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How to tell if an online course is worth taking?

by Soft2share.com

My email account has been stormed by online course offers ever since the social lock down has taken place. I am not particularly unhappy about the fact. It is a good chance of experiencing marketing at the time of a global pandemic. In fact these impressively created ads pushed me to write this article for those out there who want to learn analytics but do not know how to spot the best big data analytics coursesfor themselves.

Why you cannot just trust the top course on the Google index

Simply because the course is not at the top because it is the best course out there but because the institute has an excellent marketing team which has done the search engine optimization right. The top listed course may as well be the best course in deed but you want to know that for sure before investing.

The best faculty means the best course

Yes, but how do you make sure that the faculty members you are looking at are as good teachers as they are experts? There is really no way of determining how good a teacher is from their industrial or academic success.

A good teacher knows how to stoop to the beginners level and help him or her climb up the knowledge tree. An expert might skip on crucial conceptual details but a good teacher will not do that.

The best practice is to look for someone with ample industrial experience, so that you can learn the best industry practices, as well as someone with good recommendation from previous students.

The objective way of identifying a good course

There is a fundamental difference between menial skills and higher order skills. While a skill like changing a tire or making a cup of tea just requires access to information and the power to remember, problem solving skills require some more steps. We can refer to Bloom’s reverse taxonomy of learning to understand this better.

The steps from down to up on Bloom’s reverse taxonomy are remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create. A lot of courses do not focus as much on the last four steps as on the first two. A course that allows you to apply and analyze your skills, evaluate your progress, and create a model based on the newly acquired skill, is the one you should be looking for.

The importance of feedback

The idea of real time feedback was not so popular in online courses. However, things have changed for the better. On skills like data analysis, algorithm designs, programming, designing, it is possible to get feedback from your institute or your instructor. You should not accept anything less. Remember, the number of good courses on the internet is valiantly contested by the number of brilliantly marketed courses which are outright bad. It is your money and time that is to be invested, so, it is your responsibility not to be fooled.

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