Online courses have been around for quite some time, yet are often overlooked by manual therapists because of their poor marketing. Some therapists don’t trust them while others simply don’t know they exist. Using both internal and outside references, we’ve managed to collect some of the most common “facts” abut Online Learning and compile them into a list.
“Online classes are untrustworthy” or “Anyone can make a class.”
While technically true, this statement is about as accurate as saying anyone with a printer can print themselves a medical degree. Plenty of review websites are available to help the end-user filter the good content from the bad. Many associations and regulatory bodies such as CanFitPro or CMTO also have specific guidelines on what would make a course count as a CEU and routinely approve of such courses.
“Online courses are easier than their counterparts.”
--True, sort of--
This fact is actually true, though not in the way many people think. Its not that the material is any different, its simply the fact that you can go at any speed you want that makes it simpler. Recent studies have highlighted the advantages in relation to online learning modules over traditional face-to-face methods. One study, in particular, noted therapists’ positive responses to online continuing education opportunities and concluded that it enabled therapists to ‘meet professional expectations for continuing competency.’ Plus, due to much of the lesson being prerecorded, therapists are able to go back and re-learn any part of the course they found particularly difficult or interesting.
“Online courses are considered less valuable.”
This may have been the case many years ago, but online education has advanced considerably since. The same study shows that over 80% of therapists are open to the option of online education in some form, and many other fields show similar results. Virtual classrooms allow for a collaborative learning experience even more diverse than physical ones, meaning there is always an opportunity to learn something new. This is especially true outside of large metropolitan areas, since the trip to the nearest offline CEUs may be hours away.
Practitioners who learn techniques online perform worse than those who learned them in-class.”
There were plenty of studies done on the topic of distance learning, and the findings have been fairly consistent: there is no significant difference between the performance of distance vs non-distance students. The first study proving this phenomenon used data from as early as the 30s, far before any of our modern tools were available. With access to tons of software, videos, and communication technology, online learning has become even more convenient and accessible.
More and more institutions for professional regulatory bodies are starting to offer certified online continuing education classes. The flexibility and convenience of online continuing education courses can provide a learning method that can suit your individual schedule. It can keep you up to date on the latest skill sets and techniques, as well as boost your own confidence in your chosen profession.