Online Learning- A Quality Educational Alternative

Online Learning- A Quality Educational Alternative

More than 5 million students (25% of all college and university students) are enrolled in distance education courses according to the National Center for Education statistics. Besides offering greater flexibility for students, it also provides a quality alternative to traditional classroom training. At first educators were hesitant to embrace online learning but now as technology continues to grow and improve, so have opportunities for this type of education.

Some educational facilities are also offering “blended learning” courses that combine online learning with traditional classroom sessions. This is especially beneficial to students that are taking courses with clinical labs or practical applications. Another type of blended learning is called “flipped learning”. “Flipped learning” is when students typically learn content in their own time and spend the lesson time on project work that demonstrates they have learned the content, thus allowing instructors to focus on an interactive learning environment where the instructor guides students as they apply concept and engage creatively in the subject matter.

Because of social media sites such as Skype, Tumblr, YouTube, and Twitter, sharing ideas has never been easier. Teachers and students are able to collaborate together and foster a better learning environment. Of course it is always important to remember that in order to have successful online courses, the curriculum must be top-notch, the teacher needs to be accessible to the students (via email, Skype, or other media platforms), and student interaction is facilitated and encouraged. Obviously class size does matter even with online classes.

Instructors are able to monitor online attendance, completed assignments, and tests are usually set up to be automatically scored. Students are able to see their grades quickly and instructors can quickly pinpoint an area where a student might be struggling. Most courses include some sort of an essay assignment that the instructor will have to read and grade. This is beneficial because it ensures that the student was able to comprehend the course content.

There are many other benefits associated with online learning. Flexibility is the most obvious and allows students to work and go online at their convenience, while saving travel time, gas money, and even child care expenses. There is another important consideration- online learning also requires self-discipline and commitment in order to achieve a successful outcome.

HealthStaff Training Institute- Kim Esquerre, R.N., CEO

Why all vocational training schools are not created equal

Large vocational schools have made headlines recently with closures amid allegations of fraud, deceptive admission practices, and inflated job placement statistics. This has resulted in

thousands of students left stranded- trying to decide how to move forward and some of these students are facing enormous debt from their student loans as well. Not all vocational schools

are created equal.

Recent high school graduates should visit at least three vocational schools before deciding to enroll. Some vocational schools put enormous pressure on potential students to enroll on their

first visit and frequently prolong that first visit for up to four hours. These potential students often enroll on the spot just because they are worn out during the visit. A good vocational

school will not pressure anyone to enroll on the first visit and will give the person an opportunity to sit in on a class, speak with other students attending school there, and give them

the opportunity to think about this important career move before signing on the dotted line.

It is very important prior to visiting a vocational school, each prospective student should investigate the job market for the particular vocation in which they wish to train. They should

look for careers that are forecasted to be in demand with large future growth opportunities.  Many times vocational schools can act as stepping stones to careers that require college

degrees. For example, if the prospective student wants to become a Registered Nurse, she/he might want to become a medical assistant first. Then they can make sure they like taking care

of sick people and are not afraid of needles and blood. This also allows them the opportunity to work part-time in the field as they go to college to pursue their career while perfecting skills

necessary to that career.

Job placement assistance is another area where vocational schools differ. Does the school just give each student a list of jobs available on Craig’s List or Indeed.com? Or does the school work

with each student individually, assist and proofread their resume, offer mock interviews, and have a job developer that works with the community to place its graduates in jobs?

Last but not least is the difference in cost of tuition’s offered by vocational schools. Does it make sense to pay over $18,000 to become a medical assistant when the average starting salary is

going to be $10 to $12 per hour? There are good vocational schools offering that course for under $7,000. Again, it is important to research any school prior to enrolling and a good

vocational school will respect and welcome the practice.