In this post I would like to discuss my experience of recently beginning an online course of study. Before beginning this course, I had heard about online courses, but I had never explored the area.
In my case, signing up to an online course was as straight forward as completing any online purchase. It was just a case of providing my personal details and payment information.
I completed the sign-up process on my iPhone in a matter of minutes. Soon after I was sent confirmation of my payment, and the following day I was emailed login credentials.
Of course, the information requested may vary depending on the course provider. For example, another provider may ask you to upload a CV or previous qualifications.
It is fair to assume, if you were having difficulty with the sign-up process, you could contact the course provider. Most providers have a contact form or presence on
The study materials for my course are all provided online, and they comprise of PDF’s, videos and links to other relevant websites. There are also online quizzes to test yourself.
Like other websites, I am able to download the PDF’s on my iPhone, and save them to iBooks, or any other apps, for later reading. The videos stream online in a web-based player which is accessible for the most part.
What I normally do is, download the PDF on my Mac, select all the text and paste it into TextEdit, and transfer that text file to my iPhone via Dropbox. I can then read it in Voice Dream Reader.
This is a lot of additional work, but I think it is worth it as the information is much easier to read in a text file compared to PDF. I could have requested text files from the course provider, but I like taking on a little project now and again.
There are some visual elements to the study materials such as diagrams, charts and tables, but this is almost unavoidable in any course of study (i.e. online or otherwise). I have been able to interpret the tables and most of the diagrams based on the accompanying text.
This is something else which needs to be communicated to the course provider, i.e. I may have difficulty with the visual elements of study materials as I am visually impaired/blind.
This is what I have done, and my assigned tutor is now aware of the potential issue. I cannot say for certain, but I’m sure a course provider would explain a chart or diagram in words if you were having difficulty figuring it out.
The assessment process is quite straight forward for my chosen course. I am required to complete 3 individual assignments and submit them via an online form.
The form is your standard Choose a File/Browse upload process, and feedback on the assignment is provided by my tutor online and communicated to me via email.
I haven’t yet tried uploading an assessment on my iPhone, but assuming the document is saved in Dropbox or iCloud, I don’t imagine there would be any issues.
For me there were 2 essential considerations, and they were:
- Do I have the time to complete this course, and other commitments?
- Is the online learning system going to be accessible? And will I be able to read the study material?
While the first consideration is personal, the second is something which will affect anyone using assistive technology such as VoiceOver on iOS or Mac.
To deal with the consideration concerning accessibility, I contacted the course provider, and I was surprised to be allowed to access the online learning system and study materials for a 7 day free trial.
This trial gave me the opportunity to evaluate everything, and it completely convinced me that I would be able to access all aspects of the online system.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, and if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate in sharing. Also, just in case you are interested, the online course I began is concerned with the area of Project Management.