Tips on choosing an online training provider

Workingwise.co.uk has advice on how you can choose an online learning provider which will give you excellent training for your money. 

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Online training can be a really flexible way of learning something new, or refreshing your skills – it is flexible, can be done from home and in most cases can be done at your own pace. So how can you choose an online learning provider which will give you excellent training for your money? Here are some tips. 

Avoid “easy”

If you see something advertised as “easy” then you should avoid it. Training courses should be within your means but never a soft option. If a course is too easy odds are it will not be worth the paper it is printed on at the end. 

Accreditation

Always look for legitimate accreditation. For example CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accreditation, Ofqual in England and SQA in Scotland. Most countries have similar bodies so if you are studying overseas you will need to find out the local accreditation bodies – and then ensure your course is accredited. 

Stepping stones

If you are undertaking a course with a higher educational goal in mind, make sure that the qualification you are going for will be accepted as a stepping stone to the next stage. 

Quality

The learning platform itself can tell you a lot about the quality of what they offer. Is the wording ‘page turning’? Is it interactive, with busy student forums? Do they offer a free taster so you can check out the course content properly? How robust is the assessment procedure? Also worth taking a good look at student feedback and ratings. 

Flexibility and Time

Make sure you are fully aware of the number of learning hours needed to complete the programme. Does it seem appropriate for what is on offer? If it is too few, question it. Find out about flexibility – can you access the course whenever you wish, from any location? 

Compatibility

It is no good only being able to access the course via an iphone app if you don’t have an iphone! Check if the course is accessible via your various devices. Good course providers will enable you to access from a range of devices, so this is a worthwhile reference point for quality.

Support

Does the provider offer any technical or educational support? Success in completing a course can often depend on support if you run into difficulties – and before you commit it is worth ensuring there are back-ups available.

Value for money

Check out if the course seems like good value for money. Course costs can vary a lot so compare it with other providers alongside the benefits they offer such as additional support.  Ensure you feel it is affordable for you. If it is a big fee, it is worth checking out if there are any alternative payment terms available to help spread the cost.



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