Online Drivers Ed Courses
Technology has transformed the world of education in many significant areas, including the landscape of how students are able to take drivers education. While many students and teachers still prefer the traditional classroom experience, online drivers ed courses are becoming increasingly popular, and with many schools being shut down or operating at limited capacity during the pandemic, virtual learning is quickly becoming the go-to option.
Taking drivers ed online has many benefits. It’s convenient for those who like to work at their own pace, though some driving schools are also offering “live online” classes that function more like traditional classes through video-conferencing platforms like Zoom. Because lessons can be taken right from home or anywhere with an internet connection, taking a course online is also an accessible option for those who live in rural areas and are unable to easily travel to a classroom.
Whether you are considering an online drivers ed program for your teenager or you are an aspiring motorist searching for one for yourself, you’ll see right away that there is no shortage of options to choose from. Before you make your decision, it’s important to do your research to ensure that the one you select meets your preferences and needs.
To help you in your search, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Does the Online Drivers Ed Course Fulfill Your State’s Requirements?
All states have their own set of rules when it comes to drivers ed requirements and regulations. Because of this, not every online drivers ed course will satisfy the DMV standards in every state. This is why it’s important to make sure the online driving school you’re interested in satisfies your state’s specific requirements, or else you run the risk of purchasing a program and spending time completing it without getting any closer to your behind-the-wheel goals.
Is the Driving School Credible?
Most DMV-approved driving schools will be credible, but it still helps to consider whether they are endorsed by other relevant organizations with strict standards, such as by being in good standing with the Better Business Bureau or meeting the criteria to be listed as an official AAA Approved Driving School.
Similarly, reading reviews online can help you assess whether previous students generally tend to endorse or criticize the school in question, and they can also give you a small glimpse into what you can expect to experience if you decide to go with that provider.
Is Help Available If Needed?
Unless you’re taking a live online course model, there won’t be an instructor readily available to reach out to for help. A reputable online course should streamline information in a way that makes it easy for students to find answers to the questions they have, but sometimes you just need a real person to explain something in order for it to make sense. Finding out what help options are available regarding the actual course content, as well as what to do if you run into a technical issue with the online platform, can help you determine if you’ll have access to adequate support.
Does the Provider Work Hard to Make the Material Engaging?
When learning new material, a student is more likely to remember it and to be able to put it to actual use if the learning process is engaging and the student is able to somehow make it personally meaningful. Little things like a funny joke an instructor says or an interesting connection another classmate vocalizes are often what helps to make the material more noteworthy. Because instances like these are absent with a strictly self-paced online course, it’s important to ask one of the school’s representatives how the material is designed to still be engaging and easy to follow.
When taking classes online, being tested by concepts in an interactive way (such as through games) and in diverse formats (such as videos) can go a long way in maintaining focus than when compared to reading walls of dry text and answering questions.
Are Private Driving Lessons Available?
Some online drivers ed packages include private driving lessons, some companies allow you to purchase them separately, and others may not offer any driving lessons at all. Selecting a provider who teaches the material necessary to pass the written permit test and who also employs driving instructors to teach on-road lessons can streamline the journey to getting a drivers license. If you already have a school that you have taken the time to vet and have come to trust, it will save time and hassle if you don’t need to repeat the process by finding a separate avenue for driving lessons.
There are many benefits to taking drivers ed online, especially during a health crisis where social distancing is widely encouraged if not mandated. Because there are so many options out there to consider, it is important to carefully sort through them to make sure you choose one that fulfills your state’s requirements, is trusted by the community, is there to assist students when necessary, creates lessons that make the material engaging, and offers options to further assist students in their road to becoming licensed drivers. Hopefully this information will help you on your quest to finding the right drivers ed program for your unique needs!
-Guest post written by Andrea Russel