To make any good meal you’ve got to have the right set of ingredients.
To get those ingredients, you’ll need to do a little shopping. Let’s see how this might look.
You enter the grocery store and the stale air smacks you hard in the face. You start at a quick pace, weaving through shopping carts driven haphazardly by their human counterparts, aiming to purchase your desired ingredients.
The grocery store is a hub of activity. The fluorescent lights brighten and dull everything around you. There are tons of distractions in the form of snacks, bright colored food labels, and marketing gimmicks. They all want to make you buy more of something your hips don’t need.
You turn swiftly to the left, eyes locking in on your favourite brand of tomato paste low on the shelf. You sense movement and glance up, meeting eyes with the person approaching you. Both of you do the little awkward side-to-side step guessing game. When you reach your destination, you snatch the tomato paste off the shelf. It clinks to the bottom of your basket, and the hunt continues.
You fight your way through the long aisles, piling your ingredients high in your basket. You rush to the checkout, pay for your food, and leave the store. You leave feeling victorious, productive, and excited to enjoy a hard-won meal.
Sounds like a typical shopping trip, right?
Searching for a good online course is no different than a grocery store run.
The amount of online colleges and courses that are available online continue to grow. Some colleges shine brightly in reputation and others don’t have a clear definition of who they are. Worse, some colleges blind you with flashy marketing schemes.
You have to do a lot of weaving and research to find just the right ingredients that make up a good online course. You should be picky. Once you found it and enrolled, we bet you’re going to feel excited and proud.
So what exactly do these ingredients look like?
So you’re on the hunt for a good online course. Like any good meal, you’ll want to make sure you have a few things in place before you start cooking.
First, make sure the course is relevant to your interests or career goals. There’s no point in cooking a fancy crab dish if you hate crab.
Next, do some research on the reputation of the school and the program you want to take. If the recipe you’re following has a bunch of negative reviews from other people, would you still decide to make it?
Third, you’ll want to consider the cost of the course. Is it worth the investment? Is there financial aid available? Does the recipe you’re following have detailed instructions? Do you need extra ingredients you weren’t prepared for?
Keep these few basic tips in mind while we dive into 7 ingredients that make up the foundation of a good online course.
Don’t stress about finding a good online course for your goals.
Laid out below are the 7 ingredients you’ll need to choose the best course for you. Remember to reach out to the school for more information where you feel need it. We can’t stress that enough.
Let’s get into it!
Some colleges have a page where you can see a list of their faculty. In this case, there’s usually a personal biography of each staff member, along with their education.
A staff member’s background (their expertise, if you will) can impact your educational experience. Their guidance will inform a lot of your understanding of the course subject matter.
Faculty can provide you with plenty of insights and practical knowledge you need to succeed. They can also keep you up to date on popular trends and practices in your industry.
So do your research on the school’s faculty. Don’t underestimate the power of how the right instructor can influence your learning, even in self-paced programs.
You can meet our team on our website.
Nobody wants to struggle with complicated software or navigate through confusing websites. Easy-to-use technology is a must-have ingredient in your online course search.
Having user-friendly technology can make or break your online learning experience. Easy-to-use technology allows for more efficient communication between students and instructors. Good online courses leverage technology to help learning and encourage collaboration.
If you’re committed to finding a good online course, ask questions about their teaching platforms and do your own research on them. Your sanity will thank you.
We all need a little help sometimes, which is why student support is essential for a good online course.
Student support services can increase your confidence in the course material. They can help you stay motivated, help with any concerns you have, and provide a social aspect to online learning. Look for schools that have forums, Facebook groups, and other social areas where students can go for support.
Student support is a critical ingredient in your search for a good online course. When you’re considering your options, look for a course that offers opportunities for collaboration.
If you are curious about what CanScribe’s student support entails, you can email our Student Services department at [email protected].
A clear course outline gives you a clear vision of what you’re learning and how you’re tested. This gives you an understanding of what’s expected of you. It will help you decide if the program is something you want to invest in.
Academic expectations for the program are often given in some capacity in the course outline. If you’re looking for more detailed information, contacting admissions, or student services is a good way to understand your academic responsibilities.
Most colleges have a course outline freely available by filling out a form or by asking for more information. A good online course will have a clear outline and academic expectations explained to you so you can focus on accomplishing your goals.
If you’re looking for one of our course outlines, you can find it on each program page, or by filling out one of the forms on the program’s pages for a more detailed outline.
What is accreditation? It’s when an outside accrediting agency comes in and assesses a program to determine if the program meets standards of quality. Accreditation is awarded to a program once several high standards are met. This includes course content, faculty qualification, and resources available to students. Accreditation means a program has surpassed educational standards and offers high-quality education.
In simpler terms, it’s a big stamp of approval. The program has been tested and recognized as a legitimate educational program.
In your search for an online course, make sure you look to see if the program or school you’re looking into is accredited. Do some research if you’re unsure of what that accreditation actually means. The more knowledge you have about accreditations, the better you’ll be at making a decision.
CanScribe’s Medical Transcription program is accredited by the AHDI, our Virtual Assistant program has been reviewed by CAVA, our CDI course has been accredited by CHIMA, and our VS course has also been reviewed by AHDI. You can follow each of those links to find out more about those accrediting agencies.
One thing you should look into when considering online learning is the pace of the course. Most times, you’ll have asynchronous, synchronous, or self-paced programs. Do you prefer working on the course at your own pace, or do you prefer having pre-determined time blocks to work on it?
Having the flexibility of a self-paced course is beneficial for many. Whether you have kids, other dependents, a busy schedule, or you’re working on many things, a flexible course is important for your success.
Another thing you’ll want to look into is how long you have to finish the course. Some programs have set lengths of time you must complete the course within and others have no time limit. You’ll need to decide what works best for you and how much time you have to invest in schooling.
For example, all of CanScribe’s programs are self-paced. This means you complete them on your own time, but there are a set amount of hours of work you should complete a week to stay on top of your completion timeline. If you run out of time, there are extensions available for some programs for an additional purchase.
You want to be sure you’re getting lots of practice in your program. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it gets you closer every time.
Look for a program that has a practicum, or an internship. These options prepare you for the demands of your future career. Both provide hands-on and real-world experience, both of which employers are hiring for. If your program has a practicum, not only is that a big leg up for you when you graduate, it will help you excel in your career.
If you end up choosing between two different programs, consider the one with a practicum. If they both have practicum options, dig for a little more information on what you’ll be doing in them. The more knowledge you have, the better!
CanScribe’s Medical Transcription program has over 1,000 doctor dictations for practice and a 100-hour practicum for you to nail down the skills you learn in the program.
Well, it seems as if we’ve gathered all the right ingredients for a good online course.
Let’s review what you’ll need.
A good online course must have well-trained and engaging faculty, easy-to-use learning platforms, a clear course outline with clear academic expectations, accreditation, a program pace that’s right for you, and a practicum to boost your skills. The course you’re looking into should fit your goals, have good reviews, and have options for financial aid. Reading reviews and testimonials from students can give you an idea of what to expect.
This guide has attempted to provide you with all the ingredients you need to choose the right program for your goals. If you’re looking to upskill, refresh your memory, try something new, or start a new career, try to keep these ingredients in mind.
With the right course, you can achieve anything you want if you work for it.