Sunday, April 15, 2012

Online Continuing Education Classes Explained

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers, adults, and professionals are going back to school to further their education. Many of them are choosing online classes and online degree programs. Not every course or program is the same, but many of them have similar characteristics. Whether you are a professional completing your required continuing education training or a student looking to complete a master's degree online; there is a program available for you. Today we are going to talk about what to expect in an online course and how they can benefit you.
Most professionals have to complete a certain amount of continuing education every 1-2 years. Online classes are very popular for full-time working adults. They are easier to complete and very flexible. Depending on the school, asynchronous courses are usually the preferred method of online classes. Asynchronous means the student does not have to be online at a specific time. They can log in and complete their work whenever they want. Industries including insurance, legal, nursing, and real estate, all require continuing education classes. You can log in, read the textbooks, and then take an exam. That is your typical course when it comes to completing your education online.
An online class at a college or University can be very different. There is usually much more involved in their courses. There will usually be a professor and sometimes even a facilitator conducting the course. There is usually a lot of interaction between the professor and the students in an online course. Support is very important for online students to succeed. Also, in an online college course you will get a syllabus and due dates for your assignments. These courses may be asynchronous or not. If they are not, you will have to log in for live chats with your classmates throughout the week. These can actually be very beneficial even though they seem like an inconvenience. In a live chat you can network with your other classmates and also ask the professor questions. It is easier than sending an email and having to wait for a reply.
As you can see there are different formats in online courses but they are all typically more flexible and more convenient than sitting in a classroom. If you have any questions you can always contact your state or the department of education for more information. They are a great resource for potential students.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Online Continuing Education - Is It Right for You?

There are many reasons students choose to continue their education online. But, is it right for everyone? Research says no. Not everyone can handle online courses. Some individuals need to be sitting in a classroom to succeed. There are many factors to consider when you are deciding what program to choose. Many professions require continuing education to be done online for many reasons. They feel you receive the same education online as if you were sitting in a classroom. For the most part the content the student is learning is the same whether they complete the course online or in a classroom. In this article we will talk about some different characteristics of online courses and classroom courses so you can better decide what the best option is for you.
First, let's start with some pros and cons of taking a course in a classroom. One of the major benefits is the interaction you have with your professor/instructor and your fellow classmates. The majority of students really appreciate this because they can bounce ideas off of each other and participate in a live lecture. They are also able to ask the instructor questions and receive an immediate response. A major con to sitting in a classroom is having to drive to the physical location and sit in a lecture/seminar for a specific amount of time. This eliminates the flexibility and convenience that an online course offers.
Now, let's talk about online continuing education courses. A major con to taking courses online is there is typically no live interaction with any of the other students or the professor. This can be a huge downside if you are having trouble in one of the courses. You have to rely strictly on email and sometimes that is just not enough. Hopefully your instructor is available via telephone or live chat so they can walk you through the problem. On the upside, online courses can be completed from the comfort of your home or office at anytime during the day. Many professionals and adult learners really appreciate this since their schedules are typically slammed.
As you can see, there are some positive and negative characteristics when taking online courses. You have to weigh the pros and cons to decide what the best method is for you. Also, consider the course content and how familiar you are with it. Is it professional continuing education that you know or a completely new subject to you?