With thousands of choices of online courses available, how can you possibly narrow down which online courses you should take? Follow these three steps:
First focus on your goals in taking online courses. Ask yourself:
- Do I want to pursue a degree?
- Do I want to further my current career?
- Do I want to change careers?
- What do I want to learn?
- What level of interaction do I want with instructors and other students?
Time and Money
Next you must ask yourself how much time and money you can devote to the course. Time requirements vary greatly among courses as do prices, so it’s good to go into your search with an idea of what you can commit; be sure you have enough of both resources to devote.
Programs and Schools
Once you have set your goals as well as the time and money parameters for your ideal online course, it’s time to start looking at courses. Here are some tips on evaluating whether you’ve found the right online course for you:
- Does this course offer the level of training I need to achieve my goals?
- Does this course give an appropriate level of interaction with the instructor and other students?
- Are there special licensure requirements for my chosen profession and will this course prepare me for them?
- How does this course compare to others in the same discipline at traditional universities?
- How does this course compare to other online courses in the same discipline?
Now you are ready to research the school that offers your online course of choice. Pay special attention to:
Your best resources for analyzing online courses just may be past students, particularly in the course you’re interested in taking, and the instructors themselves, so if you can contact them, be sure to do so.