What are online courses?
We all know how technology has made the world smaller, smarter and more accessible. Like everything, education is no longer a thing of an institution. Limitations are long gone and every academic is only a few clicks away from their college. Above all, online learning has totally changed how education used to work. Classroom programs are no longer necessary just to get a certification in a program of your choice. Online courses have taken their place and these are as reputed as classroom programs if not more. The importance of online courses has increased too much recently and there is not just one reason for that.
So, what is an online course actually?
Online courses are recognized programs that are taught by professionals and are available at your fingerprint. To be clear, not every online course is recognized by hiring companies and thus such can only be considered as online tutorials — and not online courses. Online courses provide proper student-teacher interaction, questionnaire and most importantly certification.
Why are online courses becoming popular?
Online degree and online short courses certification programs are not new but these have been becoming popular in the last couple of years. There are several reasons for this – accessibility is the major one. Other features include cost effectiveness, quality, availability and variety.
How does the world perceive online degrees?
Online courses have been in existence since the beginning of the 21st century but things were not always the same. Online certificates were new and then the industry didn’t weigh much on such certifications — except those for digital technologies like web & app development. Things changed in the second decade and now every course in existence has an online alternative. Online certification is almost as valued as a local certification — which means, the same certificate from online courses has the same market reach as the classroom one.
How trustworthy are online courses?
This is the first question one should ask when opting for any course. While the perception of online courses is changing, there are plenty of voids which make online certifications untrustworthy. For example, there is no centralized online ruling authority to monitor fake programs. You can, however, take classes at prominent institutions but there are several students falling for fake websites every day. If you keep your eyes and mind open – you will know which program is fake and which is real. Consult with experts, ask questions on Quora or reddit to find out if a course is good for you or not.
Features & Importance of Online Learning
Before you get your degree, you will have to go through this learning phase. Online learning is, unlike classroom learning, more intuitive and diverse. You will have a variety of options that classroom programs don’t:
Relearning is your successive attempt to learn or remember a subject. With online programs, you can watch your videos, pause those and even repeat those later.
- Made for you
Online courses are made specifically for you. You can adjust how video lectures play and continue learning anywhere you are.
Unlike classroom programs, online courses are portable. You can take those with you, anywhere you want. Some programs provide custom devices like tablets, USB storages etc. so that you can log into those anywhere you want with or without internet connectivity.
- Affordable Rates
Online programs cost less than classroom programs as there is less infrastructure consumption, lower paper & pen usage and even less travelling.
- Better networking
- Real-time reporting
- Live Feedback
- Less paper burden
- Online communities to help you grow
Free online courses that you can try
Online courses are not free and those which provide certification come with a charge. But there are still some programs that can give you an intensive learning experience without a degree. MIT’s Open Courseware is one of the first to begin with. Other sites like Khan Academy, NPTEL, YouTube Edu and Unacademy are other free portals to begin with. Sites like Udemy, Coursera, edX etc. are very valuable names in online learning too.
I am not recommending online courses over classroom programs but online classes really have some extra perks that classroom programs don’t have. Also, if you are a working professional or have any other kinds of time limitations, there is no better option than opting for an online degree.