Online courses are more popular than ever. They are getting better, more up-to-date and informative. But there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your course. Here’s what’s important when choosing an online course. 10 aspects for your self-test.
What we want to talk about
Online learning has become very popular in recent years. First it was the pandemic, and then people appreciated the convenience of this format. Even now that the crisis is in a downturn, online learning continues to boom. And according to all forecasts, the market will only grow.
However, many users make mistakes when buying a course. These mistakes cost time, money and nerves. Here’s what to look out for so you can get the most out of your online learning offerings, not just give your money to someone else. Our 10 tips should take you by the hand.
Online course: Why at all?
The world is constantly changing and evolving. To be successful, it is important to always be one step ahead of the curve. An online course is a great way to gain knowledge and skills that will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Online courses offer a number of benefits that can help you achieve your goals. They are convenient, cost-effective and can be tailored to your individual needs. With an online course, you can learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. You can also access course materials and resources anytime, anywhere.
Online courses can also help you gain new skills and knowledge that can advance you in your career. By taking an online course, you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to stay competitive in the job market. You can also learn new techniques and strategies that will help you become more successful in your chosen field.
An online course can also help you stay motivated and pursue your goals. With an online course, you can set your own schedule and work at your own pace. This can help you stay on track and motivate yourself to achieve your goals.
With an online course, you can gain knowledge and skills that will help you stay ahead of the competition. It can also help you stay motivated and focus on your goals.
You can also build relationships with other students and professionals with an online course. You can interact with other students and professionals who are taking the same course, and you can learn from each other. This allows you to build a network of contacts who can help you in your career.
So if you’re ready to take the next step in your career, you should take an online course. It might be the best decision you’ve ever made. However, you should have read our following 10 pieces of advice at least once:
Buy training based on discounts
You will be offered to buy a webinar or online course with a 70% discount. The discount is only valid today, the counter counts down the seconds mercilessly and in addition you will be informed that the course is on offer for the last time. Your hand reaches out desperately to enter your card details into the appropriate field.
As soon as you see a ticking counter or a “only today” offer, you should pay attention. It can be a pure marketing ploy.
- First, urgency is one of the most important triggers that motivate the user to buy the product. It is effective, which is why it is used so often. It’s not a fact that you won’t see the same ad tomorrow or six months from now.
- Next, you should consider why you are being offered a discount in the first place. It is possible that the course is initially overpriced and the quality suffers. Or is the content outdated?
- But most importantly, ask yourself honestly, “Would you buy this course at full price?” It’s one thing if you’ve been longing for that one course for a long time. And it’s quite another thing if the desire to take this online course came to you just the moment you saw the word “discount.” In the first case, buying this online training, you really save money. In the second case, you only lose money. Because you will probably never find the time to complete the course.
- And one more thing: Don’t forget that there are courses throughout the year that will no longer be offered next year, and no discounts. If you need it, you will make it.
Buy an unnecessary subscription
Another big trap with online courses is to fall into an unwanted trap. Bad providers disguise their subscription model. Good providers always offer you firstly a short-term right of withdrawal and secondly monthly subscriptions. An annual subscription should also fit occasionally – but there should always be good reasons and a considerable discount. In general, it is advisable to initially only take out a monthly subscription for testing. Then critically evaluate whether you really used it as planned.
Choose the wrong language for the online course
There are a lot of good online courses, but they are often only available in English. You should have a very good command of English when booking courses with Skillshare or other providers, for example, to avoid disappointment. If you are not sure whether your English skills are sufficient: With many providers you can often book trial lessons for free or find selected free courses on Youtube.
Choose an online course for the wrong audience
When choosing your course, you should also make sure that you belong to the target audience. You certainly want to avoid booking a beginner’s course even though you are already advanced in the subject. Therefore, inform yourself in advance exactly which target group the course has, and what previous knowledge it requires.
Choose a course without the possibility of withdrawal
Also, avoid booking a course without the possibility of cancellation. A good online course should give you at least 5 to 10 percent of the total allotted time as a trial period. You should avoid courses without a probationary period.
Book an outdated online course
It is also very important to book a current online course. You don’t need a course for Microsoft Office 2019, Adobe InDesign 1.0, or Microsoft FrontPage today. Make sure that your course reflects the current state of technology and knowledge and that you don’t learn things from yesterday. To do this, you have to take a close look at the contents of the course in advance – in detail.
Buy too many online courses at once
Online learning for makeup, sketching, losing weight, knitting, English TV series, medieval literature – there are really many ways to learn something new these days. And almost everyone who has tried the joys of online education has a few or three courses that have been waiting in the wings for years.
And if you bought it with joy, the memories of it bring a feeling of guilt and irritation after a while. And for good reason! It has long been proven that unfinished tasks suck the energy out of us – just as unclosed browser windows quietly eat up our memory. An unfinished course is just such an unfinished affair that is harmful in the long run.
Make it a rule of thumb not to buy anything until you’ve completed the course you’ve already purchased. And don’t make exceptions. This will help you think a hundred times and then make a decision. And it will do you good, not hurt.
Choose an online course with a fixed end
At first glance, there’s nothing more convenient – that’s the beauty of online education! you buy an online course and take it when you have time. But maybe you’re like very, very many people: somehow you don’t have enough time in the end.
According to the statistics of many online schools, only 2-5% of users who choose an open end also complete the course. To the question “What’s going on?” they usually answer unanimously: Everything is fine, it’s very interesting, but I just can’t find time and will do it later. But this later never comes.
However, if you know that the information you’ve bought will vanish into thin air in a month, time is magically found. Yes, you go through the course quickly and superficially. But it may be better to go through only part of the course than not to open it at all.
Choose an online course without feedback
The average person remembers 10% of what he hears, 30% of what he sees and 80% of what he does. Thus, the efficiency of a course with homework increases many times over. In addition, learning is a process in which you assume from the outset that you will make mistakes. They can only be corrected by someone who has more experience, such as a tutor or teacher.
And he or she will not only alert you to mistakes, but also to successes that you probably don’t even notice. And that’s a very important incentive not to slow down.
Forgot about some technical aspects
In the middle of the webinar, your computer started downloading and restarting updates. You almost didn’t hear the instructor because the software kept freezing. Each of us can easily remember a lot of technical glitches that happened at the most inopportune moment. Make sure that your provider does not have any special requirements for the software. A normal browser and a normal Internet connection should be enough nowadays.
A lot of content that you might want to learn in a course can also be found online for free these days. Take advantage of this and get in. For example, with Google Primer you will find a platform that can really teach you a lot in the field of online marketing and business. Only when you have found a topic in which you really want to professionalize yourself and do not get any further with free offers, you should go deeper with a special and expensive provider.
People learn best when they have the opportunity to practice and apply what they have learned. Measure your plans against it!
Take advantage of promotions like Black Friday to get in cheaply. But you should have already picked out exactly what you want. Make sure that important features are not excluded from Black Friday. Some sites / operators offer a discount if you are referred. On Youtube and on the net you will always find advertising agencies that can give you ten to 25 percent discount.
Questions and answers
What factors should I consider when choosing an online course?
When choosing an online course, consider the course content, instructor credentials, course duration, learning outcomes, pricing, accreditation, reviews and testimonials, and the platform’s technical features and support.
How can I ensure the online course content is up-to-date and relevant?
To ensure the course content is up-to-date, look for recent publication or update dates, instructor expertise in the subject matter, and real-world examples or case studies. Also, check for regular course updates and revisions.
What role does instructor experience play in selecting an online course?
Instructor experience is crucial as it affects the quality of content and teaching methods. Look for instructors with professional experience, academic credentials, and positive student reviews.
How do I determine if an online course is accredited or recognized?
Check the course description for accreditation details, or verify with the relevant accrediting bodies. Accreditation ensures the course meets industry standards and may be necessary for professional licensing or career advancement.
How important are student reviews and testimonials when selecting an online course?
Student reviews and testimonials provide insights into the course quality, instructor effectiveness, and overall student satisfaction. They are valuable when evaluating if a course is worth your time and investment.
What should I look for in terms of course pricing and return on investment?
Compare course prices with similar offerings and consider factors like course length, content quality, and potential career benefits. Look for flexible payment options, discounts, or free trials to make the course more accessible.
How do I assess the learning outcomes and objectives of an online course?
Review the course syllabus, learning outcomes, and course modules to understand the topics covered, the skills you’ll gain, and how they align with your personal or professional goals.
What technical features should I consider when selecting an online course platform?
Evaluate the platform’s user interface, mobile compatibility, multimedia quality, and interactive features like quizzes, discussion boards, or live sessions. Also, consider the availability of technical support and customer service.
How can I gauge the level of commitment required for an online course?
Assess the course duration, weekly time commitment, assignment deadlines, and overall workload. Ensure the course fits your schedule and allows you to balance your personal and professional responsibilities.
Can I take a trial or preview of an online course before committing to it?
Many platforms offer free trials, course previews, or sample lessons to help you evaluate the content, teaching style, and platform features. Utilize these options to make an informed decision before enrolling in a course.
What makes a good online course these days?
- Engaging and interactive content: A good online course should have engaging and interactive content that encourages students to participate and learn.
- Flexible learning options: A good online course should offer flexible learning options, such as self-paced learning, live lectures, and virtual classrooms.
- Comprehensive assessments: A good online course should have comprehensive assessments that measure students’ progress and provide feedback.
- Accessible resources: A good online course should provide students with access to resources such as videos, tutorials, and practice tests.
- Supportive community: A good online course should have a supportive community of peers and teachers who can provide guidance and support.
Online course in English: Best providers
Many online courses on the market-leading topics are now offered in English. Therefore, it is best to look around to see which providers are available on the international market before choosing a German-language course.
In our opinion, the best providers of online courses in English currently include:
- Skillshare: One of the market leaders with a wide range of courses.
- Pluralsight Skills offers online training courses for developers and IT professionals.
- LinkedIn Learning educators are recognized experts in software, creativity, and business.
- EdX offers interactive online courses from the best universities and colleges in the world.
- CBT Nuggets provides innovative IT training that is informative, meaningful and engaging.
- Udemy Business is Udemy’s B2B learning solution. As a scalable learning solution, Udemy Business enables companies to solve the biggest challenges of their workforce by training and developing their employees using the best Udemy courses.
- Khan Academy offers exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard that allows learners to learn at their own pace inside and outside the classroom.
- Codecademy is a team of IT professionals who teach you how to code.
- Udacity offers online courses and online certificates developed by reputable companies.
- Coursera offers universal access to the best educational offerings in the world, including leading universities and organizations.
How can I check if an online course is of good quality?
- Check the ratings: Look at the reviews of former students to get an idea of the quality of the course.
- Check the teacher: Research whether the teacher has the necessary qualifications and experience to teach the course.
- Review the syllabus: Make sure the course covers the topics you need to learn and that it’s up to date.
- Check the format: Make sure the course is offered in a format that works for you, such as a video lecture, live lesson, or interactive activities.
- Check support: Check if the course offers support, such as a discussion forum or personal help.
Do not forget the following general principle
People learn best when they are engaged and motivated. Learning is most effective when it is meaningful and relevant to the learner.