Things to consider before committing to online learning:

For many people, the appeal of online learning, with it’s flexible, affordable approach to qualifications to further already full-time careers, is understandable – and the industry is booming, which shows that there’s a growing market for this shift from traditional classroom learning.

With that growing market, though, come a number of questions anyone looking for flexible learning needs to consider. If you’re hoping to expand your qualifications, and further your career, with distance learning, here are some things you might want to consider:

Is it legit?

This is a serious point; there are so many companies offering online learning and certificates in pop-up-ads all over the web – but how can you be sure that what you’re studying is going to lead you to a genuine, recognised qualification, and that this isn’t just a con?

You need to look at who your course is accredited by – and that this accreditation is a legitimate source.

Our own courses are all accredited by the ILM – a City and Guilds company; any online course provider you look at should be able to point you towards all the information you need about their accreditation, and the legitimacy of the course you are considering.

Is it affordable?

Compared to learning in a bricks-and-mortar college or university, online learning is considerably cheaper – but do your research; for a properly designed and accredited course, you can’t expect to get the right learning support and qualifications for free; remember, if something looks too good to be true – it probably is – and anywhere that offers free online courses or a significantly discounted rate is probably offering you an introductory course, rather than the full qualification, knowing that once they’ve signed you up, you’re more likely to commit to more – and you could end up paying way over the odds!

What qualifications will I have, and are they recognised?

This falls under the first item, the accreditation; as well as confirming that your course is overseen by a recognised body, you need to be sure that you’ll come away from the course with something that’s recognised in the wider world. Do your research, and look at the field you’re hoping to work in – recognised qualifications will be named, and you need to be sure that you’re working towards something genuine, that is going to help you to further your career – and that you don’t fall for a scam that leaves you out of pocket, with a certificate that’s not worth the paper it’s e-printed on!

What is the learning platform like?

The learning platform is the interface you use to do your learning – to watch your webinars, interact with other learners, access your learning materials and take your assessments. This needs to be something that works seamlessly, that is easy to navigate, and which guides you through the process of your learning. It’s a vital tool for you to access all the information you need, and track your learning – as well as being able to communicate with other people on the same course as you, supporting each other through the process.

What support do you get with your learning?

We can’t speak for everyone – but we know that support is one of the most vital ingredients with distance learning – which is why we invest so much time into our course leaders, to building a team around the learner, and to establishing exactly what your end goals are so that we can support you in achieving them.

All learners on our accredited programmes are fully supported throughout the process of achieving their qualification, with access to a dedicated tutor/assessor for advice and guidance at every stage of your programme, as well as access to our e-Academy, where you can use the e-library, network with other learners, take part in discussions and upload / download assignments.

Are you committed?

The last ingredient for success is you – and if you want to progress, your next step up the ladder is in sight; give us a call today, and we can talk you through the process of choosing your next leadership or management qualification, and support you through your studies.