Given the fact that there are a plethora of websites and e learning platforms that claim to provide the best courses, it is vital to know which online course is worth spending time, energy and money on.
Online learning or eLearning has two distinct models. They are based on delivery modes and are as follows:
Online Self Paced Learning:
Self paced learning is the more famous one in the market. Here, the content is prerecorded and provided as off the shelf products which can be brought either via paying for the course or the certificate. The benefits of such a course is it can be viewed at leisure, it costs less/inexpensive, content can be viewed multiple times, course completion certificate is not hard to procure. The problems with such a delivery model though are lack of hands on/application knowledge, Certification holds no industry weightage (it adds no credentials to the resume given the nature of the course), its a one shoe fits all concept and is not useful if you are searching for a course to perfectly fit your particular skill level and competency. Companies like http://www.udemy.com ,Online Certification Training Courses for Professionals | Simplilearn ,Coursera |Online Courses & Credentials by Top Educators. Join for Free all provide self paced learning courses.
Online Instructor led training courses:
Instructor led training modules are exactly as they sound. These are online classrooms where the instructor will log in and teach participants via VC and a host of virtual hands on tools. The benefits is individual attention and course customization to suit participant skill /competency, trainer accountability in participants end goal (meaning trainer too partakes in helping the participant realize his goal from the training like landing a job, learning to develop an app etc.), Certificate holds industry acceptance and weightage as usually such training is provided by reputed B2b players. These courses also emphasize on hands on and application which is another advantage. The cons with an instructor led training are that they are more expensive than self paced courses, require dedicated time and are not consume at leisure options, certification involves challenges, tests etc. making the course more immersive and intense (not exactly a con but if its only a certificate you are seeking, this may not be the way to go) . Companies like Online courses and certifications in technology (market leaders in technology and IT courses) , www.digitalvidya.com (Best option for Digital marketing courses), Education for Bank and Credit Union Employees – Center for Financial Training (market leaders in training and courses on finance ) offer and focus on Instructor led training.
The advantage and disadvantages of both type of models exist. Its important to make an educated choice. Usually I suggest instructor led training for anyone looking at serious takeaways from the course and recommend self paced learning for those looking for a general overview or brush up.