Online training is a useful way to develop skills while you work. With an online course, you can complete your training while you have a full-time job and/or other commitments, and you can also earn a valuable qualification that can boost your career. However, with the wrong approach, online training could become a waste of your time and money. Here are five reasons why.
You chose the wrong type of course
There are multiple online courses that you can enroll in. However, if you don't carefully consider the course pre-requisites and expected outcomes from the learning, you may waste your time and money. For example, if you are looking to boost your project management skills, you may need to choose from dozens of different courses. Which one is right for you?
Consider your current level of skill when choosing your online education program. Are you new to the skills or do you want to formalize existing experience with a professional certification? Courses are normally available for a broad range of skill levels, ranging from complete novices to career professionals looking for an advanced qualification, but you need to decide honestly what you need to study.
Online learning doesn't suit your development style
People like to learn in different ways. Some people respond well to formal classroom delivery, while other students like the self-management approach that comes with online learning. It's important to consider your learning style before committing to an online course. What's more, even if you normally enjoy e-learning, this method may not work for certain qualifications.
For example, when you need to learn a lot of technical information, you may prefer a learning method where you have somebody you can ask plenty of questions and/or lots of other people you can interact with continually throughout the course. In these cases, online learning may not necessarily work for you because you will have to spend most of your time alone.
Bad time management and planning
With online learning, there's generally no tutor to breathe down your neck. You complete the material when it suits you, so good time management skills are essential, but if you don't complete the course to the required standard, you still won't receive the certification at the end of it.
Many people fail to realize that deadlines and milestones still apply to online courses. You'll still need to complete each module within a certain period before you can take an examination, and any certification at the end of the course relies on thorough knowledge of every module.
Failure to make use of the resources available to you
While online learning takes place outside a classroom, adult education centers often still offer students extra resources to support the learning journey. These resources can include:
- Online forums. These sites allow you to ask questions and discuss concerns with other students as you study.
- Online instructors. Qualified instructors are normally available to answer questions throughout the course. Communication methods can vary, and you may need to use email, video calls or instant messages to contact your tutor.
- Workplace contacts. Industry professionals are sometimes available in local businesses to answer questions and offer practical experience of certain skills.
When you enroll in an online course, it's important to understand which of these (and other) resources are available to you while you learn.
Failure to adequately learn the material
Online learning sometimes makes it easier to get by without adequately learning the material. Throughout the course, you can often use your textbooks and other online resources while taking tests. If you do this, you may pass the test, but you won't really learn the information, which means you will struggle if you then have to sit through a more formal assessment.
As well as good time management, online learning relies on self-discipline. It's often easy to find shortcuts and ways to save time, but this won't help you achieve your desired outcome.
Online learning is a great way to develop skills while you work, but this method doesn't work for everyone. Visit your local adult education center like Pioneer Career & Technology Center for more advice and information about the options available to you.