With a boom in online courses, this summer sit in the comfort of your home to upgrade skills such as digital literacy and language proficiency or get a degree in fields like finance or social sciences
Whether you are a student, a stay-at-home mom, working professional or on a sabbatical, upgrading one’s skill was never this easy, thanks to the boom in the number of companies, universities and websites offering online courses. The clear advantage of online courses is the fact that these can be tailored to fit one’s subject, skill set, time availability and pocket.
Rahul Wallia, Chairman and Managing Director, CIPL, Corporate Infocom says, “Anyone who aspires to touch the peak of his career graph has to constantly keep on upgrading his skills. The technique of upgrading any skill is crucial because it is what makes you stand out in a competitive crowd. This is where online courses come into play as they save time too.”
The popularity of e-learning has even reached corporate India and they are using it to train their employees, and the credit for this goes to the potential and efficacy of this platform.
But before you plunge headlong into an online course, do some ground checks. Online courses require self-motivation, as adhering to strict deadlines for assignment submissions is one’s own call.
As soon as you enrol for a course you will be required to check software and hardware essentials. Usually this will be done by way of a list given to the students with specific requirements. For a successful virtual course, one needs to have a functional computer system and all the software requirements. Webinars, audio instructions and queries form an integral part of any online course, therefore in order to take full advantage of the course stay updated about the technical requirements.
Class assignment and projects or feedback for your course should ideally be stored in separate folders as a ready reckoner and preferably made into duplicate copies too. Don’t forget to keep the telephone numbers of the technical support staff handy!
The professional standards required to do a course in a regular mode, are applicable in a virtual classroom too. In fact, even more so as, the people one shares a virtual platform with are more often than not total strangers to the candidate, sometimes even belonging to different countries.
The code of conduct while sharing your views, ways of addressing each other and asking questions should follow the pattern of standard etiquette and social conventions to make the proceedings of the course beneficial and not obstructive.
The nature of instruction in each online course varies from institution to institution. The onus lies on the student to follow the instructions given in the website and ask relevant queries regarding, credit or non-credit courses, fee, duration and nature of instructions.
Going through the FAQs of the website helps answer the most esoteric queries sometimes. Repeating the course and the effect on fees, language options of instructions, tutoring aid etc. are some common queries that can be found on public forums also.
Authenticity and relevance
The onus of finding out the authenticity of the course that one wishes to pursue lies with oneself only.
Read the course outline, requirements, certifications and fee regulations carefully before committing to it. Visit social networking sites on the relevant organisation’s page, grievances on websites, feedback and observations on public forums, word-of-mouth and reference check are also some of the steps that one must take to secure a hassle free future virtual course.
With the ever changing professional environment that one inhabits now, there is a constant need for updating skills and knowledge. With time constraints owing to deadlines, work pressures and being constantly on the move, online course is the answer to your up skilling issues.
The fee of different courses also varies from institute to institute and may be anywhere between Rs 4000 for a short-term course to Rs 15,000 for a certificate or diploma programmes.
The boom of courses offers something for everyone. Take your pick from some of the sought after online courses. However, before committing your time and money to secure your virtual aim, don’t forget to read between the instruction lines of the website.