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How do I Choose the Best Online Professional Development?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Online professional development programs deliver their courses via the Internet. These programs cover a range of subjects and disciplines, ranging from accounting to nursing. The most common type of online professional development programs are those offered through professional organizations. Other training programs are offered through the continuing education department of a local college or university.

To access online professional development programs, students log on to a website where they can communicate with other students and manage their course work. Many online professional development programs include access to academic counselors and other support staff to assist students. Courses offered through a professional organization are typically included in a continuing education program that is required to maintain professional certification.

The most important part of selecting the best online professional development program is to ensure that you are able to complete all the work on time. In order to achieve success in an online school, students must be disciplined, focused, and self-motivated. Online school is not easier than a traditional school, although it is often assumed that it will be. The downside to online professional development programs is the lack of social interaction and networking.

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Look at the list of courses available online, and select courses of interest to you. Check the course description to ensure all the appropriate material is included in the course. If you are taking a course to maintain your professional certification or complete another certificate, make sure all the requirements are met.

Most professional development programs include the cost of the textbook in the course fee and send the textbook directly to your home. Most students complete their course work during evenings and weekends. Find out who is providing customer service to support the online course students and when they are available.

Some professional development programs that work well online are software programs or upgrades. Soft skills, such as oral communication, presentations, and public speaking do not translate well to this method of program delivery. Other courses that do not typically work well are courses that teach a technical skill, refine a technique, or require feedback at the time of the presentation.

Select your online professional development program with care, and take the time to visit the discussion section of the website. This is the best way to meet other professionals, share experiences, and network. Participate in the group discussions to get help with assignments, share experiences, and broaden your horizons. One of the great benefits of online professional development courses is the chance to interact with people located in a wide range of physical locations. Fellow students can be participating in a project from locations around the world.

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