Taking these online courses really allowed me to understand how American colleges teach classes. This is good learning for the future.
Medha Nainegli, an engineering student from Bangalore wanted to pursue her passion for writing alongside getting her degree. So she enrolled with The Writer’s Bureau (http://www.writersbureau.com/) in a course that would train her to become a professional freelance writer. Nainegli says that during the course, students were expected to write on a wide range of topics, from articles for women’s magazines to travel writing to restaurant reviews to covering features for newspapers. A teacher assigned to each student helped them with every article they submitted. Writer’s Bureau provided modules that gave many useful tips on how to improve presentation, strengthen your article in terms of content, and increase the chances of your piece getting accepted for publication.
“What a student needs for this course is dedication, an interest in writing and a good command of the English Language. A few hours every week are necessary to complete the assignments. The course may take anywhere from 1 to 3 years for completion, depending on your speed,” says Nainegli.
Nainegli points out that enrolling for this course has helped her in a number of ways: her writing skills have improved;she now writes more regularly, and also more professionally; she has gained knowledge about how to submit articles for publication, approach people for interviews, and bend her articles to suit a specific magazine’s needs.
However, it’s not all a bed of roses. Students would do well to keep some of these pointers in mind:
- Since these courses are online and there is no imperative to study, students may get lazy and may not be as serious about daily activities and some deadlines. In short, they have to be self-motivated to complete a course.
- Students with poor studying habits and concentration may lag behind.
- You cannot complete these courses without the Internet. So if you have a slow connection, or a technical problem, you may have difficulties in accessing the videos.
- Science courses that are based on lab work are not as realistic as they are supposed to be, as it is difficult to portray the actual lab setting via a video.
- There are many students enrolling, and hundreds can attend a single course; this means that no student will get individual or personal attention from the tutor or even instant replies to her doubts.
Many students enroll in e-learning courses solely because they want to improve their resumes for college. This is not why these courses should be taken! Taking courses just to put this down on college applications means that you are missing the very essence of what e-learning is about!” exclaims Prabhakar.