Today is Online Learning Day

This has been a hot topic for most parents out there but I also run across career-changers or college students who either love or hate online learning.  The reason for my putting up (another short and late) post is that many freelancers may be considering going back to school or getting a certification so that they can get paid on time...all the damn time.  Or so we hope anyway.

Many people have positive accounts to share about how online learning has helped them or their families get an education that may not have been available through the traditional method.  Read their stories here.

If you're like me, you've run across a number of online learning prospects that sound great on paper but may or may not be a fit for us personally.  While there are many options to explore and gain something from, there are also some questions regarding these new learning institutions.  Here are some that I base on personal experience- 

  • Why do some teachers use precious time to talk about themselves when it's a new class that may get canceled for good due to low enrollment?
  • Why do MOOC courses receive college credit when there's no real interaction between instructor and student?
  • Why is it that you can learn more from low/no-cost webinars than a for-credit college course?
  • What does it REALLY mean when you earn a continuing education certificate from a college or university?  Can you make it work or is it a waste of time and money?
Unfortunately, my experience runs the gamut and the only thing that helps me is reading online reviews like Rate My Professor or even Yelp.  The best way to know whether a course is any good is to research and not get sucked into things like the low price or enticing copy written to boost your spirits about signing up.

For fast answers written in everyday language, Goodwill has a website that teaches everything from 3-D printing to web design basics.  While some topics are common sense, bookmarking this site can help when you need an HTML refresher or are wondering if the college you're interested in is really a diploma mill