Online course review.
- Previous: The Ultimate guide to Online Courses – Introduction
- Current: Pt1 Finding a suitable course
So here we go, the first part of our review of Online Course provision and also the first time in many years I am about to become a student once again – all in the name of research for our very own Clever Community.
Finding a suitable course.
Typing ‘Online Courses’ into the search bar gave me a healthy list of 663,000,000 results. This is way more that I expected, and indicates the vast growth of online learning in recent years.
Coming from a background of regular quality assurance checks and strict requirements I wonder how many of these courses are regulated in any way or at least checked for quality and accuracy of information?
The worrying answer to this question is that most are not, and this is why MakeMeClever.com is carrying out this small scale sample of some of the major players to see what is really on offer.
What should you be looking for?
This depends on what you want to get out of your course.
If you want to improve your general knowledge in something, advance an interest or hobby, then there are plenty of courses for you at varying levels. If you want to use the knowledge and more importantly the certificate at the end to add to your CV or advance your career in some way then you really need to be checking where the qualification comes from and who approves or accredits the course.
Who approves the course and who issues the certificate is very important if you want to use it to get a job or advance your career. I have seen some courses and even Universities that look very convincing online but as you dig deeper into who they claim is the ‘awarding body’ (the people who actually give the award or certificate on successful completion) you find it all gets rather hazy.
You should be able to see who the awarding body that actually approves the course and issues the certificates is. Do not be impressed by fancy crests and some latin writing. If it is a genuine course you should be able to see the provider listed on the awarding bodies website or you can contact the awarding body and check with them directly whether they recognize and award certificates for a particular course. If they do not then this may not be the course for you.
I was not looking for an internationally recognized qualification so I had a much easier search process and I soon came to the Shaw Academy. I liked the site because it was clean and easy to navigate and appeared to have plenty of interesting courses available for all levels of learner.
I also liked the fact that their mission was to ‘educate everyone everywhere’, which really fits in with our own MakeMeClever.com philosophy of Sharing Cleverness Globally.
With their claim of having over 2 million graduates in more than 180 countries and that the Shaw Academy is the “largest live online educator on the planet,” my search was over… I decided that I would sign up for one of their courses and get the in-depth scoop on what it is like and how it works and tell you all about it.
Next – Online Course review Pt2 Pre-signup course details and information.