Online or Not Online, That Is The Question

Julie Quinn, Programme Manager for Health, outlines the advantages and differences between learning online versus learning in the classroom when completing a complementary therapy qualification. 

I have been an educator for over 10 years, teaching complementary therapies and have also been involved in the development of the reflexology curriculum. 

Over the past few years slowly but surely we have seen an increase in ‘online’ courses for therapies.  In principle you might think there is nothing wrong with an online course, it makes the work accessibly and so more user friendly, it also give us control in our hectic lifestyles and can better suit our needs regarding the commitment of our time. However, I wonder how it can be possible to learn and develop the practical skills to effectively treat clients when you never once meet a tutor, nor have your skills assessed before launching yourself onto the unsuspecting public.

I have found myself wondering what purpose these online ‘professional’ diploma courses actually serve, they may look effective and easy to follow but they do not allow for individualised learning.  Students work at different paces, some have inherent skills and will need help with adapting their posture and stance (for their own health and wellbeing). Others need guidance with pressures, precision pin pointing areas of the body because you may be surprised to know human beings are not all one shape and size.

So how can that be factored in to an online course? Whilst there are some courses that are well suited to be delivered in this manner, in my opinion practical skills can only ever be taught and effectively learnt in a classroom environment, like we do at Morley.

When learning practical skills as a student it is not easy to ‘see’ what you are doing as you become so involved in trying to remember the movements you are supposed to perform. This is where tutors come in who can work as your eyes and correct areas that need correcting for you as an individual. To learn a skill effectively you need to first learn the idea of the movement you then need to work on mastering it, and to do this well you may need to pick up bad habits and be retaught the movement which allows you to perfect your craft and makes you competent in your technique, all this can only be done with the guidance of a professional.

So please don’t be seduced into thinking you can take short cuts or save money because in the long run it will end up costing you more not only in the monetary sense but also in the respect and benefit your clients will have for your therapy skills.

Tips for choosing a complementary therapy diploma course:

Word of mouth
If you have a treatment and like the way it is performed ask your therapist where they trained or who they trained with

Research your tutor
Colleges should insist that tutors are also practitioners, as this gives them the ability to remain current with their therapy and better able to advise you.

Content of course
You should ensure that you will be taught Anatomy and Physiology to a Level 3 standard as well as business and good practice as part of your course. This will save you having to take on further studies in order to gain a full perspective of working as a therapist and will set you up with the skills you need to work in the environment.

Remember
Nothing worth having comes easy so don’t look for a quick cheap way to complete your training. How can you learn and perfect a new skill in a 3 month period and work with confidence in your therapy knowledge. 

All of our Complementary Therapy Qualifications meet these standands and more. Learn from experienced tutors in a professional environment with opportunities to network and build your career.

Julie Quinn, Programme Manager for Health, outlines the advantages and differences between learning online versus learning in the classroom when completing a complementary therapy qualification.


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