Tips, advises for online learning

Pursuing a certificate or degree is not a process to be taken lightly. This is your education we're talking about. And you probably want the best education possible, right? Here's a checklist of questions to ask of the schools you are considering.

  • Is the school accredited? Is the program of study accredited? Remember that accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting agencies is a formal recognition that a school provides a quality education. If the school is not accredited by one of the six regional agencies, be sure to check with CHEA or the U.S. Department of Education to see if the accrediting agency is real and recognized.

  • How many online courses does the school offer? Generally, the more online courses that a school offers, the more experienced it is.

  • This means you have a better chance of getting instructors who know what they're doing technologically. How long has the school been offering courses online? You know the old sayingpractice makes perfect. The more experience a school and its instructors have had, the better the chances that they've ironed out any kinks in their virtual courses.

  • What are the demographics of students taking courses online? If you have special concerns and want students who can relate specifically to your situation, then you'll probably want to look for a program where the other students enrolled share similarities with you. This may make the learning process easier for you.

  • What is the student to instructor ratio? If a class is too large, it may become unmanageable, especially if everyone logs online at the same time and tries to participate in a course-related chat. Additionally, if there is a large number of students, it may be difficult or even impossible to get personal attention from the instructor.

© All rights reserved. 2005