In a world where technology and skills are always advancing, staying ahead of the game means that you need to always be learning. However, it isn’t practical to go back to a University or School whenever you need to learn something new. In today’s day and age, many people turn to online learning platforms to take online courses to learn new skills or to develop skills that they already have. Some even pursue full degrees online which are as just as credible as their on-campus counterparts!
Read on for how to choose the ideal online learning platform to suit your wants and needs.
Choose the Course Duration and Pace
The first thing to consider when choosing an online learning platform is the course duration and its pace. Short course formats may have sets of videos that are only a few minutes long which can help you concentrate deeply on them, so this makes course completion quicker. Other courses are made up of longer videos ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours long, like a regular university lecture. Courses on some platforms will take you 4 to 6 weeks to complete and will require you to participate in online class discussions and hand in assignments. These will probably offer you a certificate of completion when you’re done. Some other platforms offer day-by-day courses at your own pace, letting you choose when you want to take the course and how fast or slow you go.
You can also decide whether you want to go through it on your own or join a course support group and learn together. This way of learning is called self-paced learning. Some platforms offer longer courses that are grouped into single courses, specialization courses (which take around 4 to 6 months to complete and develop a specific skill), or even degree programs, which take up to 4 years to complete and can be equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree at physical universities.
Choose the Level of Course Practicality and Detail
Another decision to make when it comes to your ideal platform is choosing the level of practicality of your course. This means that you should assess whether you want courses that are more practical or more theoretical in nature as this can determine which online learning platform is right for you. You should also choose the level of detail you want your course to have as some courses are very detailed and others aren’t very in-depth or thorough, but rather give a general idea of the topic at hand. You should also pick how academic you want your courses to be. Some platforms offer courses by professors and instructors from academic institutions all over the world while other platforms offer self-made content that anyone on the internet can go online and create and then offer to the world.
Select Platform by Topic of Interest
When looking for an online learning platform, you need to understand that each one offers different topics of interest and different areas of study. Digital Tool Professionals at FTKnowledge.com recommend choosing the ideal online learning platform for you by finding one that best suits the topic of interest you want to learn about. Some online learning platforms are best for creative courses that are created by creative industry experts and professionals, while other platforms are best for digital marketing courses. Some specialize in more technical programming courses while other platforms focus more on linguistics and learning foreign languages. If you haven’t decided on a topic of interest, some online learning platforms also have courses in a variety of different subjects and topics so you can try a diverse array of courses until you decide on which area you want to specialize in.
Decide on Level of Interaction
You should also decide on the level of interaction and activity you want your course to have as this can also differ from platform to platform. Some courses, much like physical classes, have chat rooms with office hours to interact with the instructors. They may also have discussion pages with threads to answer general questions posed by those who are taking the course. These are helpful because all students can read the answers and refrain from asking them again. On the other hand, other platforms offer courses that have lower levels of interactivity, where you can choose to study the course on your own.
Choose Payment Related Details
You also want to decide on payment methods to choose the ideal online learning platform for you. Some platforms offer per diem payment systems so you don’t need to pay a membership or a subscription fee. Paying per diem allows you to learn on-demand which means you can pick the courses separately rather than choosing a full course curriculum. This way of learning is less of a financial and personal commitment as it’s more flexible. Other platforms make you pay a monthly subscription fee which gives you access to all courses on their platform but is usually more costly than paying per diem. On the other hand, some online learning platforms offer courses that are cheaper but come without a certification, while others offer certifications so the cost of taking the course is more expensive, much like traditional courses.
There are a lot of factors that determine which online learning platform will suit you and fit your needs. You need to consider your learning requirements, and how much you are willing to invest in time, energy, and money. Whether you are willing to pay by the course or a monthly subscription fee is a factor to be considered. You should also think about whether you want to learn at your own pace because it’s more flexible or to take a course that has a set period to offer you motivation to finish as a deciding factor, among many other factors that exist. After you have considered these factors, you will hopefully be able to find the perfect online learning platform for you and take the course you have been dreaming of!