Mastering Online Courses: Definitive Guide from Zero to Hero

Did you know that; dividing learning into short sessions help increase the rate at which knowledge is retained? In a previous post, we shared handy tips for easing boredom, while we also shared on the Role of Education in National Development in another. Our readers were impressed and had a lot to say in the comments’ section.

Today, we will be sharing a comprehensive post on online courses. Ready for a long and impactful read? Zoom off.

Post Outline:

  • Introduction
  • The Perks/Benefits of Online Courses
  • The Purpose/Goals of Online Courses
  • The Prerequisites/Requirements for Online Courses
  • Summary


Learning is a life long activity. The moment we stop learning, we start dying. We learn so we can survive in a changing world. Through learning, we also acquire knowledge, skills, and training to lead better lives. The growing man is one who learns daily, and applies his knowledge to life.

Learning is a life-long activity.

However, there are certain hindrances to learning. These serve as major obstacles to every learning process. Today, Cost, Time and Distance among others stands as the major obstacles to learning.

Owing to these obstacles, many people find it difficult to continue their learning pursuits, advance their careers or even delve into new fields of interest. Where cost seems to not be a challenge, life’s busy schedules often makes learning an elusive endeavor. For many students, adept time management remains a big challenge.

Despite all the aforementioned challenges, all hope is not lost yet. Do not give up on your dream of learning a new trade, pursuing a degree or mastering a skill set to improve on yourself. It’s possible even if you don’t have much money or time to spare. The answer is underway, just read on…

Life’s busy schedules often makes learning an elusive endeavor.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS):

Ever heard about MOOC? It’s an acronym of Massive Open Online Courses. MOOC is an online course that allows you to register freely, having open syllabuses with flexible results. You could read more about it here. Access to textbooks, videos and other learning materials are free except for a few that charge token for exams and certificates processing.

Asides MOOCs, there are many other forms and formats of online courses depending on the Online Course Provider. For instance, Coursera offers: Online Courses, Online Specializations, Online Certificates and Online Degrees Programs among others.

edX on the other hand provides several pathways for learners advancement, ranging from: MicroBachelor, MicroMasters, Professional Certificates, Online Masters Degree, Gloabl Freshman Academy and Professional Education among others.

To get a feel of these courses, you may explore and interact the various options available on the Online Course Provider websites.

Perks/Benefits of Online Courses:

Now that we have laid a solid background on Online Courses; let us move to the next section of this post – Perks/benefits of online courses. From the preceding section on MOOC, we can easily point out that most Online Courses are FREE. Some of the major benefits of online courses include:

  1. Affordability:
    Most online courses are free, or at least highly affordable. Some require that a token be paid for certificate though, and some other provide financial aid options to cover course certificate fee.


  2. Ease:
    Learners’ convenience is enhanced in Online Learning Systems. Online courses are designed to be accessible from the comfort of a learner’s home, office or anywhere around the world. Hence, physical presence in a class or lecture room is not necessary for Online Courses.


  3. Flexibility:
    Online courses are flexible; allowing learners to set their study hours, and study at their own pace. No compulsory 8 am classes and no falling behind in class even if you are a slow learner.


  4. Global recognition and Credibility:
    Online courses are usually of global relevance. From Nigeria, you could enroll in a course offered by a University overseas without leaving your doorsteps. Wonderful, right? Online Courses also have a transparent grading Instructor and Peers review grading systems which make them reliable and trustworthy.


  5. Impactful learning:
    To sum it up,
    Knowledge is power. You could acquire skills in different fields, thereby improving yourself, advancing your career or even possibly; increasing your income.


The Purpose/Goals of Online Courses:

Practical Knowledge opens new doors of opportunities, always. This is why we say; knowledge is light.

Life promotes only those who are constantly improving themselves and updating their knowledge. Those who believe that they know it all on the other hand, do themselves more harm than good. Learning is pertinent to our survival, thriving and growth as the world is constantly evolving with new ideas and ways of doing things.

While there are many reasons we should consider enrolling in online courses, some major important ones of them include:

  1. Initial Professional Development:
    This refers to various activities undertaken by an individual to become professionally competent and, up-to-date on the latest advancements in a field or career. Generally, this happens at the beginning of one’s career in a certain profession. Online Courses and Trainings are as a good way of engaging in initial professional development programs.


  2. Continuing Professional Development:
    These are the progressive efforts an individual, corporate body or organization makes to keep abreast of the latest developments by updating their knowledge and skills of a profession. Usually, this spans throughout an entire career.


  3. Skills acquisition:
    This involves undergoing training to hone a skill or learn a new one. This could be a certain trade or art. It is normally achieved through descriptive, and interactive lectures and video tutorials coupled with hands on exercises and assignments.


  4. College preparatory courses:
    Taking introductory courses help students prepare for higher studies such as Degree or Diploma. This gives them a head start by making them ready for the challenging courses ahead.


  5. Personal Development:
    For those with a desire for life long learning and self-improvement, taking online courses is essential. Online courses offer opportunities to select from a plethora of options ranging from Arts, Humanities, Sciences, or Entrepreneurship without overly emphasizing rigid prerequisites or background knowledge.


Tip: Mastering a skill or craft through the online course could even earn you some extra cash, official recommendation (more on this later) or an opportunity to help others.

Well, these are just some of the reasons you should be enrolled already. In the next section, we will talk about how to register for online courses and the basic things needed for enrollment.

If you have enrolled in an online course before, be free to share your experience (challenges and perspectives) in the comments’ section.

Also, you may like to check our blog, for other interesting posts on education, national development, working and earning, easing boredom etc…


The Pre-requisites/Requirements for Online Courses:

Statistics on Thinkific shows that there are thousands of courses available online. However, not the same form or format of course will appeal to us all. Our choice depends on our areas of interest, individual flair/passion and set goals.

To complete online courses successfully, there are certain minimum requirements/checklist and qualities which we must exude. However, there could extra requirements on special occasions.

  1. Discipline & Motivation:
    Enrolling and completing online courses successfully requires the learner to be disciplined and self-motivated. You can avoid the pitfall of not being able to complete an online course by informing friends, colleagues or families around to help monitor your progress, and hold you accountable.


  2. Ability to Communicate:
    We must be able to communicate fluently in the language of the course we wish to take. While most of these courses are available in English, there are some others taught in other languages. Having a good command of the course language enables good comprehension.


  3. Access to the Internet:
    Online courses are delivered and accessed mainly through the Internet. To connect to the internet, you must have a working Internet Enabled Device. This could be a Personal Computer (PC), Laptop, Tablet or even a Mobile Phone. Also, you will need a good internet browser. For this, I recommend either Google Chrome or Firefox browser, as well as an active Data/Internet Subscription.


  4. Time commitment:
    Every good thing requires time. No matter how busy our schedule is, we always find time for things we consider priorities. To complete online courses, it will be good to set apart a minimum of 6-8 hours per week to complete the course. Some courses require less, but I’ve found out that the time taken to complete these courses depends on the individual’s rate of comprehension and level of understanding.


  5. Online Course Provider (OCP):
    These are organizations that make online courses available to people. Usually, they have a website through which their services are accessed. There are many online courses providers on the Internet. My favourite is Coursera. I got to know about it through a friend. Since then, I have earned two certificates and have some others underway.

Other good OCPs according to Upwork include:

  1. Lynda
  2. Udemy
  3. Udacity
  4. Khan Academy

By now, I’m sure you know already if you meet the basic requirements. I hope you that you do. Do check out some of the links above and see if there’s a course you would like to enroll in today.

Do you know of some other good online course providers where people can take online courses free of charge? Kindly share them in the comments’ section.
In case you encounter any challenge while enrolling any online course, simply reach out to us at and we shall be glad to help in any way possible.

Cheers friend…

Knowledge Lights the Way!!!