What to Ask Yourself Before Taking a Course Online (for Teachers)
Juggling what you already do may already be a stretch sometimes. As a teacher, you have lesson planning, teaching, and grading papers already on your plate. On top of that, you have your specific lifestyle demands and commitments. However, you may wish to further your education. When considering further professional development, you need to consider an accredited course that accommodates your express needs and existing time demands, along with your advancement desires. Here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding on the best course for you to take online.
Is the Course Properly Accredited?
Check what requirements a course needs to comply with for your jurisdiction. Requirements are different for some states and districts. In some districts, affiliation with a brick-and-mortar organization is required for it to be considered legitimate. Cross-check your findings with your district’s guidelines. If you are not doing a full degree program, still check if your course will add value and academic consideration for when you may later decide to further your education to a degree program.
What Will Interactions Between Instructors and Other Learners Be Like?
Other teachers taking online courses state that the ability to engage with other learners was crucial to the successful completion of their respective programs. Find out in advance how the program connects learners to each other. Some computer programs or solutions have forums, email mailing lists, and in-person meetings. Make sure whatever they offer is something that works for you.
Is This Course Ideal for My Lifestyle and Current Work Commitments?
One advantage you may already be aware of is that online courses are more flexible than in-person meetings. However, some courses may still require you to attend in-person classes on a scheduled basis to augment their learning process. Some may also require you log-in at specific times online for instruction or collaboration with fellow learners. Again figure out what fits for you. Check what the syllabus contains and whether you can meet the reading and assignment requirements therein. You may wish to consider courses that are offered over the weekend if your weekday evenings are already full.
Will You Be Able to Do Some of Your Work During Normal Teaching Duties?
It helps if you can maximize the limited time you have on a typical day towards getting all your work done. If your course is designed in a way that allows double duty of your work whilst in the class with students, then this can be a very efficient way to work. Ask other teachers that completed the course for insights on this.
Is a Conducive Study Environment Available for Me?
Taking on a course of study whilst you already have other commitments mean you need to ensure alignment. If the environments you expect to study or work in are not conducive because of noise, interruptions, and other distractions, you may find that your investment of effort and finances was not spent wisely. Make sure this is not the case.
If you ask yourself the aforementioned questions, we are sure that you will make the right decision.