Thinking about taking online classes?

Published in the BCSA Borderlines Magazine

Here is what you need to know and look for in online classes?

Online dog training or e-learning has become a hot trend. Today your options are limitless on how and where to gather information about dog training, behavior modification, and competition training. Online classes are growing in popularity and are great way to continue to learn and gather information.

E-learning is a convenient and valuable concept for dog trainers everywhere because it is web-based, easy to use, and accessible 24/7 from your own home! Many dog trainers are logging in to online classes and learning valuable concepts, techniques and philosophies that will enhance their training program with their dogs. Better yet you can learn from those who have been in your shoes and have a vast wealth of experience. With their help you can better prepare your training sessions and avoid mistakes.

Online courses offer a lot of flexibility for busy people. It’s convenient and can save you time and money. This is an ‘easy way of training with top trainers that are not in your area. Dog trainers often drive long distances and pay big bucks to attend seminars by the best of the best. Now many of these trainers offer their knowledge via online classes. Some offer consultations of training or showing videos giving ways to improve. Costs will vary, but when you consider the savings in travel time and gas money, convenience pays.

Taking online classes allows you to work toward your goals at your own pace. It is fun having the flexibility of the online classes. If you are busy a few days a week no problem, just do what you can when you can. It is sometimes better than classes where you get 1 hour each week. Online classes also offer much more personalized attention and feedback.

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How to Choose an Online Dog Training Course

Wondering which online class to take?

Look at course descriptions to learn what is included, the time it will run and the amount of time you will have access to the class information. Contact the course providers and ask any questions that you might have. Look at the response time to your questions. An instructor that replies promptly will most likely be quick to answer questions during the class.

There is a wide range of prices for classes. Choose a course based on your needs and not necessarily on the price. Check the credentials of the instructor and see if their knowledge and experience will enhance your training.

Getting the most of out of the class you have chosen.

Become comfortable with the technology – Your online class will be accessed through your personal computer, laptop, or tablet. It is beneficial to take some time to become acquainted with the platform and utilize any orientation materials prior to class. Having a reliable internet connection and operating system is also essential to staying on top of your work. Many online classes require the student to post videos of training so it is wise to understand and know how to download and post videos before signing up. Most online classes have “how to” tutorials on their websites so you will know how everything works ahead of time.

Schedule time for practice – It’s your responsibility to take the initiative to keep up with assignments when enrolled in online classes. It can be easy to let assignments slide and become behind because of the wiggle room and flexibility that come with e-learning. Procrastination is a slippery slope and can affect how much you get out of a class. When starting a class make sure to organize and put aside time each week to keep up with the class. It’s often difficult to catch up once you fall behind.

Stay engaged with the coursework – Discussion forums play a huge role in most online classes. The posts are a great way to participate in class discussion and show the instructor you’re taking the course seriously. Don’t breeze through class forums and other small assignments. Putting extra effort into discussion forums can make a difference in how much you learn and enjoy the class.

Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of taking online classes, does it sound like something you’d be interested in?

Online classes are a great way to balance family life, work and dog training. This option will allow you to work at your own pace to make a better training chooses for you and your dog. Best of all, taking online classes lets you integrate your training into your schedule and at your convenience.

If you take or have taken an online course, I’d love to hear what your comments!

Do you have a training question? AskDebbyQ

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