15 Questions to Ask Before Signing Up an Online Course
Whether you want to learn something completely new or need to expand your knowledge and skills, you can always sign up for an online course. Enrolling yourself in an online course is always a bright idea. An online course offers an opportunity to learn anywhere, at anytime. Watching TV in the middle of the night, enjoying coffee in the lounge in beautiful sunny day or merely sitting ideal, online learning is most attractive because of the flexibility and convenience it comes with. Moreover, a majority of online courses are very helpful as well as inexpensive. However not all online learning institutes are treated equal and same.
Therefore, you need to be extremely careful when signing up for a particular online course. We have piled up few questions for you that you should ask before signing up an online course.
1. What is the actual duration of the course?
As a matter of fact, your online course will have a beginning and an end, but when can you expect it to be completed? Check how long the course will last? Think about how many classes you are planning to attend. Do you have the required time to attend it or not?
2. What is the total cost of a particular online course?
Online courses are gaining in popularity and thus the cost associated with them is rising drastically. You wouldn’t want to sign up for an online course only to realize it costs you a fortune. Well, getting to the actual cost of the course is extremely important to know whether you can afford it or not. Don’t forget to include other type of costs as well such as notes, study material etc. Also, compare the prices of different online courses to find out the affordable one among all.
3. Are you capable enough to afford the course at this moment?
Well, if the online course is worth your time, efforts and money, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t pay for the course, unless you are really broke. However, if you can’t actually afford the fee of the course, it is better to look out for another free online course to avoid getting deeper into financial crisis.
4. What type of technology is required?
Well, learning online means you would require a working computer and a broadband/Wi-Fi. Apart from that you may need additional software to complete your assignments and notes. Since these additional things add up a lot to the actual costs, it is always advisable to consider them beforehand and plan the rest of the budget accordingly. Ask about the technology the program makes use of. You will not only need time to get the software in your system, but also to install, and understand it.
5. How is the course structured?
An experienced teacher is extremely important for an online class, but so as the course structure. A majority of online classes follow a particular type of structure for each program keeping each detail in mind. It is always advisable to ask upfront about the overall structure of the course and how the classes will be organized every week.
6. What will be the average class size?
People usually prefer to have smaller classes with a size of 10-15 students. The major benefit of having smaller classes is the amount of time an instructor can offer to each student of the class. However, it depends on you. If you are one of those who do not mind studying with a large group of students in a class, you probably don’t have to bother about it. Get to know the average class size before signing up for an online course to help you prepare yourself better.
7. What value does it offer?
Every course has certain value attached to it. No matter what your plans are in regards to the course, it should have a value. After all, who would want to waste their hard earned money into something that doesn’t have any value? As an instance, if you are a novice SEO freelancer who hasn’t gotten any jobs, you will rather benefit from “learning the ins and outs of SEO” than “how to add plugins in WordPress?” Know what you need right at this moment. You are not only paying to learn something new, but also to gain results from that knowledge.
8. How flexible are the timings of the course?
Check whether or not the timings suit you. Though almost every online course has flexible timings for their student, there are still many programs that offer particular timings for the classes.
9. What is the learning process?
Make sure you understand how you are going to learn study and complete assignments and test. Online institutes integrate many different academic models such as traditional college courses, competency-based programs and combined online programs.
10. What type of support will be offered?
The only big difference between online and offline courses is that you don’t actually get to sit in a classroom with a real instructor. In online courses, you get to learn from a virtual instructor, which may make your feel a little hesitant when it comes to seeking support. These online courses usually offer around-the-clock support for their students. However, it is always better to ask prior joining the class whether or not you would get enough support.
11. What others have to say about the course?
There are various websites available online that offer free non-affiliate reviews about various courses. You can always read reviews on such sites to know which online institute is better for you.
12. What type of study material you will get?
When you enroll yourself in any course, you expect to get study material to understand things better and to keep track of the syllabus you’ve completed till date. Study material usually includes relevant notes, assignments, and books. Make sure you ask the selected online institute about study material you’d be receiving.
13. Is the faculty experienced enough to teach you?
Who would like to study from a non-experienced and unprofessional instructor? Of course, you wouldn’t! You are spending your hard earned money to learn something, not to trash it. Thus it is extremely important that the particular faculty is experienced and knows the ins and outs of the course.
14. Is the course accredited?
Not every online institute is accredited equally. While selecting a particular institute, the accreditation concern should be on top of your priority. Accreditation assures that institutes have met the highest standards in reference to staff, programs and courses.
15. Does the teacher have good credits?
This is important to ensure you get to learn only from teachers with good credits. Good credits basically mean they’ve had a smooth and excellent record of teaching, and who would want to miss the opportunity of learning from only the best teachers available in the institute.
The bottom line is – not every paid online course is good for you. A course which is suitable for one person may not be good for another. Therefore, research, find and compare in order to enroll yourself in the best online institute.