How To Choose an  Online Course

 

image of people learning online

One of the great benefits of the COVID-19 situation is that many tech solutions that were available for many years have not become front and center of many organizations and institutions ‘go-digital’ strategy.

The cool part is that once COVID-19 is over, we may never go back.

For the education industry, there are 2 main methods of online delivery. Here’s what you need to know about online course delivery and which we use!

Broadly speaking there is Synchronous vs Asynchronous delivery.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous Delivery

Sounds complex right? Actually it’s not.

Synchronous delivery means teaching and  students-watching happens at the same time – Like a massive video call with a lecturer on one end and all the students on the other end, with each student using their own device.

Asynchronous delivery means that it’s not happening at the same time and the lecture is probably recorded and hosted on a video platform like YouTube for you to watch again.

Which is Better?

Like most things the answer is it depends on you but here are some factors to consider:

Device Availability

You will need a laptop/tablet/mobile that can remain online for 3 hours. Also, for more Synchronous delivery you may have to open and use material at the same time as the video call. Make sure your laptop has sufficient resources to do this.

Internet

When you do synchronous delivery, because the video is being streamed live, there is less time for it to be compressed and therefore data consumption is higher. You’ll need a data plan that can support the speed of 720p streams and also the volume to support at least 24 hours of streamed video per month. That’s roughly about 36gb of data in a month. Plan accordingly!

When do asynchronous delivery, you could have compressed video and it could 12gb of data in a month.

Your Learning Style

Consider if you’re an auditory / visual learner? If so you will be able to thrive in online delivery. However, if you are an experiential learner that needs to have hands one and practical experimentation to fully grasp concepts, then online may be a challenging environment for you.

Environments

Can you find a comfortable and quiet place to participate in your online learning? You will need to access this space twice a week for 2-3 hours while you complete your lecture and assessments for that time.

If such spaces are tough to find for you, then you may want to do an asynchronous programme. This will let you study what you can, when you can.

What Methods Does Auston Institute Use To Go Online?

We spent a good amount of time debating if we should go online and how we should. Our courses deploy a lot of practical hands on experience so using an online platform would reduce the experience significantly. How did we overcome it?

  • Synchronous Delivery
  • Recorded Sessions for Post-Delivery Review
  • Supplementary Material
  • Single Point of Contact: Google Classroom
  • Modified Assessment Strategy

We deployed the above measures in consultation with our academic and examination board, the university partner, and the local regulations.

This means that our students will sign on to Google Classroom and they’ll only see the modules they are currently taking.

They’ll open one module that they have to attend and they’ll click one link and a video conference will start.

When it comes to time for assessment he will instead have a take home exam that he has 24 hours to do. To avoid plagiarism and collusion (aka cheating) all exam scripts will be submitted through plagiarism-check software.

Take home tests are always harder than controlled-condition tests.

Once things return to normal, we will be running extra practical and lab sessions to get students back up to speed

Do you like our approach? Have a look through our courses below. Our plans are to continue all our courses online until it’s safe to go back outside.

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