Five Points to Consider When Choosing an Online Course

Submitted By Haley Burress, Master of Science in Recreation Administration, with Recreation Therapy Emphasis, and Writer for CeuCertificates.com

Modern technology has afforded us many conveniences, especially when it comes to continuing our education. Thanks to online courses, Recreation Therapists and other Allied Health Professionals are able to obtain great content, learn how to better serve their clients, find varied and valuable contact hours, and do all of it in pajamas after the kids are in bed or while eating lunch at work.

However, it is important to be sure that you are taking the best online course possible in order to leave the experience feeling inspired and educated, not frustrated and fed up. Whether you are an amateur or a pro in the realm of online learning, consider the following when choosing an online course:

Choose a course that complements your current work population
With topics of online courses ranging in style and content, it is important that you choose one that includes information or inspiration that you can effectively use at your current workplace. If you are working with seniors, find a topic related to senior care that intrigues you. If you are working with adults with developmental disabilities, investigate a topic for that population that you think you might be able to utilize in your day to day work life.

You will get more out of your online course if you leave it feeling excited about your profession and the influence you have at your workplace. Use your online courses not just as a way to earn contact hours, but as a way to be instantly energized and effect change in programming with your clients.

Choose a topic that interests you
That said, be wary not to box yourself in to only looking at content that you may use with your current population. After all, Rec Therapists and other Allied Health Professionals sometimes choose to change it up a bit and work with other special populations. What better way to test the waters than to leave your niche and learn something new and exciting about a population unfamiliar to you?

Be sure that the online vendor is legit and user-friendly
While most online course vendors are on the up-and-up, some are easier to work with than others. Before you send payment, be sure you know how you will receive the content (via email or password protected site), if there is online technical support readily available (especially helpful if you are taking the course after business hours), and how/when the certificate of completion is sent. This info can likely be found in their FAQs. Any delay in these items may make you frustrated and worried, resulting in a less than great experience.

Know if you are required to purchase additional learning items
Before you decide on a particular online course, make sure that you know what learning items are required. Some courses include all the content in the presentation materials while others require you to read additional books or reference articles. If you need to head to the library, or order something on Amazon once you start the course, it can feel overwhelming; be sure you know all of that in advance.

Know if the course will give you the CEUs or other credits you are seeking
Online courses are wonderful, and taking one is a perfect way to find out different perspectives on treatment or programming. However, before you take a course on Quality of Life Programming for Seniors, or that Social Work course that caught your attention, make sure you know if that course will be approved for the type of CEU or contact hour you need, especially if you are down to the wire with your CTRS renewal.

Online classes are often more engaging, entertaining, and informative than they’ve been in the past. Authors work hard to develop content that is applicable to the field and write it to be easy to read. What are you waiting for? Check out an online course today!

 

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