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Ever since man has started to evolve, the importance of developing ones mental faculty and hence the importance of learning has become a priority to survive and thrive.
As centuries have rolled by, crude learning models have given rise to few tried and tested methods of delivery. The most famous among these has been classroom training. Till date over 90 % of learning happens physically and via instructors teaching in a physical classroom setting.
Over the last decade though, digital advancements and technology has been leveraged to provide opportunities in learning that never really existed earlier.
Companies like Udemy, Coursera, Masterclass etc. have successfully leveraged the benefits of prerecorded self paced learning models to deliver courses as off the shelf products available for direct and seamless consumption.
Other companies like eAge technologies (www.eageit.com), edureka(www.edureka.co), digitalvidya( etc. have popularized instructor led online training models and have delivered immersive real time hands on courses.
As this digital revolution has picked pace the luxury of choice has become a major hindrance for the end consumer. Which course will help me land a job? Which course can impart knowledge needed to build my own software/tools? Is this training program/workshop worth the money and energy? these are the kind of questions that are haunting every one of us.
Here are five pointers (after extensive research) I have found as deal makers or breakers in terms of enrolling to an online course.
What the website/company professes:
I had a professor who always emphasized on companies knowing what business they are in. He believed this to be the simplest yet most confounding questions to ask oneself. Any training provider that advertises placement assistance, guaranteed placements etc. are not the best bets in training. If you are in the business of training, training is what you should do!
Instructor led Vs Self paced learning
Instructor led training and self paced learning are equally proven and effective eLearning tools. Both have their limitations and benefits, hence it comes down to personal choice. I personally would go for instructor led training whenever I am in need of a structured course with lots of hands on and application like in case of technology driven courses. If its to get a general overview or a handle on fundamentals I would prefer the luxury of a self paced course.
Post course benefits:
Lets face it, everyone learns to earn. Earn here may be a general term to encompass all benefits/goals that need to be realized from these courses. Here aids like resources, tools and certificates matter. Certificates especially matter and entail to reputation of the training provider & intensity of the course and hence your skill level and CV. Hence a course from a B2b provider like say eAge technologies or Spring people may trump the certificate from a MooC like coursera. Choose wisely and do not get fooled by free courses with paid certificates, they are not all that useful.
Use whatever is free but remember premiums are there for a reason
All things good in life are free they say. Though this holds good in learning too, paid and full fledged courses are done do for a reason. Take for example MIT’s open source website which has a wealth of course content delivered in real time at their campus by their professors. Would you say reading from this material is the same as experiencing a fully paid course at MIT? Similarly a free course or course audits are great to get a handle and an overview of a subject, but if you are seeking to learn and employ your skill set seriously then find a good paid eLearning platform that is right for you.
If they are good they advertise the course not the completion
And finally the most important insight is on how the elearning company advertises itself. One thing I have seen common with the really good eLearning platforms has been their adherence to advertising the course and its topics and content. These are the takeaways they promise, not the certificate that comes as part of completion, placement assistance, referral schemes etc. These portals too have all these post course provisions but they understand the importance of content and its end goal, which is to up skill you!
This sums up a few indicators that should aid you in choosing the best eLearning course to suit your needs. Feel free to comment, like and follow/connect with me for more articles, videos etc. on such topics and more.