When researching online early childhood education courses, it can be confusing to know what to look for. It’s important to realise that while course quality can vary, there are things you can learn to look out for to recognise a high quality online course.
Before you start getting overwhelmed scrolling through online course options, it’s good to take the time to really understand what is involved with an online course and what you should expect from your studies.
Online learning and the benefits of online courses
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, online learning has become the norm for many. However, there are many other compelling reasons to choose online course options too.
Life can be busy and juggling all your commitments, such as friends and family, work and time for yourself can seem an impossible balance at times. Being able to study from anywhere with an internet connection can mean more freedom and flexibility to live life your way and fit everything in. Plus, technology now allows online learning platforms to be able to provide interactive and engaging learning experiences from wherever you are.
There are many benefits to studying online, including:
- Creating your own preferred study environment
- Studying at your pace
- No need to commute to and from a training provider
- Training at times that best suit your life and productive times
Spotting the best online courses
If you haven’t studied online before, you might not have any idea what to look for or expect. Perhaps you tried studying online previously but found it didn’t work for you. Don’t let that put you off. Chances are that specific approach to online training wasn’t a good fit or wasn’t of a high standard.
When you’re researching your course options, here are a selection of important features that help you to identify the highest quality online early childhood education courses:
Dedicated support from start to finish of your course
Trainer support is vital to your success, and studying online shouldn’t mean you miss out on that personalised training. Don’t settle for an online course provider who simply gives you log in details and leaves you to it. You should expect a dedicated trainer throughout your studies who is in regular contact with you, whether it’s via phone, email, video call or in person catch ups where possible. Your chosen course provider should also offer support with arrange practical placement and supporting you with any learning challenges, such as literacy and numeracy.
At Selmar, learners are assigned their very own trainer who is there when they need them throughout their course. Our practical placement coordinator and learner success team are also on hand to make the online training experience a supported one that is geared toward learner success.
User-friendly online resources
There’s nothing worse than logging in to access your online course only to find that you are lost in a maze and can’t work out where to begin. Online learning portals should be user-friendly and accessible. All your learning materials should be readily available in the one place.
Online coursework through the Selmar learning portal includes video content, completing quizzes in the portal, submitting assessments and discussion forums with students and trainers. There is even an area for individualised feedback from trainers.
Practical hands-on training
Theory work is an important part of any course, but knowing how to apply what you learn is vital too. Just because a course is delivered online, it doesn’t mean that hands-on experience isn’t important. In early childhood education, practical learning is a must and can be gained through practical placement.
In practical placement you can apply your theoretical knowledge and feel it click into place in a real-life context. Selmar also utilises practical placement reflective journals to help learners to self-assess and track their own progress as they undertake their placement hours to maximise their outcomes.
Feedback and reviews from past learners
Social media, Google reviews, word of mouth — there are many ways to get genuine feedback about a course provider. Speak to others who have studied online with a course provider to find out about their experience. Head online and read what others have to say about their studies. A promising course provider will have their reviews and testimonials from past learners on display to help you to see what they are all about.
As well as these features, you should also choose a course that covers the usual expectations you should have for a course, regardless of whether it’s online or in person. Look for national accreditation, career outcomes for graduates, relevance of course material, and funding and payment options.
Making a start on a career in early childhood
The early childhood education sector offers the opportunity to get your qualified via online courses. This means you can study via distance mode. Alternatively, you can opt for workplace training mode which involves working in the sector while studying.
If you are just starting out in the sector, you will need to enrol in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. This 12-month course covers all the fundamentals of working in early childhood education and can be undertaken as an online course or via workplace training. It includes a practical placement component to ensure that you get essential hands-on skills and experience. This helps you to graduate feeling confident and capable.
For those already working in the early childhood education sector who are feeling that it might be time to upskill their qualifications, a quality online course is a must. You need a course provider offering the flexibility to fit in study time around work time, and the understanding of how the sector operates.
At Selmar, online early childhood education courses are a key area that we specialise in. Our trainers know the sector inside and out and have lived their own career journeys working in early childhood too.
Chat with our team to find out more about our online courses and see if we are the right fit for you.