How to Choose an Online Education Provider

Choosing an online education provider can be complex. When considering a provider site, be sure to keep the following questions in mind:

  • Do you want a Certified Technical Education Center (CTEC)-designated online education site?

  • Which method of instruction are you interested in: instructor-led, self-paced, or self-paced with an assigned instructor?

  • What are the course's system requirements?

  • Do you need to load additional software onto your computer?

  • Does the site keep track of your student history so you can track your progress?

  • Can you go to an instructor for help if you get stuck?

  • Does the site offer online chats that let you communicate with your instructor and other students?

  • Can you post questions and problems on a message board, where you can also see what other students are asking?

  • Does the course offer quizzes, and does an instructor grade them?

  • Can you compare your test results with other students' results to give you an idea of how you rank in the course?

  • Do you need to complete the coursework within a certain time? What are the time limits?

  • What does the course cost?

  • Does the course have a money-back guarantee? Can you request a refund only within a specified period?

  • Does the site advertise its instructors' turnaround time for resolving problems and answering questions about the course material?

  • Does Microsoft certify the provider's instructors? Are the instructors experienced?

  • Does the site offer free trial courses?

  • Can you earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that could be applied as credit toward a college degree program?

  • Does the site sell course materials and software? Are prices reasonable?

  • Do you need the assistance of exam-simulation software to help you pass the Microsoft exams?
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