Why you need online education – do a plan. If you need to achieve future goals – such as promotion, working for some “big” organization etc – investigate about this further. Does your future employer recognize education from online school and what are the potential employer’s choices of online school? Do not hesitate to contact similar types of organization. Contact the HR department for advice? They will be more than happy to give you advice if they are not busy. But do not give up and yield to some con school.
Consult the Online School. Ask for the types of courses: too many implies serious concern because there needs to be teachers to support your education.
Contact the online school or ask them to contact you – verbal communication is the best. Don’t rely on written communication such as emails etc. Ask where the school is located and trace it on the map – the exact location. As questions about the existence and credibility of the organisation.
Ask about education materials and resources – is it included in the fee or separate. Calculate the cost to YOU if the study materials are excluded from the fee.
Professors book – if the trainer/and or professor has written books, ask for name of the book(s). At times it is worth buying the book and having a look at it before enrolling because there might be some con-books (fake) books published that does not have the relevant content and topic relevant to your area of interest. This small investment will save you a lot rather than blindly enrolling in that online school and discovering later!
Ask for publications – any articles, research work etc. done by other students and teachers in your area via the online school and ask if you can get a copy of it to assess the quality and standard. Also enquire if this school has published any articles in journals pertaining to your area of interest. Research about the articles from the Journal publishers if the school claims so.
Do not invest all your funds at once. Ask for pro-rated payments. At least you can pull out if you think you have made wrong choice later. Of course one has to pay for the wrong choice which will be the initial payments already made. Do not blindly rely on “full-refund” policy, unless you are really sure that you know the person or school that is providing the education.
Research former student profiles and if contacts are given, contact them. They might be happy to share their experiences with you. If they do not respond, there might be something “fishy.” The contacts might be a fake one, or the students are not interested in talking about their experiences, which speaks a lot about the online school.
Talk to your friends and peers. They may be not so encouraging at times, but will definitely provide some of their analysis which might be helpful. Remember, short term embarrassment is better than a long term one – when one realizes that he should have talked with friends as well before making this move. If you feel uncomfortable talking with your friends about your interest in enrolling to an online school, talk in general. Ask their thoughts and opinion about the online schools.