UpStream Blog

  • Mark Hearon

3 of Your Most Important Questions Answered



We love getting questions at H2Online Training. Our mentors told us, "Questions lead you on a quest." If we're in the position to help you on your quest, then that's something worth celebrating.


Some questions come up more often than others. And while we offer an FAQ section on the H2Online Training website, some questions just don't fit the FAQ mold. So, here's our solution for resolving your thirst for knowledge!


Let's get started by answering three of your most important questions.


1. What’s the Best On-Demand Course to Take Now?



The Short


In the future, we'll consider offering detailed reviews of other industry on-demand courses. For now, we consider the best on-demand courses to be those that:


  1. are aligned to adult learning theory principles.

  2. offer a balance of succinct, Reader's Digest-style content with a rich, graphical interface and engaging learning activities.

  3. will count toward your license's continuing education (CE) requirements.


The Not Short


Our analysis of the TCEQ-approved water and wastewater training industry is that most on-demand courses are designed for:


  • the lowest common denominator.

  • the fastest time to market.

  • the "I'm-flat-outta-time" customer.

When an industry produces its own educators as ours does, most stand to benefit from those educators' personal experiences. However, experience in a given field is not an indicator of educational quality nor the mark of a great instructor. As a result, many on-demand courses overlook quality in the name of speedy development.


What we notice (more often than not) are on-demand courses that lean heavily on direct block quotations from existing course manuals produced for in-person courses, sloppy use of visuals, and unattractive packaging that's got one goal in mind: snagging your department's training budget when you're on the clock and against a TCEQ deadline.


Knowing which on-demand course to take isn't as quick a question to answer as we'd like. If not in a rush, it's easy to see where the quality is.


Examine the provider's website. Is it:

  • clean?

  • easy to navigate?

  • full of relevant information?

  • focused on a single product (i.e. on-demand courses)?

Examine the provider's presentation. Are they:

  • easy to contact?

  • producing regular content (e.g., blogs, courses, social media content)?

  • transparent (e.g., offer a money-back guarantee)?

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. The best taste test is to judge the storefront (i.e., website). Quality upfront usually means quality outback. If in doubt, reach out. A speedy reply and professional communication will fill in the gaps.


2. What’s the Difference Between Virtual and On-Demand Training?


The Short


Virtual and on-demand training are interchangeable terms in some folks' lexicons, but they don't mean the same thing. Like at all. Virtual is almost a throwaway word these days, but it's a holdover from the early days of the internet.


Basically, it means "web," "online," or "internet."


The Not Short


On-demand training is virtual in a sense, but unlike a virtual course, there's no instructor holding a glorified Zoom call with a live audience. Therein lies the major distinction between the two: one holds you in place while attempting to approximate an in-person experience (often poorly); the other offers a rich and immersive experience while facilitating what we jokingly call free-range learning.


Understanding the difference between virtual and on-demand is easy. Simply recognize virtual learning will unnecessarily restrict your time and productivity. H2Online Training prioritizes your freedom of choice so you can rest easy.


3. How Do You Prepare for On-Demand Training?



The Short


On-demand training puts you in the driver's seat and hands you the controls right from the beginning. If there's no prerequisite stipulated by the governing authority (i.e., TCEQ) and none stipulated by the training provider (i.e., H2Online Training), then it's simply a matter of jumping in with your device on your schedule. The only remaining preparation centers on you.


The Not Short


At H2Online Training, we're believers in the power of on-demand training. Truthfully, had our higher learning institutions not adopted an on-demand model for some of their courses, we'd still be degree seekers. It's had such a powerful impact on our lives that we can't envision a future where on-demand training doesn't exist.


That said, with the onus on the individual and not a professor, it's important to approach on-demand training courses with the appropriate state of mind. That is to say, without stress, without onerous time constraints (as much as can be helped), and in a space that permits focus. Preparing for on-demand training means having a plan for when, where, and in what state of mind you're best able to undertake the learning task.


Preparing for on-demand training is a snap. Simply come ready to do your best whenever you can dedicate a moment to your coursework. H2online Training takes care of the rest.


The Wrap


Questions signal a thirst for knowledge. As lovers of knowledge and wisdom ourselves, we're pleased to offer the best we have by way of answers. Not every question fits in an FAQ format, so this affords us the opportunity to apply our diligence to your greatest benefit.


If we can be of any assistance whatsoever, feel free to contact us. We're ever at your service.