Why take online courses?

I take online courses through sites like learntoprogram.tv, skillfeed.com, bitfountain.io and udemy.com (there are MANY others out there) because they help me learn since they are usually a video or series of videos followed by one or more exercises.

I don’t get college credit for them, but I can take them at my pace, when I have time and many of the courses you can communicate with the instructor and/or other students taking the class.

I’m sure there are colleges/universities which offer online courses for college credit, but in order to get a degree from the institution you’ll end up taking many more classes in subjects which don’t even apply to the degree and spending more money.

There are also many free sites to learn from such as Khan Academy, Code Academy and iTunes U (available through iTunes on your Mac, PC or iPad).

Another great aspect of online video courses is that you can many times preview the course and see if you can understand the instructor.  Do they have a heavy accent?  How is their presentation style?  With college courses you are stuck with the professor or teaching assistant who leads the course.

Before you purchase a course you can read a summary of what it covers, what if any other students have said about the course, what you’ll need to take the course.

Many times the online sites will offer the courses at greatly reduced prices.  You could purchase a course which normally is $499 for only $10, not through some third-party like Groupon, etc. but directly from the provider.

Watching the video courses I’ve been doing for HTML, CSS, Swift, Objective C allow me to pause the videos as the instructor goes along and see that I can get the same results as they do.  I can replay the videos.  Ask questions and learn at my own pace as time permits.

With many college courses you’d have to set aside specific times during the week or weekend and something may come up at work or with a family member which would not allow you to attend a session.

Online video courses just are more convenient and fit around my schedule.

So, give them a try.  If there is a subject you want to learn, start today.  I know sites like lynda.com offer free 10 day trials where you can try all of their courses for free, but then you pay a monthly or annual price.  With Udemy and LearnToProgram you pay per course.  Udemy does offer some courses for free and they currently have where you can select from over 10,000 courses for only $10 each.

What do you think about this?