When considering taking online learning courses, it is a good idea to complete a self-assessment of your goals, current skill set, and specifically what knowledge you want to acquire. Once you have completed your self-assessment, you can move to Course Selection. So where do you start? At the beginning of course and this and the next series of articles will take you through the self-assessment process, course selection and the other things you should think about when developing your online Education program.
Goals and Objectives
While you may not need to conduct a self-assessment or Course Selection for one course, you should think about goals if you are considering taking a broad ranging subject (e.g., Personal Development, Personal Desktop Computing, Starting a Small Business, Web Design, IT Certification). You should have both short and long term goals because with any long term endeavor, the short term goals keep you motivated to reaching you long term objective. For example, you are considering starting a new business, setting up a time line for completing the first few courses (e.g., Managing your Business, Raising Financing) and a longer term goal (e.g., Start the business by xx/xx/xxxx). Well arranged goals and objectives will not only motivate you but keep you on track and increase your overall chances for success.
Assessing your current skills are important to both developing your goals and objectives and ultimately, Course Selection. Being honest with your self is also important. First, identify, your advanced skills set. While there is probably more you can learn, you can rely on your current skills in reaching you ultimate objective. For example, in starting a new business, if you have good marketing skills, you would not initially take any advertising or marketing courses. You should focus on the skills you need which you have either a basic knowledge that you will need to know more about to reach your objective. On a very basic level you may need to select the type of business or need to develop your skills in office management or managing a business generally. Now re-review your goals and objective to make sure both are in sync.
While online education is very economical, you should estimate the cost of your Course Selection and the time frame you are expecting to take them. Does the cost meet the amount you expected to invest? If not, consider reducing your list or extending your time line for completion. Do not reduce your list to a point where you are not acquiring enough skills to meet your objective.