Do I need fast Internet to do an online course?

Untitled designIf you’re thinking of taking a course online then good for you. It’s a modern and dynamic way to add a qualification to your wall and to advance your career.

A big question on everyone's mind before they enrol in an online course, is what are the technical requirements of completing a course? We’ll run you through the whole thing below.

How do online courses work?

Online courses work in a variety of ways and will depend on your type of course and provider, but they will all involve your receiving course material from your provider, you engaging with that material and then writing responses or completing tasks based on what you have learned. Now the content for your courses will come at your in a variety of ways.

What types of content do online courses use?

  • Written content. This could be in the form of books, eBooks or online text content. Most courses require at least some reading, so if you’re thinking about an online course then you’ll almost certainly be required to do some reading.
  • Audio content. Some courses will offer you audio content, such as recorded lectures or seminars, these could be downloaded to devices or streamed online, which will require both data and speed.
  • Video conferences. This could be on Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime, but some courses will require you to speak with tutors and professors over the internet, it will help to get the most from these conversations if you have a fast broadband service that allows for smooth, consistent online calls.
  • Discussion boards. Depending on your course you may be required to participate in online discussion boards. This is kind of like a chat room, where you will discuss and debate the issues of your course. Some courses will grade students based on their participation in online discussions, so it’s worth upping your computer literacy before your course begins.
  • Video content. Lectures, tutorials and seminars, a lot of online courses rely heavily on video content. Video content can be quite an intense online activity, sapping bandwidth and data, in about equal measure. So it’s important that you have plenty of broadband to cover your needs.

How fast does my internet need to be?

In today’s world, with the internet being used for so much of our daily lives it is usually wise to have the fastest internet that is available in your area. But this can occasionally mean higher prices. Obviously, like most other things, it’s about finding the balances. Here is a brief guide to speeds, and be sure to broadband to help you find a plan.
Click here for our complete preview of broadband providers in Australia.

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Type Speed Suitability
Dial Up 56kbps Poor. Loads websites slowly and is almost too slow for streaming videos.
ADSL1 256kbps Poor. Usually cheap, but too slow for streaming video or downloads.
ADSL1 512kbps Okay. Can stream videos with some buffering, but not ideal.
ADSL1 1.5mbps (1,500kbps) Good. This should allow you to stream videos and to use video calling services like Skype.
ADSL1 8mbps (8,000kbps) Very good. Plenty of speed to stream, download course content and use video calling services.
ADSL2+ 24mbps (24,000kbps) Great. As above, only faster!
National Broadband Network (NBN) The best. (Only available in some areas. Click here for more information.)
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Who is the best broadband provider?

There are a lot of options available to you for broadband providers, probably more than you would think, so you should be able to find a plan that suits your needs, uses and price range quite accurately.

We’ve spent a lot of time comparing broadband providers for multiple uses, so if you’re in the market, you should look at our complete reviews. Simply follow the link below and you’ll be taken right there.

Click here for our complete preview of broadband providers in Australia.

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