In the last one-decade or so, major milestones have been set and achieved on quite a number of areas especially scientific, academic and social spheres. For instance, the entry of internet technology in the sector of education has seen great leaps and bounds with its effect felt in many countries around the world. Glennie and Mays (2013) point out to an important aspect that demand for lifelong flexible learning which allows other commitments in life such as family, work, and community service is on the rise. It means that a flexible learning mode is requisite.
Developed countries with strong information communication and technology infrastructure have already reaped the benefits of online education systems. Through elaborate, well managed and quality academic structures, institutions of higher learning are able to administer tutorial and assessment services to thousands of students by way of cyber academies. However, it is imperative to understand what qualities are necessary to look out for when prospecting for an online education opportunity. Therefore, it would be ideal to look at some of these qualities with a view to ensuring students get genuine online education
Authenticity of the Cyber Academy
A successful learner would take time to confirm the authenticity of the online platform that he/she would be using for learning. This is because of the financial resources used in meeting tuition and other service fees. A genuine cyber academy would go further to provide hyperlinks (About Us, Contact Us and History) on its webpage that leads to more information for the students. For instance, the Cyber Academy is an online platform that provides this information in a very simple and clear manner.
Professionalism of Tutors and the Administration Staff in General
Prospective students want to know the qualifications and competences of tutors, and other staff members that will assist them during their online journey. In order to get quality studies, students ought to source for pertinent information about the background of their tutors and mode of communication with the staff. This goes on to their confidence that any money spent is worth the value of services offered. Often times, tutors will showcase their skills by uploading a brief history on their academic achievements and affiliations on their profiles. This is what Cyber Academy has strived to build over time; a professional outlook of tutors and administrative staff members.
The Quality of Programmes on the Academy’s Website
Due to the dynamic nature of challenges being faced today, it implies that online programmes and skills passed on to students need to be customized. This is to improve the quality and relevance of programmes being offered. For instance, the increased security risks in software applications today require up-to-date content for software development in addition to modern development skills for mobile applications. It is the responsibility of the prospective student to browse through all the information he/she requires to ascertain that the course is right for him/her. Online websites such as Cyber Academy have programmes that are carefully designed to meet such needs.
Ability to Access Essential Services on the Academic Website
Online education services are similar to physical class sessions albeit the former model is virtual. However, important services such online library, research writing and communication, registration, and online help desk services should be present. A student that wants a successful education carefully looks at the availability and performance of these services to be rest assured that his/her learning process will be efficient. Different service centers ensure that students get real-time information in case an eventuality arises; for example, an interruption of online class sessions due to upgrade and/or maintenance.
Achievements of the Online Academy and its Networking Strategy
Essentially, a good online education center receives many high positive reviews from past students. This is a way to show other prospective and future students that the academy is able to equip students with necessary skills during their projects besides theory work. The same students explain how the institution helped in networking with local and global firms. Such reviews draw the attention of many student applicants because they know they will benefit at the end of their course. Sometimes, the academy shows the awards won for its exemplary performance and services.
The concept of online education has won many hearts because of its flexibility and convenience. Considering that people have life commitments and thirst for knowledge and skills at the same time, it is important to develop an online center such as Cyber Academy to meet these needs. However, students have to be careful to examine which online centers would provide them with necessary and relevant skills for career, economical, or social development. Further, online education centers that have been developed competitively demonstrate professionalism, authenticity, relevance, and quality services besides furtherance of students’ skills.