Computer training courses are easy to find: a simple Google search on the internet for computer training provides numerous ‘hits’. Deciding which course to take, however, is a bit more complex. When evaluating computer training courses, several questions may come to mind. Each plays a major part in the decision making process. The most commonly asked questions include, but are not limited to the following:
- What is the method of course material delivery? It has long been accepted by education professionals that there are three methods of human learning: visual, audio, and physical. Audio: the student learns by hearing. Visual: the student learns by reading or other visual cues. Physical: the student learns by doing. There are those however who learn by a combination of two or more of these. Online computer training courses offer all three. The students learning style plays a large role in determining which kind of computer training course to take.
- Time considerations: how much time is necessary to devote to course completion? Is the computer training course available 24 hours? Is there an instructor available to answer any questions the student may have? Oftentimes students who are taking computer training courses are doing so beyond time constraints of work. Military members are especially subject to time constraints with deployments and duty schedules playing a major role in making this decision. Time considerations are also a consideration for potential students who do shift-work or are on a rotating schedule.
- Self-paced instruction or scheduled: self-paced instruction is especially attractive to students who are unavailable to attend scheduled classes. Self-paced allows computer training courses to be completed at the students convenience, yet requires self-discipline.
- Location: is the computer training course available online or will the student be required to attend formal classroom instruction? Depending on the students work schedule or other personal considerations, online computer training may be the best option. Opportunities abound for hands-on instructor led instruction if location is not a factor. A potential problem with a formal classroom training environment is seating availability. Having online computer training available alleviates this potential problem.
- Financial: What arrangements can be made towards financing the computer training course? The majority of educational programs are eligible for government funded grants provided they meet certain requirements. Will the computer training course require a down payment and offer monthly payments? Are there other payment options available? Some employers even offer tuition assistance depending upon what type of computer training course taken.
- Certification: What certifications can be attained through the particular computer training course? Knowing the relevance of information being taught is of high importance. After all a student wanting to learn a Microsoft application would want to learn about the most current program available.
- Other evaluations or course reputation: What have previous student experiences been? Knowing what past students experiences with the computer training course is invaluable. Did they find it challenging? Were they satisfied with the material presented? The lack of this information is often a deterrent. Along with this, is the student provided with an opportunity upon completion to provide an evaluation? In other words, opinions count in evaluating computer training courses as with any other training.
Finding the answers to these questions will provide the prospective student with the tools to make an educated decision.