With the increasing availability of educational resources and programs, choosing a suitable training product is becoming increasingly complex. But for students it is extremely important to determine competently and effectively, how much the teaching promise is true and capable to lead to a real result.
Learning Promise Concept
Clear and specific description of the intended results and practical skills obtained after completion of training, which are outlined in the form of obligations, is a learning promise. It goes beyond the simple description of the content of the educational program, but delves into expected results after its end. It helps students accept informed solutions and choose educational products, as much as possible appropriate to their needs and goals.
Examples of Good Teaching Promises
Here the educational product promises that students will learn to create functional websites from scratch using popular programming languages and that they will gain practical web development skills and will be able to design interactive and responsive web pages.
2. “From the level of A0 you will begin to communicate freely in English in life, at work and in travel”
The training program promises that those who bought it will reach a high level of proficiency in a foreign language that will allow them to be communicate at ease in any circumstances: at work, at home, on Internet forums, when visiting other countries and so on. The product focuses on conversational skills, grammar, and understanding by ear.
What are the characteristics of a quality product?
When a student acquires a certain educational program, he needs to get quite specific results, to achieve certain goals important to him. Product quality consists of several parameters:
- level of assimilation – how competently the content of the program is built, how easily information is made available so that each student understands and acquires declared knowledge, and skills;
- practice – whether the knowledge gained during training is applicable in practice, is there a practical part of the course at all;
- support – attitude towards the student, bringing to results, interest in his success.
Availability of issued certificate, diploma and their value in international space has certain weight, so it’s good to have supporting documents. However, this parameter is not as significant as the above mentioned one.
How to Check a Learning Promise
It happens that when reading information about an educational product the impression is positive, and the results described are just what the student needs. But how to test if promises are true?
There are several ways to make sure the educational program is actually effective:
- Explore reviews and ratings. Check what the real students currently studying say about the product. How impressive they are with received results, is it true that acquired skills can be applied in practice and how close all this is to reality. How the learning process itself is built, is there a place for practical activities and how intense they are. If you see only positive and even too enthusiastic reviews, most likely it looks crooked. They are either paid or all negative is being carefully eliminated. Also, you should be alerted if the social networks of the selected courses have long been inactive and there is no interaction with potential and real students.
- Review the content of the training program. Investigate the description, check how good the projected totals are for you. Make sure they meet your goals and expectations.
- Find out if there is feedback from students. If educational product is good, communication with teachers exists necessarily, both in the form of answers to possible questions, and in the form of feedback on the training project you are creating. Checking homework is huge plus. With its help, step-by-step fixation of obtained materials takes place.
- Find out about the opportunity to attend a trial lesson for free. Usually everybody offer free webinars, but there it is generally unclear what does the desired course represent and how much it meets your expectations. But trial lesson is a great opportunity to immerse yourself completely in the atmosphere of learning, assessing the quality of the presentation of materials, understanding if the format and load are suitable for you.
- Do not follow the promise of the “express method” to make you learn a new profession from level zero. Usually, such training takes at least six months, or even more. If the training program promises that in a short time you will master the new specialty, you’ll not get significant skills there, most likely. Short-term courses are useful for those who gain additional skills to already available ones.
- Chat with graduates. Ask them which knowledge and skills they received after passing the educational product of your interest, how successfully they managed to apply all this in real life or at work, whether it helped them to reach another level and improve their skills.
This approach will allow you to find out all the ins and outs of the selected training program or product, and collect objective information. Based on this you will be able to draw correct conclusions and understand quickly if the service suits you and meets your goals.
By Anastasia Chistyakova, methodologist, entrepreneur, founder of the Bumblebee online school, author and presenter of online courses