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What to look out for in Online Courses

Continuing Education in the digital age.

Are online learning courses worth the effort? Yes!

I have enrolled in quite a few during the past couple of years; some free, some quite expensive. Here are the main elements to consider irrespective of the topic:

  • Video. Courses without video are boring. No matter how dedicated you might be, they are really difficult to follow. Completing them was a struggle each time. Video is helpful even if the tutor isn’t charismatic on camera. The experience is particularly enjoyable when the tutor has an interesting presence. This was the case once and I would repeat sections just to hear them explain it again!
  • Tests. Yes tests, even automated ones, help a lot. At first, I thought they were pretty basic and boring, but actually they make you re-think the content, process the information in your mind and thus learn it better.
  • Personalised feedback from a tutor. When an online course offers that option, it’s the best! Ever since a joined such a course for the first time, I decided to never pay for another one again that doesn’t provide this service. Personalised feedback from your tutor is really helpful and their comments can be really inspiring.
  • Peer feedback. That is the next best option. Peer feedback is useful and interesting, especially if a lot of participants are involved. It is nice to find out what others think of your work, but clearly not as useful as the opinion of an expert.

I have to admit I am addicted to online courses! It is so easy to learn new things from the comfort of your own home. The cost is minimal, and you can usually make whatever time allowances fit your schedule. Learning new skills is exciting and refreshing and I sincerely recommend it. Most of the courses are self-paced and can be adjusted to the busiest lifestyles. Even 10 minutes a day or an hour per week can make a huge difference.

My favourite courses in terms of presentation and interactivity were with Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education and Udemy. Courses offered by edX are very varied and always useful.

The topics I study about are creative writing and grammar and style. I have also attended courses on blogging and online writing as well as digital marketing.

Browsing through the options I am amazed by the abundance of options that are available today. So many areas of knowledge, such horizons in our fingertips. I am grateful for this wonderful technology that brings learning in my house. Thank you!

I’d love to know about your experience with online learning. Have you started or still thinking about it? Send me a reply and let me know.

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