Online Course

Learn digital marketing, graphic design, accounting, photography and other popular new skills from credible online course platforms. Browse top online course platforms on PanelPlace.

What is online course?

Online learning has shown significant growth over the last decade, as the internet and education combine to provide people with the opportunity to gain new skills. An online course is a way to learn a new skill or gain some new knowledge from the comfort of your own home. These courses can either be paid for or offered for free. Some are taught by educational institutions, while others are produced by experts in their field. The most important thing for an online course is for it to be engaging and to deliver a clear outcome.

What are the benefits of online courses?

Convenience: The biggest advantage of an online course is that your classroom and instructor (theoretically) are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your only excuse for missing class is not getting online! Otherwise, everything is available to you on the platform of your choosing.

Different learning techniques: In formal education, teaching and learning methods are limited, but in e-learning systems, tens and thousands of different teaching and learning methods can be possible with digital tools. For example, with interactive videos, information can be better comprehended, education can be made more fun with various gamification, and quizzes can be made more educational with interesting visuals.

Flexibility: You can study any time you want. You can study with whomever you want. Online courses provide you with the flexibility to spend time with work, family, friends, and significant others. For many people with continually changing work schedules or people who make frequent business trips, learning via online courses can’t be beaten.

Course speed: Different students move at different speeds. Online courses make it so that individuals can move at their own pace. They have the option to watch classes and other course materials as many times as they like so they can catch up when needed.

Affordability: Another advantage of online learning is reduced financial costs. Online education is far more affordable as compared to physical learning. This is because online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, real estate. Additionally, all the course materials are available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment that is more affordable.

What are the common features of an Online Course?

Self-pace: Most professionals found they couldn’t continue with their education or upskilling because they couldn’t fit studies around their work schedules. Those shifting to online learning platforms will find that online courses offer convenience and flexibility in timings and pace, allowing you to learn in your own time. Some online courses have strict timing only for submissions and deadlines; those looking to brush up on their skills can use tutorials and videos between jobs to have the best of both worlds.

Cost-effective: Online learning is usually priced lower than traditional university courses. The fees often don’t account for accommodation, textbooks, equipment, groceries, transport and other factors that contribute to the full learning experience in traditional schooling. Online courses slash most of these costs at least by half, leaving students to make the most of the affordable prices they’ve paid. Lower costs don’t mean a decrease in quality; lower costs ensure that a wider audience has access to courses that were once reserved for those with higher budgets.

More participants: Online courses that depend on pre-recorded videos and tests can have an unlimited number of students enrolling. So many popular courses today have thousands of students simultaneously enrolled, and since there’s no need for physical classrooms and seats, more students can enroll in a single course at once.

New learning experience: Given that students are allowed to learn at their own pace and are encouraged to gain hands-on experience over memorizing textbooks, online learning can offer a better learning experience. It also helps that students can attend classes from places they’re comfortable being in, which makes them likely to approach learning with a positive attitude. The lack of pressure from commutes, class timings, and personal schedules leaves students with more energy to attend online classes.

What are the considerations when investing in Online Courses?

Certificate: If you are interested in completing a course with a view to career progression, finding a job, or changing career paths, choosing a course with accreditation and certification is the way to go. This will make it easier for the current or prospective employer to verify your skills when evaluating your application. Most courses offer certification, usually with a fee attached if the content itself is offered free of charge. If, on the other hand, you are studying for your interest, a certificate is entirely optional.

Self-paced vs. Scheduled: Deciding between these two options is one of the major considerations to take into account when choosing an online course. It is important to check if the course can be followed at your own pace. This will be the best option for those with irregular work hours or who have a busy family schedule, as it can easily fit into your daily or weekly routine. Just be sure to keep a somewhat steady pace so you don’t have to keep going back to review what you’ve learnt before, eating away at your precious time. If the course follows a set schedule and you have to study a certain amount of hours every week, be prepared to reserve those hours. Just like regular classes, these can easily add up in coursework if you’re not planning your schedule properly. Course descriptions will likely contain the number of study hours they expect you to reserve for every unit.

Peer interaction: Just because you are alone at the computer does not mean you have to study alone. If you miss having other students to talk to or get bored if the content is directed only at you, consider choosing courses that are structured around peer interaction. These are often in the form of forum discussions, with threads where the lesson’s subject is discussed by students and mediated by a tutor. This should be mentioned in the course description. Some courses focusing on language and acting, for example, may even offer live classes through video conference rooms.

Exams: Most online courses don’t require students to sit for any exams, they include a range of learning activities designed to assist students to build their skills and knowledge and students will have to demonstrate they acquired those skills. Suggestions of small assignments may occur in between classes but most times, these are not mandatory. Assignments are simply meant to help students build their abilities and competencies and to have a better understanding of the material that was taught.

The Cost of Taking an Online Course

Many of today’s courses are offered free of charge. It is possible to find free tracks from marketing to Java and Python programming. These may come with certain limitations, such as not offering graded assessments and certificates of completion, or imposing an access expiration date, but the content is free. That being said, it is also possible to find courses in the thousands of dollars. These are, on their part, offered by prestigious universities and learning centres and students have the same privileges as regular campus ones; course quality is also regarded as higher but at a premium price.

Still, on the same subject, some courses offer all materials needed for a successful learning experience, while others don’t. In this case, check the requirements list and see how easy it is to acquire the materials.

Each Online Course platform starts with different prices, with some offering per course, or you can choose to subscribe to monthly or annual plans. The price for these online courses starts from $15 up to $2000, make sure to check out what each learning platform offers so you can cater to all your learning needs!

Who takes Online Courses?

Students: More and more students are choosing to take online courses instead of physical classes. This means that they can fit classes around their existing responsibilities and commitments, and can engage with multimedia content and learning materials at whatever time is most convenient to them.

Children: For those rainy days when you’re stuck at home or for when your toddler’s school is cancelled or for whenever you want your kids to have some fun, online courses are there for you. These classes will help your children stay active, and learn at the same time!

Stay at home parents: The daily schedule as a stay at home mom/dad can get busy. From preparing meals to picking up and dropping off kids at school to keeping the house organized, the to-do list is always a mile long. But what can you do for yourself on a daily or weekly basis? Taking online courses is one of the best forms of personal development that stay at home moms/dads can do since it’s easy to build into your hectic schedule.

Someone looking for a career change: While changing careers might seem like a daunting prospect, especially if it’s a midlife career change, it’s never too late to think about a professional transition. Online courses can help you develop new skills, and train to work in a new industry. Completing a course can give you a clear overview of the career choice you might want to have.

Corporate Upskilling: Online courses offer employees both professional and personal advantages, such as the ability to undertake university-level coursework at one’s pace, to study individually or in a community. The most important advantage is that these learning opportunities help people take personal ownership of their own development.

Related products to consider

Language: It’s always a great time to pick up a new language. With these language tools you can use, you can get started in a new tongue in just minutes. Many of them have lessons that range from beginner to near-fluency levels, in a variety of delivery methods to suit your learning style! You’ll be getting around in a new language when travelling, in no time.

Bite-size learning: It is essential to keep continuously reading and learning from books, blog posts, and podcasts. However, in your daily life, where the primary concern is to move fast and make daily progress in your venture, sacrificing work time in order to do intensive reading can be a big hurdle. Here’s where bite-size learning tools can help you, carve out 5 to 10 minutes of your day to learn something!

Child learning: It can be challenging to keep kids appropriately occupied sometimes, especially when school is out. And you want to find apps that provide kid-friendly, development content in bite-sized pieces. These tools can help engage, keep them entertained, and provide educational content to help support and aid gaps!

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