results and feedback. Marking can be time-consuming. Many of the systems used for online courses have standardized tests and can provide results as soon as the learner completes the assessment. This helps with management of the program you are enrolled in and can help with the pace of learning.

ACCESS TO SME’S

The online courses that are managed effectively provide a time management guide, and also allows an opportunity for the learner to have access to facilitators and mentors. This allows the learner to ask questions and get more information and insight from the subject matter experts of the specific industry.

HOW TO IDENTIFY GOOD QUALITY ONLINE COURSES

  • A guide should be provided to the learner on the purchase of the course. The guide should be step by step so the learner does not have unanswered questions about the course they have enrolled in.
  • The content should be easy to read, interesting and include media to assist with the course content. Media such as videos, images and audio makes the reading interesting and keeps the learner engaged. To make multimedia use successful, these elements must always have a solid purpose and must be presented professionally.
  • Course material is kept up to date.
  • The technology element must be easy to use, flashy systems with too much information can be distracting. The technology used must be effective and fully supported across a variety of devices and operating systems.