When we dig deeper into what we want to learn about something, there is a high chance that we will end up on a landing page where someone is selling his or her course about “how to ________” And there is nothing wrong with selling a course, but as an audience, we tend to ask ourselves whether:
- The following person is eligible to teach the course.
- Whether this course will help me improve my skillset
- Is the price reasonable?
Interestingly, this same applies to when we purchase physical goods, but we often do not ask them when we buy them.
We are now in a new spending age with rising digital products such as courses and monthly subscriptions. It isn’t easy for us to make the following formula in our head:
Physical Product = Digital Product?
A decade ago, we would have never thought of paying subscriptions or purchasing a digital course. But it’s time now to think more consciously about how we approach digital spendings.
I’ve spent money on numerous online courses, and I am continuing. And from my experience of spending on online courses, I’ve had mixed feelings about it. Some courses were not worth it, whereas some courses were exceptional. I feel like the range in the quality of online courses is very diverse, and we need to make a conscious effort to choose the right one to spend our hard-earned cash on.
Here are few things I make sure to check before I purchase an online course. Although the criteria may differ for every individual, I’ve gathered some questions that you may want to ask if you are looking for an acceptable course.
How are others viewing the course?
When we land on the landing page of an online course, usually, there are reviews by other buyers. The reviews may be great on the website, but it’s always better to search for more reviews outside the selling page.
And we all know that whether the course is good or bad, the creator will want you to pay for their online courses. But to save yourself from their one-sided persuasion, it’s always a good habit to seek out external reviews.
Is there an alternative?
It’s most likely possible that all the content we see on an online course can be found through Googling. But the beauty of an online course is how this scattered information is arranged into a finished puzzle. It’s a hassle to search for each information separately, and sometimes we may miss out on simple but important aspects of the topic that may not build the foundation of our knowledge in that topic. Therefore, many of us instead pay extra to have everything combined into a course.
Even if this is the situation, it’s always beneficial to see an alternative to the course. Maybe it’s just one problem you want to resolve, which doesn’t necessarily require you to pay for a whole course. If that is the case, finding a solution through searching can save you extra cash for other expenses.
Is the lecturer credible?
It’s prevalent to see amateurs creating online courses these days. What we now call “fake gurus” may be easily found. To prevent this trap, we have to make sure if that creator is eligible to teach the audience. The best way to see if a person is credible is by seeing his or her previous work. Go through their social media, websites, and online portfolios to see if the result is what you are looking for. In most cases, this extra work can help you see if the lecturer is eligible to teach you.
Is this course still relevant today?
I’ve seen many outdated courses. Especially for marketing, due to its rapid change in the platform, it’s easy to see how some courses may not work now as before.
To know whether the course is relevant is by checking the online course’s updated date. Also, check if the creator has been updating the course consistently. This will also inform you that the creator is putting his or her effort to make the course better even after time—giving a bonus point on credibility.
How long is the course?
Length may not speak the quality, but it is essential to see if the course is long enough because of its included examples.
If the course is long, then there is a high chance that the lecturer has added more details. Whereas, if the course is short, there might not be any detailed explanation of the topic.
Topics may vary, so this may not be the only metric you should focus on. But from my experience, longer courses tended to describe the content with more details—allowing better explanation overall.
What is the level of the course?
Checking the course level is by far the most critical aspect when you choose an online course. Confirm the level of the online course by checking the description.
If the level is too easy for you, then it might not help you challenge you. Similarly, if the level is too hard, then you won’t be able to learn much because of constant misunderstandings. Therefore, see if the level of the course is just right for now.
Bonus: Read the table of content & watch the preview
Following up with the previous point. Also, check the table of content for the online course. Knowing the course curriculum will help you see a bigger picture of what the content will be about. This way, you will be more prepared to learn with clarity in mind.
Many online courses have previews, which are great when you are hesitant to purchase the course. Watch the preview and see if the course delivers the context with clarity.
Online courses can open many new doors for people. Whether you get a new job, improving in the current workforce, or simply for personal interest. Learning is a universal, and online course is just another format for learning without the restraint of physical location and deadlines.
Choosing the right course worth the money can take us a long way into our life journey. Therefore, it’s an important skill set to choose an excellent online course to bring in the desired result.