Learning Online 
by  Roberta Beach Jacobson, Karpathos, Greece, www.RobertaBeachJacobson.com
which appeared in the July, 2008, issue of Freelance Writers' Report

Having just taken my first online course for writers, I’d like to offer some tips for potential students so their experience might be as positive as mine:

*  Who’s sponsoring/offering the course? Is it a known organization (such as Romance Writers of America) or a writers’ zine that has been around for years – or some firm you can’t find on a Web search?

* Double-check your calendar. Will the course dates interfere with work deadlines, planned social events, holidays?

* Examine course requirements (and level) closely. Will your work schedule allow you X hours per day or week to keep up with homework?

* Think about your budget before considering paying X dollars for a course. Do you like how payments are to be made? (Would you prefer PayPal to mailing a personal check to some post office box?) Are partial refunds available should you drop the course for personal reasons, such as health?

* Do a search on the instructor(s) to find out about their backgrounds beyond their bio blurbs in the announcement. Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions up front.

* Contact some former students for personal recommendations. If no names are available, beware!

Copyright 2008, Roberta Beach Jacobson - www.RobertaBeachJacobson.com.

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