In this section, we will try to offer a summary of the way online computer courses normally work. Therefore, you will have a broader idea about the organizing and administrative matters of this computing learning method.
As regards online courses’ method of teaching, the courses can have a tutor or not. As we mentioned before, the tutoring method is recommended because the tutor or tutors clear up the doubts of the virtual students and they also do personalized follow-up of each students’ learning process. Courses without tutors, however, have the advantage of being more affordable, since there are fewer expenses on highly available teachers to respond to the students. These courses without tutoring can be effective at intermediate levels, since the students have a basic knowledge allowing them to understand a more complex level on their own, without finding it too difficult.
The average duration of the courses varies according to their aim. There are short training courses and, on the other hand, university degrees. The short courses usually last from 1 to 3 months, 2 or 3 hours per week. They are usually 20-hour modules, approximately. In these cases, it is possible to suspend classes -for different reasons- during a certain period of time, after which they can be resumed. In the most reliable online courses, there are rules determining the regular student status, a requirement for taking and passing exams. On the other hand, university degrees involve spending more time, normally between 2 and 4 years, and also a greater control as regards participation and frequency of works.
The virtual computer courses learning method consists basically of the combination of reading theoretical material presented as e-book manuals and applying the concepts introduced there to practical exercises. These exercises are designed by educationalists and organized so as to allow students to make gradual process on the knowledge difficulty. Besides, there are model exercises, answers, extra consulting sources and, in the case of tutoring courses, access to the tutors via chat, e-mail or, even, phone.
The evaluation regime varies according to each educational institution. But the most common way is, as in conventional learning methods, to take different partial tests and one final exam. The latest generally includes a theoretical section about the main concepts of computer knowledge and an applied section. Once the exam is passed, the students are awarded the corresponding certification proving the acquired knowledge. When choosing an online computer course, it is important to verify that the degrees offered are legally recognized.
As regards the cost of virtual training, it varies according to the hours involved and the imparted knowledge difficulty. The payment method can be credit card, debit card or money order. In many cases, online computer training centers offer free courses. These are short courses, with few credit hours, whose purpose is usually show how the longer courses work. By taking one of those, educational level and study methodology can be tested.