The different types of online advertising courses include credit and non-credit bearing courses offered by accredited colleges and universities as well as courses offered by proprietary trade schools and training providers. Another distinction is whether the online course is interactive or archived. Online advertising courses can be further distinguished by whether the course focuses on theoretical or practical aspects of advertising.
Instructional coursework offered over the Internet is provided by various sources, for a variety of nonprofit and for-profit reasons and comes in a multitude of formats. One of the advantages of the Internet is its feasibility as a worldwide, instantaneous distribution hub for information. Many different types of educational providers are using the Internet to create virtual classrooms and electronic learning environments that allow teachers and students located at a distance to interact as if they were in the same room.
Online advertising courses are offered by universities as part of degree programs and continuing education curricula, and by proprietary trade schools and trainers for certification and professional development. There tends to be a number of differences in the courses offered by these two types of sources. In the university context, online advertising courses are typically offered in conjunction with a classroom presentation of the material. The student has the option of participating in the course over the Internet or attending in person. Even if the online format is the only delivery option, the professor will likely deliver the course live through video or audio streaming and allow for some real-time interactivity with the students before the course is archived for repeat viewing.
After the students pay for the online course as part of their degree program or as continuing education, the school may make the archived version available to the public over the Internet for free. This version, however, lacks any of the interactive or real-time components of the original delivery. When looking for online advertising courses, the offerings by universities fall under one category and include credit and non-credit, free and fee-based and live and archived options.
The other major source for online advertising courses is proprietary trade schools and training companies. These sources focus on trade credentialing and professional development. Professional courses differ from university courses in the length and breadth of the material and in the delivery format. College courses are delivered over an entire semester and cover many theoretical and historical topics, while professional courses condense the most practical information into a presentation that takes hours rather than months.
Online advertising courses from professional sources tend to be archived material but can sometimes be part of a live delivery if the source operates like a school. Rarely is the course free, but typically it is not nearly as expensive as taking a credit-bearing course at a university. Professional courses tend to focus on advertising practice and new developments in the field by packaging topics of immediate interest.