What’s in your Shopping Cart? Taking Online Courses
Have you ever been inside a box store and had to decide how to pay for your items? Are you a person who always swings your cart to the automated line? Or do you prefer buying your groceries the old fashioned way? Choosing how you attend your college classes is a little like this scenario. Taking online courses can be great if you know exactly what you want, but using technology for learning is not ideal for every situation. Here is an example of when taking online courses is the most effective.
As a schoolteacher, I have to periodically renew my license by taking Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) or college credits. By taking online courses, I was able to renew my license with ease. Now, much like the shopper who steers his or her cart to the automated line, I was pretty focused. I needed just a few items. I knew I wanted to learn “What is the latest information about teaching reading using technology?” I couldn’t think of a better format than an online course.
The first step I had to take was to first look up the different companies that teach courses online. These companies partner with universities to offer programs for students interested in taking online courses. I then called the board of education in my state to make sure that these were legitimate courses for renewing my certification. I didn’t want to pay for something that wouldn’t help me achieve my goal! After I checked out the company, I bought classes by choosing from a menu and putting the courses I wanted in a shopping basket.
Once paid, they sent me a link via email, and I was able to access the course menu and begin. Each segment had a video, quizzes, a discussion board and a Power Point presentation. They even had a transcript for each session in case I missed something. I sent assignments to my professor via email, and was able to renew my teaching certification by taking courses online.
As someone who has been teaching for a few years, I was familiar with most of the content. The video lectures added to what I already knew, but they were a much-needed reminder. As new research becomes available, it’s so important to get the information right away, not wait until it becomes a chapter in a textbook. The immediacy and relevancy of the class really helped me to become a more informed educator.
But there is a caution with taking online courses. A computer discussion board can’t replace being face-to-face with your classmates. Watching a professor on a video segment is not the same as being able to meet in person and ask questions. Taking courses online cannot replace the depth of learning that takes place when you have actual human contact. However, if you are already a focused learner, then get over to your computer terminal and sign up. Taking online courses will open doors for you!