There’s no doubt the world of education has changed over the past year, and that’s true for massage continuing education as well. The pandemic has led to a wave of virtual education and online training. Many continuing education providers have created new CE classes that can be completed 100% online. In this article, you’ll learn what types of massage CE courses are available online and determine if one is right for you.
What Types Of Online Massage CE Courses Are Available?
When it comes to online learning, there are generally two types of class formats available to massage therapists: webinars and on-demand.
Much like an in-person class, students and teachers meet at a set time and date in a virtual space. These courses are sometimes referred to as “synchronous” classes because they take place in real time. You’ll be able to participate in the class by interacting with your classmates and instructor via video, audio, and text.
Typically you can access webinars using a computer or other device, like a tablet or smartphone. You’ll be provided a link and login information for the massage CE course. Then all you have to do is login at the right time.
If the class is hosted on a platform you have access to prior to class time, like Zoom, you should test it out beforehand. Make sure it works with your device, and that you know how to use it. In some cases, there may be an app or additional software you need to download for everything to work properly.
😁 PROS: Webinars have many of the same benefits as in-person classes. You have direct access to your instructor and classmates. You can ask questions, give feedback and interact with others throughout the class.
😕 CONS: If you have a busy schedule, finding a class that takes place at a convenient time may be challenging. The class is a one time experience. You won’t be able to review it afterwards. (Some providers may offer a recorded version of the class after it takes place though.)
These self-paced programs are designed to cater to your busy schedule. On-demand classes are also known as “asynchronous” courses because they do not take place in real time. Course material for these online massage CEs will consist of videos, recorded audio, and/or text that you can access any time. (“Home study” courses are also asynchronous, on-demand CE options but typically consist of printed materials or DVDs you receive in the mail.)
You’ll work your way through the course on your own. If you have questions, you can communicate with your instructor and classmates via email or online forums.
There are a variety of different ways on-demand courses are delivered. The most common way is accessing the course material through an education portal, which works much like a subscription-based website. Often portals to these online massage classes include forums that allow discussion between students. In most cases, all you need to access the course is a common web browser.
😁 PROS: You can take these online massage CE courses whenever it’s convenient for you. There are generally no deadlines to meet, so you can progress through the course at your own pace. Also, in many cases, you have life long access to the class; so you can go back and review it any time.
😕 CONS: If you have questions, you’ll have to send a message and wait for a response either from a teacher, another student, or online support. Not interacting in real time means you miss out on the engaging conversation that takes place in live classes.
Is An Online Massage CE Course For You?
The first thing to consider is whether the subject you want to learn about is suitable for online learning. The best subjects for online learning are informational in nature. Classes about business, ethics, and clinical reasoning are just as easy to learn online as they are in person.
Hands-on techniques are more challenging to learn online, but can be done. A good instructional video can teach you a lot, but you won’t have the benefit of an instructor observing you and giving personal guidance. Online classes like this are good introductory courses. You can always take an in-person class later to improve your skills.
What Is Your Learning Style?
Do you learn best through interaction, watching, or listening? If you have a hard time extracting useful information from text, you’ll want to choose a massage CE course that is either in person or conducted using audio and video. If you need to be an active participant to grasp new concepts, you’re more likely to succeed with an in-person class or online webinar.
Some people need the structure of a scheduled class time and peers to hold them accountable. If that’s you, a webinar or in-person class is recommended. On-demand classes require more self-discipline than other options.
Where & When You Can Study
One of the main benefits of taking massage CE courses online is the convenience of participating in the class from anywhere. A traditional continuing education workshop can become more costly if requires you to travel. The cost of a hotel and time away from work can add up quickly. Online massage CE courses give you access to training you may not be able to take otherwise.
Virtual classes also give you a lot more options for when you can take a class. If it’s hard to get away from home right now, or you don’t want to wait to learn something new, online courses make a good solution. Getting your massage CEUs online can save you both time and money.
How To Find Massage Therapy CEUs Online
The best place to start your search is with continuing education providers you’re already familiar with. Many CE providers are incorporating online classes now, so it’s worth checking in with an instructor you know and trust to see how they are handling the new demand for online continuing education.
Massage therapy associations like AMTA and ABMP can also be good sources of online CEUs. (***Pro Tip: It’s not unusual for these associations to offer free online massage CEUs from time to time. 😉)
Massage therapy schools are another important resource for finding massage CE classes online. Even though they are physical locations, many of them have adapted their undergraduate curriculum to online formats and may also have continuing education available online as well. Additionally, massage schools are excellent networking resources so they may be able to connect you with an online massage CE provider that suits your needs.
Of course, Massage CE Directory has an extensive list of continuing education classes for massage therapists as well. Currently, the CE listings on the directory include both in-person classes and online webinars. If you’re looking for on-demand CEUs, subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop about additional CEU opportunities.