How To Choose A Mentored Learning Program
While many online schools may offer a mentored learning experience, due to the flexibility of the term and its widespread use, how can you tell which mentored learning programs are the real deal and which ones are not worth your time and money? There are a few things you should look into before deciding on the right course for you:
Read the testimonials and look for instructor accolades. Your school of choice should be proud of what people have to say about their courses and programs and they should want to show that off. Testimonials may be found on course or program description pages, or they may even have a page of their own. Especially with a mentored learning course, instructors should be touted as helpful and prompt in reply.
Read instructor profiles. An institution or company with good professors will be able to provide you with information on them. Not only will they be able to sing their instructors' praises, but they will want to. On instructor profiles, look for previous teaching experiences and relevant experience in the fields related to the courses they are teaching. It is important for instructors to take ownership of the courses they mentor, and a school that gives their instructors a spotlight will be more likely to encourage them to do so.
Try to contact the instructor before you enroll in the course. How long does it take them to respond? A good mentor or instructor will give you a prompt reply - usually within 24 hours. Even if you're not enrolled yet, a mentor that cares about his or her students will be happy to answer questions about the course before it starts or before you enroll. A prompt reply now means a prompt reply later when you are enrolled in the course and have a question related to the material
How much time do the instructors spend on marking assignments? A thoroughly marked paper will contain lots of comments and thought behind the feedback. Of course the time any instructor takes to mark an assignment will vary greatly depending on the quality of the assignment. Well written papers will take a lot less time than assignments needing a lot of feedback to help the student do better next time. Good marking will often generate further discussion through email.
How much time is allocated to student support? Again, the time given to student support varies by the student and the timeframe of the course. But the time a student receives for one-on-one advice and instruction should be limited by the student not the constraints of the course or the instructor. Is there a limit put on the support a student requests? Every student should receive all the help they need. Most students need more support at the beginning of the term, when everything is new and students are still adjusting the course and its requirements. Other times when student support is most required is during the couple of days before assignments are due. Mentors should be able to schedule their time resources to meet these demands.
How many people actually complete the courses? The higher the drop-out rate, the less satisfied previous students were with their courses and the support given by instructors.
How many people are successful finding jobs in the field after they graduate? This will give you an indication of how well the course prepares its students for the industry. It may also gauge how well the school is respected by perspective employers.