Poll Results: Have you Ever Taken an Online Course for Your Own Professional Development?

Man at desk with computer

Last month, Ed4Career posed the question, “Have you ever taken an online course for your own Professional Development?”  

Expecting to receive more of the standard “yes/no” type of answers, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who took the time to share their personal experiences with online learning.

Of those who responded, a whopping 92% had taken an online course for their own professional development, many having taken more than one and a few selecting it as their learning method of choice for professional development needs.  Most respondents, if not all, indicated that it was an excellent way to keep up to date on skills and trends.

I enjoyed taking the time to reach each comment posted.  There was one quote in particular that I want to share as I feel it truly captures the essence of the benefits of Online Learning, “Technology increases the opportunity to collaborate across time and distance bringing us all closer together and enhancing our understanding of the world around us.” (Submitted by a United States Distance Learning Association Group Member on LinkedIn.)

Those that responded also shared:

·         Online classes require a high level of self-discipline and focus.  This includes excellent time management, self-motivation, a high standard of ethics, and learning how to network with classmates and professors to enrich the learning experience.

·         Taking an online course can allow the teacher to become the student.  For those who are exploring teaching or designing online courses, taking an online course allows one to “sit on the other side of the online classroom”.  Several of the respondents mentioned wanting to experience an online course as a student before teaching an online course. This seems to be the best way to not only know what your students need, but also to know how to design and deliver a course for the best learning outcome.

·         Quality counts.  Just like any course taught face to face, the instructor, quality and relevance of the materials makes all the difference.

·         Set your goals. Think about what you want to achieve by taking the online course, do your research and plan accordingly.  It’s important to find the right course or program to meet your goals as there are so many choices out there today. 

·         Increase competency, effectiveness, acquire new skills and advance your career. Taking online courses for Professional Development is beneficial.  In addition to advancing your personal knowledge, skill set and therefore your value to your company; taking an online course can also help you stay connected to your industry.  It can also help lead to career growth.

·         Convenience, flexibility and cost effective choices.  Whether time, accessibility or costs are the factors that come into play, online courses offer learning at your fingertips, on your own schedule and at a reasonable cost.  As one respondent put it, “I would never have been able to do this through a traditional "brick & mortar" school!” (Submitted by a Community Engagement Group Member on LinkedIn.)

Thank you to everyone who cast their vote and who shared their opinions.  I love to read everyone’s insights and look forward to learning more from you with our next poll!

By Kris Powers | September 24th 2013

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