I Just Bought a Certification! My 1st (and last) Online Course.

I recently registered for a 120 hour online TESOL course. First of all let me preface this with I’m a social person. I thrive being with people. So the thought of staring at my phone/tablet/laptop for 120 hours in itself was enough to make me want to withdraw – immediately after registering! But giving up 3 weekends of bike riding, to go to a traditional class, was not an option.

I don’t even know where to begin with my thoughts. So be prepared for randomness……..

HI HO HI HO, IT’S OFF TO SCHOOL I GO: When I “went to campus” as they called it I found that my course was 10 modules. So in my mind I was thinking……an average of 12 hours a module. Ugh!

I got through the first module in less than an hour; maybe an hour and five minutes with exams. I guess the future modules will be longer?

CONTENT vs. SLIDE COUNT: The course was nothing but slides. No videos. No bots for interactive exercises. No chats. Read the slide and (I guess) take notes???? I didn’t take notes. I read a slide and went to the next one. My focus was fixated on the slide count at the bottom of each slide; not the content. Let me get through this painful experience without killing myself.

Each Module comes with exams. When it was time to take the exams, there was no referring back to content.


Guess I should have taken notes!

Nah. I have a better idea……………

CERTIFICATION IS THE GOAL: Beginning with Module 2 I started taking pictures of the slides with my phone. I did read the content. But again, no chats, bots, exercises. Tedious. Boring. Is it lunchtime yet? IS IT RECESS YET? So it was easy to get a perfect score when you can refer back. Was I cheating? Who knows? It didn’t say I wasn’t allowed to do what I did. It didn’t say you couldn’t refer to notes. At this point I realized my goal was to pass the course and get certified – not necessarily retain any information.

Oh and the “EXAMS.” HAHAHAHAHAHA. 7 questions at the end of each module. Multiple choice and T/F. I did refer to my pictures several times.

Interaction with a teacher. NONE. Interaction with other students. NONE. Interaction with an Online Student Learning or Social Community. Maybe there is one, but it wasn’t part of “campus.” Nor was there a cafeteria or a library or a quad. Okay, I know I’m getting silly here, but calling it a “campus” is just as silly in my mind.

So now I have a TESOL certificate. A legitimate one. A recognized one. Which allows me to teach English as a second language. If I so choose. But c’mon…..what a joke……..I basically bought the certificate from an accredited organization, recognized by education professionals and meeting planners looking to hire TESOL teachers.

And my last random thought……………………………

I did the whole course (all 10 modules with exams) in under 15 hours.

This is learning! And I think I want a refund for unused hours.

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