When you’re searching for online learning courses, the sheer number of providers that pop up on your computer screen can be a little overwhelming.
So where should you start? What should you be looking for? How do you work out which online course is the best?
This guide aims to answer all of those questions. And help you to find the perfect online course for you.
First up – here are the qualities all good online learning courses have in common. These are the things you should be checking off your list when you’re checking out a course provider.
The must-haves of all good online learning courses
The quality of video, audio, graphics and design can have a huge impact on your learning. And you certainly don’t want to be slowed down by tech that isn’t up to scratch. That’s why the best online courses in New Zealand have software that’s easy to use and totally up-to-date.
You might be able to see a demo of the software you’ll be using before you enrol. Also, check that education providers offer students tech support throughout the whole of the course.
If you’re planning to study online, chances are you’ll be juggling other commitments alongside your course. Whether that’s a full-time job or family responsibilities, you need a course that works around your day to day.
Look out for courses that provide 24/7 access to materials. Also, find out how much of the course you can complete at your own pace. After all, one of the great benefits of online learning is its flexibility.
Reading page after page of unbroken text gets really boring, really fast! Good online learning courses mix things up with video tutorials, interactive sessions and great visuals. This helps to keep learning fun and interesting.
Find out how courses are delivered. The greater the variety, the more enjoyable you’ll find your studies.
When you’re studying online, you’ll be learning lots of new information. But you should also get the opportunity to apply your learning in practical assignments.
Finding out how many assignments you’ll be expected to do, and what they will involve, will help you to see how practical a course really is.
Whether you’ll be taking photographs of the natural world, demonstrating the latest makeup technique you’ve learnt or writing an essay, practice makes perfect!
Cutting-edge course content
The best online courses are engaging and challenging. They should cover the most up-to-date theory and practice in a particular field or industry. And they should be designed with an end goal in mind.
For example, if you’re picking a vocational online course, it should give you all the skills you need for the workplace. It should help you to start a new career or make progress within your current job.
How to choose the right online learning course for you
So you’ve found an online course that ticks all of these boxes. You can be pretty confident that this course is up there with the best.
But there are still a few more questions you need to answer, before you decide that this course is really the right one for you.
1. What do you want to achieve?
Do you want to improve skills related to your current job? Do you want to turn a hobby into a career? Or do you just love the idea of learning something new?
Knowing where you want to go will help you to work out if this particular course is the one that will get you there.
2. What practicalities do you have to consider?
How long can you spend studying each week? Will you be able to meet deadlines or would you prefer to complete a course at your own pace? Are there any entry requirements?
You may have found an online course with the best possible content. But if you can’t make it fit with your life or your level of study, it’s time to restart your search.
3. How will you pay for the course?
Cost is a big consideration. Check out course prices and ask each course provider about funding.
Some education providers partner with interest-free payment plan providers. These organisations help you to pay for your course in instalments, making online learning much more affordable.
4. What do past students think of this course provider?
Online reviews and testimonials are a great way to learn about the student experience and what you can expect if you enrol with a particular education provider.
5. What do you think of this course provider?
There are lots of ways to find out more about a provider before signing up to one of their courses.
Read the course description thoroughly. Pick up the phone and talk to the people running the course.
Find out about tutors’ industry experience. Ask why they think their courses are worth the investment. And quiz them on what their past students have gone on to do.
Their answers will help you to decide if this course is a good fit.
Ready to find the best online courses? Browse our vocational short courses in New Zealand.
Designed by industry experts, all of our courses give you the practical skills you need to succeed in your chosen field and get the most out of life.