online or classroom training

Many vocational training institutions now offer Internet based medical assistant distance education programs  where all, or most (hybrid courses) of the required course work is read and submitted online; typically such courses cover biology, medical computer applications, word processing, computer sciences, economics, English composition, pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology,  which all falls into the medical assisting field.

Being a smart consumer pays off when choosing vocational training programs online. 

To protect yourself, make sure you understand the definition of a certified medical assistant and the medical assistant certification process and know how to locate qualified training institutions to your earn medical assistant credentials, otherwise you might wind up with a piece of paper that is not worth your money and time. Realize that fake schools and diploma mills do exist and therefore, do your research diligently and thoroughly.

Online programs utilize the Internet and communication is done via email, students must have access to the Internet (and a computer, keyboard, browser) and have a solid understanding of surfing the World Wide Web to access the courses. The only time distance education students show up on campus is when they take their mid-term and final exams on paper if required, but even that can be done completely online now. Some schools make provisions for their students to come in once a week for an hour, or so, to review certain skills, especially if they require hands on supervision under the guidance of an instructor, such as, for example a  course in phlebotomy technology, or clinical laboratory skills.

Do online students fare equally well as those who received traditional classroom instruction on the work place?

Whether students in online or hybrid courses fare better than those in a traditional classroom is debatable. Surely, there can be certain challenges and pitfalls in both; for example, self-discipline, commitment and extra motivation to make sure you learn and understand the material is important in either setting, however, a hidden pitfall could be that you might forget to  turn in all of your assignments on time without the face-to-face reminder from the instructor and without their classroom peers and face-to-face interaction with faculty some students might not have the extra motivation needed to do the independently study as necessary to excel.

Possible pitfalls when utilizing online program technologies:

When taking a quiz or exam online there are a number of factors to consider, such as using a reliable computer and compatible browser, a reliable connection and having plug in programs installed such as Java(tm) software, Adobe Reader(tm), and often, running some sort of word processing program, such as Microsoft Office Word(tm). If the computer is not operating properly, or the connection is suddenly interrupted, all work could be instantly lost without being submitted and the student is locked out of the test.

One form of technology distance education schools use to facilitate their online programs is the Blackboard e-education platform, a technology where registered students log in with their assigned user name and password.

Often, there are time limits imposed and if a student stays on a page too long the session will time out and renders the student unable to submit the exam. In addition, there could be an issue with accidentally hitting the Enter button, instead of the space bar or tab. This could lead to having an answer being locked in and submitted with no way to go back. Often, the Back button is disabled or causes work to be lost when utilized. When completing the test be sure to click the SUBMIT button to ensure the test is sent to your instructor. Yes, online students often even forget this.

There are many top-quality open education programs offered completely free from well known colleges, however, there will not be a diploma or degree awarded upon completion. They are strictly no degree, no fee, no admissions program such as, for example from

Diploma Mills can make even the unthinkable real…

Program quality check points do exist…  and there are many excellent educational and vocational training programs offered on the Internet. It is the dubious providers of distance education that crank out certificates and degrees that are considered worthless on the job market. If you obtain a degree or take a course from a shady non-accredited cyber-school you may find that the paper you receive stamped “Certificate” is not recognized by potential employers, and that the course credits may not transfer to other schools. This is where the term “diploma mill’ comes to mind.

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